The original photo used for this Then and Now image of Ancient and Modern was taken from the Hastings & St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser dated 11th October 1917. It was captioned; ‘Visitors who are averse to using petrol for their journeys to local beauty spots are carefully catered for. A well-equipped four horse drag and a luxurious motor coach, propelled with up-to-date fuel-gas are seen standing side by side.’
Gas powered vehicles developed as a response to the petrol shortage during the First World War. These collapsible gas bags were installed on a variety of motor vehicles. As gas compression techniques were still being developed, the solution was to install large gas bags onto vehicles. Functionally this worked well, though smoking near to the vehicles was not advised, and travelling above 30 mph could cause damage to the bag. More information about these vehicles can be read here.
The photo was taken on Grand Parade, Hastings. I should have got a modern bus in the image, but one didn’t appear in the time it took to take the photo.
The two photographs used to create the image, and the final combined image are below. You can view the top image full size on my Flickr page by clicking on it.
This image is part of a continuing series of Then and Now images I’ve created for East Sussex Council’s World War 1 commemoration website. The website is focused on the contribution that the men and women of East Sussex made towards the war effort.