Motoring bonnet

About this object

The Tinnes claimed to be the first family in Liverpool to own a motor vehicle. It was a Daimler Reimenwagen, built by Mercedes Benz and imported by Philip Tinne's uncle in 1896. Emily Tinne may have worn this rare, seal skin motoring bonnet for outings in the Daimler.

The motor car was still a fairly recent invention at the beginning of the twentieth century and only the wealthiest people would have owned one. Philip Tinne needed and used one for his work as a family doctor. Nevertheless,'motoring' as it was known, was still a great adventure and a leisure activity in its own right.

Motor cars were either open-topped or had a draughty hood to cover the passengers. Special clothes were essential and would have included a water-proof top coat, a fur to wrap round the legs and a hat with a veil like this one to protect the face from dust and keep the hair tidy. Emily actually sewed a rolled up stocking into the back of her bonnet to make it fit better and keep it in place.

Sometimes these motoring garments were even dangerous, as when dancer Isadora Duncan caught the end of her veil in the spokes of her car wheels while driving and choked to death. Emily lived to tell the tale though and later even learned to drive herself.
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