|Knights on horseback and Napolean (long) (archive)|
Posted by Tim (UK) on September 24, 1998 at 15:40:39:
In Reply to: Don't blame us .... posted by Fred Kern on September 24, 1998 at 13:45:28:
In days of yore, when horsepower meant horse power, the natural way to pass oncoming riders was to keep to the left. If there was any danger (and assuming you were right handed), the person would then be passing in the best position for you to strike them with your sword.
The story then goes that this sensible arrangement was overthrown by Napolean who was opposed to anything English and decreed that France and countries under his control changed to riding on the left.
Somewhat peeved at the British, France then decided to spread sedition amongst some of far-flung outposts of the British Empire and, lo and behold, America came into being.
I guess it was in enternal gratitude to the French that America also started driving on the wrong side of the road.
(Actually, I wish the UK would follow the example of Sweden in the early 1960s and switch over. I remember watching the news at the time and at two o'clock in the morning anyone who was on the road had to stop for five minutes, then change onto the other side of the road and carry on.)
: Don't blame us if you insist that the steering wheel be placed on the wrong side of the car.