In 1860, Edwin Howlett established himself in business; he started with ten horses and seven carriages at 15 Rue Jean Goujon, Paris. At the time, the district consisted of only 6 houses.
In 1865 Edwin started teaching driving and could do so in the four languages he had learnt during his experience abroad: English, French, Italian (as coachman to Princess Bacciochi) and German (as coachman to Prince Pericles Gikha in Vienna). His first pupils were mainly Americans living or staying in Paris: Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Rigg, Mr Benno Von Achenbach, Mr. G.W. Tiffany as well as the Vanderbilts and the Gerrys.
Four-in-hand driving had become a fashionable sport and Edwin was recognized as a master in this discipline. His playgrounds were the narrow and crooked streets of the Faubourg St Germain area of Paris, and more especially rue du Sabot, famous acute spot where many pupils turned their carriages upside down. From 1865 Edwin ran a coach from Notre Dame to Versailles. By the 1880's his coach named "The Magnet" had become feature of the Parisian life and left from the Herald office on Avenue de l'Opera heading for Versailles. In 1894 Edwin wrote "Driving lessons", which remains a reference for driving-enthusiasts.

History of 15 rue Jean Goujon after Edwin's departure : On May 4th 1897 opened a department store named "Le Bazar de la Charite" comprising 22 stores and a small cinematograph projection room. The complex had been built in pine wood and decorated with painted cardboard. A fire started the day after the opening, leaving 250 casualties and 135 dead among which Sophie Charlotte Auguste von Wittelsbach, who was Austrian Empress Sisi's younger sister, and spouse of Prince Ferdinand of Orleans.


Copyright 2008 The Howlett family