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A quote from Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand:

The horseless carriage was just arriving in San Francisco, and its debut was turning into one of those colorfully unmitigated disasters that bring misery to everyone but historians. Consumers were staying away from the “devilish contraptions” in droves. In San Francisco in 1903, the horse and buggy was not going the way of the horse and buggy.

I know horse and buggy literally means horse carriage, so in this case, does it mean carriage had special status at the time, which is different than what we commonly comprehend? But I think this should have something to do with automobiles since this chapter is mainly focusing on how people repelled cars.

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It means that the horse and buggy was not yet obsolete.

"Going the way of the horse and buggy" implies becoming outmoded and useless, because cars have replaced horse-drawn carriages. But in 1903, when I was but a wee lad, the horse and buggy was still the prevalent mode of transport. It had not yet been replaced by the "horseless carriage" (cars). As the passage says, cars were just beginning to be seen in Frisco at the time. They were far from displacing horse-drawn carriages for transportation. Hence the last sentence: "In 1903, the horse and buggy was not [yet] going the way of the horse and buggy."

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  • Hey thanks, @Randal'Thor, useful edit.
    – verbose
    Nov 21 '20 at 10:12
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    "But in 1903, when I was but a wee lad, the horse and buggy was still the prevalent mode of transport. " is this a quote, or are you saying you were born in 1903? Nov 22 '20 at 3:36
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    Wouldn’t you like to know? The latter. It’s a joke. I’m old, but not quite that old
    – verbose
    Nov 22 '20 at 3:36
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    Someone born in 1903 would be on the verge of having the world record for the longest living person, if not breaking the record. I suspect we don’t have anyone quite so old here. Nov 22 '20 at 6:43

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