Taxis are automobiles which you hail and then basically rent for the time it takes you to get to your destination. They’re also known as cabs, taxi cabs and all manner of slang terms, but did you know they have existed in some form or another since the 1600’s?
Naturally, back in the 1600’s the cab was a horse drawn carriage and the first recorded cab ride this manner was in 1605 in London England. From 1625 carriages became available to hire from innkeepers throughout London to receive their guests where they had to be.
In 1834 however, changes were coming into the cab business. Because this new layout just needed one horse to pull it, removing bats was cheaper to rent and had a very low center of gravity that made it safer and able to negotiate corners much better than the predecessors could.
Harry Allen imported 600 taxis from France in 1907 and painted them yellow so that they could be readily seen. He took the word taxicab in the words taximeter which means tax, charge or scale of fees and cabriolet which means a sort of horse drawn carriage. These were petrol driven cars and the first of the kind in america. Paris and London had been using them for many years.
Of course taxis are gas powered cars today and in New York they’re still yellow. Taxis around the world can continue to be animal or individuals powered (believe the rickshaw or pedicabs, and of course there are still several horse drawn carriages in operation). Water taxis are also major business in different areas throughout the world since they take people where they want or wish to discuss water not street. Hey, a cab is a taxi!
Taxis now are an economical way to get around, particularly in big cities. All thanks to the taxi.