Hansom cab

From Academic Kids

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Hansom cabs were light, fast and low-slung.

A Hansom cab is a kind of horse-drawn carriage first designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from Leicestershire, England. Originally known as the Hansom Safety Cab, its purpose was to combine speed with safety, with a low center of gravity that was essential for safe cornering.

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A Hansom cab adding character to the filming of a costume drama.

Cab is a shortening of cabriolet reflecting the design of the carriage. It replaced the hackney carriage as a vehicle for hire; with the introduction of taximeters to measure fares, the name became taxicab.

The Hansom Cab was introduced to the United States during the late 19th century, and was most commonly used there in New York City.

A Hansom cab on display in the Mossman Collection, ,
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A Hansom cab on display in the Mossman Collection, Luton, England

Books

  • Carriage Terminology: An Historical Dictionary by Donald H. Berkebile, Don H. Berkebile (1979) ISBN 0874741661
  • A Dictionary of Horse Drawn Vehicles by D.J.M. Smith (1988)
  • Looking at Carriages by Sallie Walrond (1992)

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