Taxicabs largely replaced the older designs because

Taxicabs have become a part of our culture and you can find
a taxi almost anywhere on the road or at the airport. Today there are variety
of different cabs from horse drawn tourist attraction to standard yellow taxis
to luxury sedans or limos. We have taxi service and everyone knows what a taxi
service is. Some taxi services offer on-call booking services while some even
have online booking services.

 With current
technologies, just a simple clicks on tabs or button on your smartphone app and
voila, a taxi will appear in a matter of minutes ready to take you where you
want to go.

But where did the modern day taxi originate? There is so
much more to taxi services that people don’t know about.

The concept of taxi 
have been around since 17th century London and Paris with
horse drawn carriages becoming available for hire in the 1605 in London. Royal
proclamations in both cities had regulated the number of carriages which became
the predecessor to taxi regulation. 1640 Paris saw horse drawn four wheel
carriages for hire offered by Nicolas Sauvage. In the 19th century,
handom cabs with two wheels largely replaced the older designs because of their
improved safety and speed.

 The word taxi came
from the word taximeter, which was a device to calculate distance or time a
vehicle travels and allowing accurate fare to be determined. It was invented by
German inventor Wilhelm Bruhn in 1801. It was however not until 1897 that saw a
first gas powered cab equipped with taximeter that can be truly called as the
ancestor to modern day taxi.

Gottlieb Daimler built the world’s first gas powered
dedicated taxi equipped with newly invented taxi meter in 1897, which known as
Daimler Victoria. Today’s taxis are required by law to be equipped with
taximeters but earlier taxis didn’t have taximeter. The first metered taxis hit
the streets in 1907.

On June 16, 1897 the Daimler Victoria taxi was delivered to
Friedrich Greiner, a Stuttgart entrepreneur who started the world’s first
motorized taxi company. Soon, after full fleets of taxicabs began operating in
Paris 1899, London in 1903, and New York in 1907. The New York taxicabs were
imported from France by Harry N. Allen who decoded to paint his taxicabs
yellows to maximize his vehicle’s visibility with the growing number of
unofficial drivers taking the street.

By the end of the 19th century automobiles began
to appear on city streets throughout the country. It was not long before a
number of these cars were hiring themselves out in competition with horse drawn
carriages. Some of the first cars-for-hire had red and green panels.

The 1950s saw the existing automobile companies jump on the
bandwagon with general motors and ford buying and operating their first fleets
of taxis. The most successful manufacturer however was the Checkered Cab
Manufacturing Company. This company was founded in 1922 in Jolieet, IL by
Russian immigrant Morris Markin and production was set for three taxis a day.

The next major development in taxis
came in 1940 with the introduction of two-way radio which made dispatching
taxis a lot easier and effective. Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia signed the Haas
Act, which introduced official taxi licenses and the medallion system that
remains in place today in 1937. In 1967 New York City ordered all medallion
taxis be painted yellow to help cut down on unofficial drivers and make
official taxicabs more readily recognizable and avoid customers being ripped
off. Today, you can also find reputed taxi services offering their fleets in
black colors.

There are few other facts about taxis.

The first taxis were powered by cells as heavy
as 800lbs.

Did you know there were taxis with sunroofs in
the 1930s?In 1936, a fleet of “Sunshine” cabs — which featured sunroofs —
circulated the city.

On September 13 1899 the first American died in
a car accident.  That car was a taxi
there were about 100 taxis operating on new york streets that  year. Sixty eight year old henry bliss was
helping a friend from a street car when taxi driver lost control and fatally
hit bliss.

Jacob German, NYC cabbie, might have been the
first American jailed for reckless driving. He was thrown in the slammer on May
20, 1899 “‘for driving his electric taxi at the ‘breakneck speed’ of 12 mph,”
Wired writes.

Do you know that driving a taxi is one of the
most stressful jobs in the world? It’s compared to the level of stress
experienced by soldiers, policemen and firefighters. So the next time you get
into a taxi, it will help in being polite to your driver. Surveys show that
drivers are mostly stressed by the way they are treated by their passengers.
Many people offend taxi drivers without even realizing it. Then there are the
long work hours. It is not just that taxi drivers have to work long hours, they
can also be called on duty at any time. Just a few polite words can go a long
way in making your journey a great experience for you and the driver.