Posted in Autos

Taxi Repair in NYC Handles a Centuries-Old Problem

Taxi Repair in NYC Handles a Centuries-Old Problem Posted on August 11, 2015

Taxicabs, also known as cabs or taxis, are vehicles that you can hire. They come with a driver who will take you to a location of your choice. These are all facts that you already know. However, you might not know where taxicabs come from. What was the first taxicab? When did taxicabs convert to gasoline? What was the first taxi accident?

Hackney Carriages

There are actually four distinct kinds of taxis. The taxi most people think of is the hackney carriage. Hackney carriages are the ones licensed for traveling around a community. They are the ones you can hail from the street.

In the 17th century, the first hackney coaches appeared. These were horse-drawn carriages available for hire in London and Paris. The first hackney coach service might have been in London in 1605. Typically, innkeepers would own the coach and would hire them out to visitors or merchants. This is actually not much different from bartenders or concierges who will call a cab for you. In 1635, Parliament passed a law standardizing the practice. The law regulated the industry, creating protections for the coaches as well as the riders. Greater regulation means that the taxicabs could be insured. The owners could Pay for taxi repair when necessary.


The first hansom cab was invented by Joseph Hansom in 1834. He was an architect from York, who sought to improve hackney carriages. He changed the devices so that they could be pulled by a single horse. This was an improvement over the earlier designs. This means that travel was much cheaper and taxi repair was much simpler. The hansom cab also Introduced a mechanical taximeter to keep track of the fare. Because they were cabs with taximeters, they became known as taxicabs. The name has stuck.

First Accident

Taxi repair in NYC actually taps into a necessity that is over a hundred years old. In 1899, Henry Bliss was stepping off a streetcar in New York City. He was hit by an electric taxicab. The next morning, he succumbed to his injuries. That is actually the first pedestrian death in the United States, and it took place in New York City.

Conversion to Gasoline

Electrically-powered taxis were introduced towards the end of the 19th century. One of these vehicles struck and killed Henry Bliss in 1899. They premiered in London in 1897. However, Gottlieb Daimler invented the first gasoline-powered taxicab in 1897. They spread to Paris in 1899 and arrived in New York City in 1907. Taxis arrived in New York from France. Harry N. Allen imported taxis from Paris and made one very iconic decision. He decided to paint his taxis yellow so they could be easily seen.

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