Definitions for hansom cab
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word hansom cab
hansom, hansom cab(noun)
a two-wheeled horse-drawn covered carriage with the driver's seat above and behind the passengers
A two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage, once used as a vehicle for hire.
Origin: After Joseph Hansom
a light, low, two-wheeled covered carriage with the driver's seat elevated behind, the reins being passed over the top
Origin: [From the name of the inventor.]
The hansom cab is a kind of horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from York. The vehicle was developed and tested by Hansom in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. Originally called the Hansom safety cab, it was designed to combine speed with safety, with a low centre of gravity for safe cornering. Hansom's original design was modified by John Chapman and several others to improve its practicability, but retained Hansom's name. 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 clockwork mechanical taximeters to measure fares, the name became taxicab. Hansom cabs enjoyed immense popularity as they were fast, light enough to be pulled by a single horse and were agile enough to steer around horse-drawn vehicles in the notorious traffic jams of nineteenth-century London. There were up to 7500 hansom cabs in use at the height of their popularity and they quickly spread to other cities in the United Kingdom, as well as continental European cities, particularly Paris, Berlin, and St Petersburg. The cab was introduced to other British Empire cities and to the United States during the late 19th century, being most commonly used in New York.
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