Les Femmes Cocher / 13 (Mme. Charnier / 2)
Previous page Next page Les Femmes Cocher home page Taxi-Library Home

Click on the picture to see a larger version.
Paris Nouveau no. 2278 Les Femmes Cocher

Source:
Getty Images / Hulton Archive (item 2628856). Click here to view source.

Les Femmes Cocher / 13

Mme. Charnier / 2

Picture (left): Mme. Charnier climbing into her driver's seat.

Horse cabs had few amenities for drivers, such as a convenient means of getting into the driver's seat. The driver had to step onto the front wheel hub and then over the wheel itself, a difficult task when encumbered by voluminous ankle-length skirts.

Like most of the other early femmes cocher Mme. Charnier is driving a state-of-the-art carriage equipped with pneumatic tires and wire-spoked wheels. Although Michelin installed the first pneumatic tires on Paris cabs in 1896, most cabs as late as 1903 still rumbled around on steel-tired, wood-spoked "artillery" wheels (at least judging by pictures in Vance Thompson's article The Paris Cabman).

In London, solid-rubber tires first appeared on cabs about 1880. Their silent approach proved so hazardous to unwary pedestrians that bells had to be attached to the harnesses to sound a warning.

Previous page Next page Les Femmes Cocher home page Taxi-Library Home