Victorian London - Transport - Road - Cars - early days

Hansoms and growlers together,
Fares don't care for your love or your war!
In this coming November
Just please to remember 
You've a rival - the new motor car!

Punch [on a cab driver's strike] 1896

Murdock's pupil, Richard Trevithick, also invented a horseless carriage ; he took out a patent for it in 1802, and drove the first he made full size through the streets of Camborne, and with Vivian drove it under steam from Camborne to Plymouth, whence it was shipped to London, and exhibited where Euston Station now stands. On the City Road, too, ran Hancock s steam coach. In fact, with "Steam on Common Roads" before them, engineers must smile at the present enthusiasm. With our greatly improved roads and proper care on the part of those in charge, there is no reason at all why such carriages should not work successfully, if the Acts of Parliament passed in the interest of the horse-owners were repealed. Our legislators have never favoured horseless traffic - witness the way in which they have treated steam-rollers and traction-engines; though it must not be overlooked that badly built houses may be dangerously shaken by heavily moving machinery. Steam, however, is not so likely to furnish the motive power as oil or electricity. One of the most entertaining features of this revived interest in what it is the fashion to call automobility, is the series of laments as to the supersession of the horse expressed in almost exactly the same terms as in Trevithick's day. The railways also were to have wiped out the horses, but have they? There are more horses now than there ever were.

article in The Leisure Hour, 1896