Victorian London - Transport - Road - Cabs - "Quartobus"


    Perhaps a greater change has not taken place in anything which comes under the immediate observation of the public, than in the various metamorphoses the street cabs have undergone during the last few years.
    Vehicles of all kinds have been started as candidates for public favour, some of which have survived the ordeal of public opinion, and others condemned to return from whence they came, and from thence to no one knows where, for they have not been visible since. We have had Broughams, which are now the most numerous; then came the "pill-box" cab, which seemed to have been constructed for no other purpose than allowing the "fare" to cheat the driver with impunity by quietly letting himself out - while the unconscious cabman proceeded to his destination vainly anticipating being paid for "the job." This was fatal to the existence of the pill box, and it was consequently consigned to an early tomb. This was succeeded by " Hanson's Patent Safety," which may be called the aristocratic cab, for no first-rate man on town would think of stepping into any other: they are also great favourites with the public generally, being always first off "the stand." We have since had the "Tribus," which, though compact and handsome, does not possess any great advantages over the Brougham - yet its appearance will always carry the day with the uninitiated. The last improvement which has appeared is that which our engraving represents; it is the invention of Mr. Okey, landlord of the Hero of Waterloo, in the Waterloo-road. who is also the builder and proprietor. It is constructed to carry four inside, and is, consequently, to be called a " Quartobus." Its appearance is very compact and elegant; and to a person seated inside, has an unusually light and pleasing appearance.
    The great improvement consists in the front and hind wheels being not more than a foot apart, the draught being consequently much easier than in the old cabs, the wheels of which are needy five feet asunder.

from The Illustrated London News, 1844