Winnipeg Cab History / 19: The Horse Cab (2)
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An A.S. Bardal cab circa 1910. It is identified as a "wedding cab", probably because of the white ribbons attached to the door handles. However, in the ninteenth century white was as much a symbol of mourning as black was. The cab is more likely decked out for a funeral than for a wedding.


Wedding Cab. Archives Manitoba, A.S. Bardal Collection 24.

Winnipeg Cab History / 19

The Horse Cab (2)

This picture shows one of A.S. Bardal's later funeral cabs about 1910. The carriage is also a landaulet with a retractable leather hood over the rear seat. The wheels have solid rubber tires rather than steel tires.

On cobblestoned streets steel-tired wagons and carriages produced an unholy racket. The London four-wheeled horse-cabs were known as "growlers" for the noise their steel tires made on the pavement.

The first solid rubber tires were fitted to London cabs about 1880. The relatively silent approach of these cabs was so hazardous to pedestrians that bells were mounted on the harnesses as a warning to the unwary. Michelin put the first pneumatic rubber tires on Paris horse cabs in 1896.

The difficulty of developing rubber tires was so great that in England experiments were made with putting rubber coatings on pavement. Paris found a more practical solution, installing cedar block paving near hospitals or in wealthy residential areas where people were willing to pay for peace and quiet.

The cedar for Parisian streets had to be imported at great expense from Russia, but in North America cedar blocks were regarded as a cheap and durable alternative to other types of paving rather than as a way of damping noise. Winnipeg launched a program of cedar block paving on Main Street in the 1880s.


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