Winnipeg Cab History / 48: Taxicabs (3)
Previous page Next page Winnipeg Cab History Taxi Library Home

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

According to John Blackie of the Manitoba Classic & Antique Auto Club this Blue Bird cab is a Dodge. It is a purpose-built taxi model featuring large window openings in the front doors but no window glass.


Blue Bird Cab. Archives Manitoba, Transportation - Automobile - Taxi 2 (Negative N4203).

Winnipeg Cab History / 48

Taxicabs (3)

The costs involved in pursuing an upscale clientele made getting into the taxi business an expensive proposition. This was reflected in taxi fares. To people who didn't have much opportunity to ride in an automobile a taxi ride might be an occasional lark, but the bread-and-butter clientele of taxicabs was people who wanted or needed to use them regularly and who could afford to do so.

As a result taxicabs had a certain snob appeal. People who rode in taxis were obviously richer and therefore more important than people who had to walk or take the streetcar. One of Eliza Doolittle's dreams in My Fair Lady is to ride in a taxi whenever she feels like it.

Some taxi companies followed this same business model for the next 20 years, unwittingly putting themselves at a serious disadvantage in what came to be called the taxi war of the 1920s and 1930s.

Blue Bird may have been one of the casualties of the taxi war. It began operations in 1925 but disappeared from the city directory in 1932.

George Ewing, a member of the Manitoba Classic & Antique Auto Club, owns a 1920's ticket envelope from Winnipeg's Playhouse Theatre which has a Blue Bird Cab & U Drive advertisement on one side. The ad is illustrated with car similar to the one in the picture.

The company's slogan was "There in a Minute." It offered "Hudson Sedans, Meter Cabs and Willys Knight Sedans," as well as special rates for weddings and funerals.


Previous page Next page Winnipeg Cab History Taxi Library Home