This ad was placed by Winnipeg's most successful taxi operator of the 1930's and 1940's, George Moore. Moore was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and came to Winnipeg in 1912. He went into the taxi business in 1921, and by the time he sold his company in 1948 it was the largest one-owner fleet of taxis in Canada.
Moore acquired most of his cabs during the 1930's, when cutthroat competition drove many of the old-line companies out of business. Moore's ace in the hole was his lucrative coal and wood business, which allowed him to undercut his competitors and take them over one by one. He also ran a trucking firm and a charter bus service and owned the Winnipeg distributorship for Packard cars.
Unlike most of his competitors, Moore had a knack for marketing. His fleet of unmarked Cadillac and Packard "plain cars" allowed his customers the fantasy of travelling in private limousines.
He introduced coupons as a sales gimmick (redeemable for cigarette cases for men, or vanity cases for women) until these were outlawed by Winnipeg city council.
He also invested in advertising. Moore's ads of one sort or another appeared daily in Winnipeg's two newspapers, the Free Press and Tribune. Here's one for the car rental service that he ran in conjunction with his taxi business:
Moore died in 1961 but his company remained part of the Winnipeg scene until 1971, when the 101 Moore's cabs were absorbed into Unicity Taxi.
Picture source: Winnipeg Free Press, April 15, 1935, p. 2.
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Revised February 13, 1998