TAXI-L Gallery of Cab History

City Hall Cab Stand, 1892.

(Winnipeg, Manitoba - 6)

This photo shows the inauguration of Winnipeg's electric streetcar system in September, 1892. It contains a small element of drama --the drivers of two cabs on the City Hall Stand can be seen eyeing their new rival, as is the driver of the passing hotel omnibus.

How do we know that the carriages in these photos are cabs? This is a good question.

Winnipeg horse cabs were standard four-passenger carriages and did not have any distinguishing marks, other than numbers painted on the glass of the lamps flanking the driver's seat. In fact, cabs that operated from livery stables (rather than street stands) did not even have numbers.

It's fairly certain that carriages are cabs when they are parked in front of stables known to provide cab service, or parked on designated cab stands (such as the one in this photo).

Indeed, it is probably a safe bet that any four-passenger carriage with a driver's seat out front is a cab rather than a private carriage. Between the 1880's and early 1900's a few Winnipeggers had fancy carriages and coachmen to drive them, but not many. By 1910 most of those wealthy enough to afford carriages were being driven around in cars.

Picture source: Provincial Archives of Manitoba, Transportation -- Streetcar, 19.

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Revised February 13, 1998