Quiz about Talks with Taxi Drivers
Quiz about Talks with Taxi Drivers

Talks with Taxi Drivers Trivia Quiz


This quiz deals with the history of the good old taxi cab. Enjoy the ride.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
379,725
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
526
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 192 (7/10), federererer (9/10), Guest 86 (10/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Carriages for hire began to appear in London from the early 17th century. What was the names given to these vehicles at that time? Hint

Hacks for hire
Hockey Hire
Hack about town
Hackney carriages

2. What was the name given to a driver of a hackney carriage? Hint

Jarvie
George
Gerald
Jeff

3. Sometimes a hackney coach came with a postilion (or postillion) in addition to the driver. Where did he normally sit? Hint

Swinging from the doors
On the back of the conveyance
On one of the lead horses
Running behind it

4. Following London's example, a hackney carriage hire service opened up in the early 17th century in which other sophisticated country of the time? Hint

Bulgaria
Spain
France
Russia

5. By 1834, hackney carriages for hire had been replaced by which other soon to be very familiar vehicles? Hint

Handsome cabs
Hansom cabs
Handy cabs
Handful cabs

6. By 1869, the Hansom cab had made its way across the Atlantic and was beginning to emerge all around the streets of which modern city? Hint

Atlanta
New York
Brasilia
Sacramento

7. In the short interim between the advent of petrol cabs and the demise of the Hansom cab, electric (battery powered) cabs appeared on the scene for a time. What nickname were these given? Hint

Hummingbirds
Vultures
Eagles
Kookaburras

8. The world's first gasoline powered, meter equipped taxicab was invented at the close of the 1890s, by which famous German automobile designer? Hint

Daimler
Mitsubishi
Volkswagen
Jeep Cherokee

9. Another major innovation took place in taxicabs in the 1920s. Can you guess what this was? Hint

Electric doors
Two way radios
Parachutes
Sun visors

10. Taxicabs can now be seen in practically every country in the world in one form or another. Thinking about the concerns of the age, what is the next big thing beginning to be incorporated into taxicabs - in a very positive way? Hint

Bulletproofing
Solar powered vehicles
Recycled petrol
Recycled fares


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Carriages for hire began to appear in London from the early 17th century. What was the names given to these vehicles at that time?

Answer: Hackney carriages

When these horse drawn carriages for hire first appeared in London at the beginning of the 17th century, they were notorious for the services (or lack of) provided and the style of conveyances used. So Parliament stepped in, as Parliament always does when the sniff of any free enterprise is in the air, and, in 1654, enacted "An Ordinance for the Regulation of Hackney-Coachmen in London and the places adjacent" to try to improve matters.

The first official licences for same date from 1652. At that time, there was a smaller, one horse hackney carriage capable of transporting one or two people about town, and the larger hackney coach which could carry up to six. This had four wheels and two horses, so in effect it was the Rolls Royce of hire cabs.
2. What was the name given to a driver of a hackney carriage?

Answer: Jarvie

A jarvie's job was the official driver of horse drawn vehicles for hire that were used for transporting people - as opposed to goods. He was also known from time to time as a coachee, coachy or whip. A coachman, on the other hand, was a term that referred to the driver of any type of coach. He was more associated with the wealthy and their great homes, and his title today could be understood to be that of a chauffeur. In very fancy coaches, the coachman was protected to a degree from the elements with an ornamented canopy over his seat, but the majority of coachmen and jarvies took the weather as it came, and simply buttoned up their thick overcoats tighter on colder and rainier days. In those days as well, passengers either sat in relative comfort within the coaches, rode alongside the jarvie, or teetered precariously on the roof of the coaches. What fun!

One theory has it that the name jarvie dates back to ancient Israel, and the Bible's King Jehu, the son of Nimshi (KJV, 2 Kings 9:20) who was infamous for his furious driving of chariots.
3. Sometimes a hackney coach came with a postilion (or postillion) in addition to the driver. Where did he normally sit?

Answer: On one of the lead horses

Postilions were also known as post-boys. They usually rode the left front steed in a team of two horses. If the team consisted of four horses, however, there could sometimes be two postilions, one on each of the left horses, or a sole postilion mounted on the rear left horse only. How complicated! He rode one of the horses, in other words. But why the left side, you ask all agog? Because horses are usually mounted from that side. They're trained to accept that method. In ceremonial parades today, you may have noticed that whenever there is a team of horses pulling a dignitary along in a carriage, the position of postilion continues still.

That form of riding was known as posting. That was because the coach usually travelled from one post base a certain distance along the road (the stage) until the next post destination was reached. The poor old exhausted horses would then be changed for a new team at that spot. Spare a extra moment of sympathy for the unfortunate horse that was at the front or back left of a team. Not only did it have to pull a usually over-laden coach a more than tiring distance, but it also had the misfortune to carry another human on its back. Hopefully not an overweight one. One other interesting fact about the role of the postilion is that he always wore a reinforced, thick boot on his right leg. That was to protect that member from being accidentally crushed by a carriage shaft, or being squashed between his horse and the one on his right.
4. Following London's example, a hackney carriage hire service opened up in the early 17th century in which other sophisticated country of the time?

Answer: France

That was started by one Nicholas Sauvage in Paris. Obviously at that period in history, only the very large cities would have had the necessity of cabs for hire for people to move around town. Up until then, and for some years following, most pockets of human settlement were small enough for people to use Shank's pony instead, or perhaps a little cart, or a sole elderly horse if very lucky. In Paris, hackney carriages were known as fiacres, for no other reason than the depot at which the majority were based, was built opposite a building dedicated to Saint Fiacre.

That was a rather unfortunate choice of a name in one way for France. Saint Fiacre (a derivative of an ancient pre-Christian word, Fiachra, for Ireland) is the patron saint to which people suffering from haemorrhoids, pray. In ancient times, this painful condition was known as St Fiacre's figs. Regarding France, however, and there is probably no truth to this tale at all, it is rumoured that the main reason Napoleon lost the 1815 Battle of Waterloo is that he had a bad case of St Fiacre's figs at the time - and couldn't sit on his horse long enough to direct the course of the battle. I think you can safely say figs to that yarn though.

Oh, and the saying Shank's pony, in case you've never heard of it? This refers to using your legs to get from here to there. The Shank's part of the saying is a reference to one's lower legs - the shin bones of tibias. This is a fairly new expression in that it seemed to have first appeared in the 18th century in Scotland.
5. By 1834, hackney carriages for hire had been replaced by which other soon to be very familiar vehicles?

Answer: Hansom cabs

The hansom cab was patented by English architect, Joseph Hansom, in 1834. He called it the Safety Cab at that time. In his design, the rather lumbering design of the old hackney carriage was replaced with larger wheels, a lower centre of gravity, and a suspended axle, all of which led to less wear and tear and fewer accidents. This was improved upon in the following years, but in 1835, the new and original Safety Cab, which quickly became known as the Hansom Cab, had hit the market.

These are the rather nifty cabs you'll often see in movies with a Victorian era theme. It was a light, one-horse drawn, two occupant vehicle that was either an open carriage with a folded down hood that could be drawn up in inclement weather, or an enclosure of glass windows and a roof. The driver actually drove this vehicle from its rear, out of sight of the passengers. Directions were called up to him through a small trap door in the roof of the cab, and fares were usually paid in this manner as well. A super modern touch included a lever by which the driver could open and close the doors of the cab for its passengers. Oh wouldn't you just love to go for a ride in one, with a rug tucked warmly across your knees, jogging happily through the older streets of London? History on the hoof.
6. By 1869, the Hansom cab had made its way across the Atlantic and was beginning to emerge all around the streets of which modern city?

Answer: New York

Of course New York had others means of public transportation by that time as well, but the Hansom cab quickly grasped the imagination of travellers in that city, and Brooklyn as well, within a very short time indeed. In London alone, the number of these cabs plying the streets exceeded 7,500 at their most popular, and it is to be imagined that an equal number, if not more, could be seen in New York as well.

Fares in New York included thirty cents for one person up to a distance of one mile. If two occupants were in the cab, this rose to forty cents for a similar distance. If one or two customers availed themselves of the cab for up to an hour, this rose to seventy-five cents. In the United States in 2016, that's only about thirty dollars, which is surprising. In Australia though, to hire a cab for an hour today would see you end up in debtor's prison. Sadly though, the era of the Hansom cab all began to come to end at the turn of the 20th century when petrol cabs were introduced instead in the western world. By 1920, a Hansom cab was a rare sight indeed. So very, very sad really. We let go of our happy past too quickly at times it seems, and retain only the memory of war and the quest for revenge instead. But enough of nostalgia. Time marches on with the meter running.
7. In the short interim between the advent of petrol cabs and the demise of the Hansom cab, electric (battery powered) cabs appeared on the scene for a time. What nickname were these given?

Answer: Hummingbirds

The battery powered cab appeared at a far more sedate rate than the onset of the petrol cab, but their reign only lasted a very short time. One Walter C. Bersey introduced them to London in 1897, where people very quickly began to refer to them as hummingbirds because of the sound they made while operating. Over in New York at the same time, Samuel's Electric Carriage and Wagon Company purchased twelve electrically driven Hansom Cabs as well. Based on their success, they splashed out and purchased another fifty hummingbirds there the following year. Things were buzzing along quite well until petrol cabs were introduced early in the 20th century. Within a couple of years of that disaster, the age of the battery driven cab was no more in either city, and most companies that had ventured into the electrically driven cab business took their final trip to bankruptcy.
8. The world's first gasoline powered, meter equipped taxicab was invented at the close of the 1890s, by which famous German automobile designer?

Answer: Daimler

Daimler himself didn't invent the taximeter, but he included it in the design of his first petrol-powered, meter-charged taxicab. The dubious honour of that meter goes to another German designer, Friedrich Wilhelm Gustab Bruhn. Gottlieb Daimler took the combination of the two new inventions and incorporated them in the one vehicle.

These began operating in Stuttgart in 1897. Paris soon followed in 1899, then London in 1903, and finally good old New York which had held out a little longer, finally caved in to what is classed as progress, and introduced them in 1907.

There the cabs were painted yellow for the first time as well. That was to maximise their visibility in busy New York streets.
9. Another major innovation took place in taxicabs in the 1920s. Can you guess what this was?

Answer: Two way radios

Two way radios dramatically improved the manner in which taxi drivers could be informed of new fares awaiting transport. Previously, they had to find a spot in which to park their vehicles and phone into base from a nearby callbox (another relatively new invention), or, if none of those could be located, drive back to base for the information instead.

It made a startling difference indeed to customer service - and of course, the company's income.
10. Taxicabs can now be seen in practically every country in the world in one form or another. Thinking about the concerns of the age, what is the next big thing beginning to be incorporated into taxicabs - in a very positive way?

Answer: Solar powered vehicles

This, in 2016, is still in the early stages of introduction, but from 2008, following a world tour of fifteen countries in which this new technology was shown in operation, these solar powered taxicabs will hopefully soon be an everyday sight in every country. With the ability to reach 90 kph - and with zero emissions - this can only be a wonderful step forward into mankind's future. Don't expect the fare to decrease though.
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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