1895 London Gen Omnibus Co’s Garden Seat Horse Bus
Early Buses and Trams 1863-1919
George Shillibeer introduced the omnibus to London in 1829. By 1831, nearly a hundred horse buses were in operation. The Victorian horse bus was used by the middle class – too expensive for the workman, who walked. By the 1870s trams offered cheaper transport, so bus operators reduced their fares. The London horse bus in its final form appeared in the 1880s. This horse bus was operated by the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) from 1880-1911 between Waterloo and Baker Street. It was the lightest and strongest vehicle of its type in the world and could carry 28 people at nearly 8mph. This bus was known as the ‘garden seat’ type – forward facing outside seats in pairs with a central gangway were introduced. The roof was practically flat and wider than its predecessors. To provide the maximum area of glazing, the roof was supported on thin wooden mullions. Given it held 14 passengers plus the driver, the bus was a remarkable vehicle which had reached the peak of coach building. The yellow undercarriage and wheels were standard on the buses of most companies and, to assist the wheelwrights, wheels were interchangeable. A metal skid, which previously was the only means of braking other than with the horses, hangs from the side of the vehicle to relieve the brakes on steep hills. This vehicle can be seen at the Acton Depot of the London Transport Museum, Gunnersbury Lane, West London, England.
|Dimensions||47.5 × 34.5 cm|