Cabs


Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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In 1912 (at least in the UK) very few people used telephones and not many could afford a cab fare either. Telephone despatching services began to appear in US cities in the 1920s, with drivers using 'phones located at cab stands to make occasional contact with their base office. Before that, you either headed for the nearest main road to hail a passing cab or sent a servant to hail one for you. Servants were cheaper than telephones!
 
Jul 11, 2001
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In 1912 Connecticut, we must have had Taxi cabs because I know we had "livery" type license plates. Livery as in "Hired" cars. That term and plate now is used only on Limousines. I doubt you could hail a yellow model-T cab, but I'm sure you could hire a car to pick you up at the steamship terminal and bring you to the Hotel Astoria!
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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In the novel that I'm writing, I have the family go outside and wait for a cab to take them to the train station. After this, they will ride the train and board Titanic. Is that reasonable?

~Lily~
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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Trixie Witherbee, a Lusy survivor,told an amusing story about her experience in a NY cab once, circa 1912.

She was so busy gathering things, and paying the driver that she accidentally left her sable coat in the cab. When asked if she tried to get it back, she replied, "Aww, Witherbee (her husband) would have bought me another one!"
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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"In the novel that I'm writing, I have the family go outside and wait for a cab to take them to the train station. After this, they will ride the train and board Titanic. Is that reasonable?"

Not if you're striving for authenticity.

In 1912 - and indeed until quite recently - that would only ever be "the railway station".

The expression train station which seems to have gathered currency of late, is probably reflective of bus station and there weren't many of those in 1912.

Noel
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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A train is a rake of carriages which can be drawn along a track by a power unit called a locomotive.

If the power derives from steam then the locomotive would be a steam locomotive, otherwise less accurately described as a steam engine.

The point I was making was that from the perspective of 1912 the term 'train station' would be an anachronistic neologism (if that's not a tautology).

I'm sorry I started this.

Noel
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Hampstead, London
Captain Smith left home in Southampton for the last time by hired motor-carriage. A number of telephone exchanges in Britain had already been in operation for a quarter-century. (Fortunately, Mr Bell's eccentric suggestion that 'Ahoy!' begin conversations had never caught on!) Among London's first 'Subscribers' had been Queen Victoria; whose private telephone number was 'KENsington 3'. The term 'train' and meaning just the same thing - even complete with 'railway'! - long predates invention of the modern steam engine.
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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So the word "train" would mean a steam engine, but the term "train station" would not be in use? That makes sense.

~Lily~
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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"So the word "train" would mean a steam engine..."

Er.. no it wouldn't. Please read my 6th August post again.

Lily, are you really sure the world is ready for your advent as a novelist?

Noel
 

Lily Peters

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Jun 18, 2005
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I'm sorry, I didn't understand the last part of your August sixth post, but now I do. Thank you for your time; it's very much appreciated. I just want to get the little details of the era precisely correct.

~Lily~