A Visual History of New York's Taxi Cabs Through the Years

From AM New York:

The New York City cab is more than just a car that happens to be painted yellow.

Born of the hardscrabble ambitions of poor and immigrant workers in the 19th century, the cab rose to become a mighty symbol of a metropolis that always seemed to be on the go.

The status of cab driving as a profession grew steadily in the mid-20th century as the vehicles became more splendidly comfortable with the introduction of the Checker and the almost-gorgeous DeSoto Skyliner. But it wasn’t too long before the reputation of the cab industry took a nosedive. By the 1970s, cabs were described as dirty and cramped, their drivers rough outsiders that maneuvered the streets with psychopathic urgency.

Much has changed since then; cabs have gotten better, and so has the reputation of the drivers. And if the number of taxi-inspired souvenirs at gift shops is any indication, the cab is as inseparable from the city’s narrative as the State of Liberty.

Here’s a brief history of the taxi in photos, from the earliest horse-drawn cabs to the Taxi of Tomorrow.

Check out the full article on AMNY for more history on each of the different taxi eras.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's with his partner and son. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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