At the turn of the century many of the London cab-drivers were not convinced by the new motorised ‘horse-less’ new-fangled contraptions:
In his diary on 15th October 1901, journalist R.D. Blumenfeld recalls a conversation with a cab-driver.
My hansom cab-driver who calls for me every morning at two o’clock after we have sent the paper to press informed me that his brother, who is also a cabman is taking lessons in automobile driving in the hope that some day he will be able to drive a horseless cab. I told him it would be a good idea if he, too, took lessons, but he shouted through the opening at the top that he wasn’t going to waste his money on such foolishness,
“Them automobiles,” he said, “are all right as playthings, but you can’t depend on ‘em. Besides, they are dangerous, and you can’t guarantee getting you’re fare to the place he wants to reach. You’ll never beat my old ‘orse.”
I wonder if he is right.