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Private hansom cab, driven in London about 1890 by Sir Edward Barry. The hansom cab quickly gained favour with the public and became known as 'the gondola of London'. In 1861, there were over 5000 horse cabs for hire in London. This number had more than doubled by the 1880s. Hansom cabs reached their peak in 1898 when 11,519 were licensed for hire. From 1869, all cabs were licensed directly by the Home Office. One of the most successful manufacturers of hansom cabs was the coach-building firm of Forder. As well as vehicles for the cab hire trade, Forder also built luxury hansoms for private use.
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