'Omnibus Life', London, 1859.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 30cm x 32cm

'Omnibus Life', London, 1859.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. Despite the introduction of the first steam omnibus in 1833, horse-drawn buses, first introduced in London in 1829, remained more common and survived until 1912 when they were superseded by the new motorised omnibuses. A typical design was drawn by two horses and carried 12 people inside and 15 outside the carriage compartment. Cushions were provided on all the seats and the omnibus travelled at between six and eight miles per hour. The so-called 'Knifeboard' a the low longitudinal roof seat, was introduced around 1851 to increase pasenger accommodation, but the pasengers, loaded up with luggage and children, look cramped.

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