Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/23

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OMNIBUSES AND CABS


CHAPTER I
Carrosses à cinq sous invented—Inauguration ceremony—M. Laffitte's omnibuses—The origin of the word "omnibus" as applied to coaches


Omnibuses, under the name of carrosses a cinq sous, were started in Paris in 1662. The leading spirits in this enterprise were the Duc de Rouanès, Governor of Poitou, the Marquis de Sourches, Grand Prévôt, the Marquis de Crénan, Grand Cup-bearer, and Blaise Pascal, the author of "Lettres Provinciales." The idea was Pascal's, but not being sufficiently wealthy to carry it out unaided, he laid the matter before his friend the Duc de Rouanès, who suggested that a company should be formed to start the vehicles. Pascal consented to this being done, and the Duc de Rouanès set to work at once to prevail upon members of the aristocracy to take shares