Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/27

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7
M. Laffitte's Omnibuses

For many months after Pascal's death the coaches lingered on, but every week found them less patronised, and eventually they were discontinued. They had never been of any real utility, and were regarded by the public much in the same light as we regard a switchback railway.

After the failure of the carosses a cinq sous, a century and a half elapsed before vehicles of the omnibus class were again tried in Paris, but one or two feeble and unsuccessful attempts to start them in England were made in the year 1800. A vehicle with six wheels and drawn by four horses was the most noticed of these ventures.

In 1819 Monsieur Jacques Laffitte, the banker-politician, who became, later, the Minister of Louis Philippe, introduced the vehicles now called “omnnibuses” into Paris. They carried sixteen or eighteen passengers, all inside, and the fare was twopence halfpenny from one side of Paris to the other. From the day that they began running they were highly successful, and the first year's profits, it is said, repaid the outlay.

Monsieur Laffitte must not, however, be given the credit of applying the name “omnibus” to the