Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/31

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11
George Shillibeer

While executing Laffitte's order it occured to Shillibeer that he might, with considerable advantage to himself, start omnibuses in London. He decided to do so, and, disposing of his business, returned to London and took premises at Bury Street, Bloomsbury, whence he made it known that he was about to introduce "a new vehicle called the omnibus." The word "omnibus" was received with marked disapproval by every person to whom Shillibeer spoke concerning his new venture. "If one vehicle is to be called an omnibus, what are two or more to be called?" people said to him.

"Omnibuses," Shillibeer replied promptly, but his questioners were horrified, and to their dying days preferred to call them "Shillibeers." Some people called them "omnis," and Mr. Joseph Hume, speaking years later in the House of Commons, created much laughter by referring seriously to the vehicles as "omnibi."

The route which Shillibeer chose for his first omnibus was from Yorkshire Stingo at Paddington, along the New Road to the Bank. The New Road was the name by which Marylebone, Euston and Pentonville Roads were then known.