Hansom Cab, 1900

The D.P. Nichols Company (New York, Chicago and Boston) made this hansom cab around 1900. Mrs. Alice Maury Parmelee of Washington, D. C. purchased the cab around that time and used it well into the 1920s. In 1931, Mrs. Parmelee gave it to the Smithsonian Institution. The hansom cab was patented by Joseph Hansom of England in 1834. The hansom cab is a two wheeled, two passenger carriage with a body that is low to the ground, making it easy for passengers to board and disembark. Hansom cabs were commonly found in New York City primarily used as a vehicle for hire to get around the city, much like taxis are used today, but some were made for private use. As road surfaces improved and more people were able to buy automobiles, the hansom cab and other horse-drawn vehicles began disappearing from city streets in the early part of the 20th century.
date made
used date
D. P. Nichols & Co.
Associated Place
United States: District of Columbia
Physical Description
wood (part material)
leather (part material)
fabric (part material)
overall: 8 ft x 5 ft x 5 ft; 2.4384 m x 1.524 m x 1.524 m
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. James Parmelee
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History