Joseph Hansom designed the two wheeled hansom cab in 1834. The design allowed it to be pulled by one horse and to go quickly through the streets. Here is a good description from Kathleen Walker-Meikle’s book “The Horse Book”
“The two passengers would sit directly behind the large wheels, while the driver would sit behind, on a seat level with the cab’s roof. The front of the cab was open, and two folding doors would close in front of the passengers legs. Cabs also had side windows and usually leather curtains, which could be drawn across if desired. If there were more than two passengers, the services of a four-wheeled carriage ( called a ‘growler’) could be used instead . In Dublin, most of the carriages for hire were ‘jaunting cars’, which had two back-to-back bench seats facing outwards, and the passengers risked getting thrown off at speed around tight corners.
By the end of the 19th Century, cities across the world had hansom cabs, from London to Paris, Berlin, St Petersburg and New York. Innovations flourished, such as rubber tyres by the 1880s ( bells were needed to warn other traffic due to their quietness) and the first taximeter, which was invented in the 1890s. By the early 20th century, motorized vehicles had replaced the horse-drawn cabs. “
And today…..things have changed even more!