April 30, 2016

2505 UNITED STATES (New York) - Taxicabs of New York City

The taxicabs of New York City are widely recognized icons of the city, come in two varieties: yellow and green. Taxis painted canary yellow (medallion taxis) are able to pick up passengers anywhere in the five boroughs. Those painted apple green (commonly known as boro taxis), which began to appear in August 2013, are allowed to pick up passengers only in some areas. In March 2014, in New York City were 51,398 men and women licensed to drive medallion taxicabs. Taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC).

The first taxicab company in New York City was the Samuel's Electric Carriage and Wagon Company, which began running 12 electric hansom cabs in July 1897. By the early 1900s the Electric Vehicle company was running up to 1,000 electric taxicabs until, in January 1907, a fire destroyed 300 of these vehicles which, in conjunction with the Panic of 1907 caused the company to collapse. As a result, horse-drawn cabs once again became a primary means of transport around New York City.

In the same year Harry N. Allen imported 65 gasoline-powered cars from France and began the New York Taxicab Company. The cabs were originally painted red and green, but Allen repainted them all yellow to be visible from a distance. Historically, only medallion taxicabs, those painted in distinctive yellow, were permitted to pick up passengers in response to a street hail. They are named after the medallion issued by the TLC and attached to a taxi’s hood.

About the stamps
The first stamp, dedicated to Lydia Mendoza (1916-2007), is part of the series Music Icons, about which I wrote here. The second is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here

Taxicabs of New York City - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 25.01.2014
Photo: Gindi Publishing

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