When my dad began unloading the truck at our new home on what was then
From Kingman, Arizona to Bratislava Slovakia is one heck of a Route 66 detour. Photo copyright Jim Hinckley
known as Oatman Road in the summer of 1966, I never imagined that Route 66 would become center stage for the unfolding of my life. And even a dozen years later when Route 66 was on the cusp of becoming an historic footnote resultant of its replacement by the interstate highway system, I never imagined that this simple old road would lead me to Zlin in the Czech Republic, or that it would be a catalyst for the development of some incredible international friendships. (more…)
Forrest Keeton’s plans for transforming the moribund Keeton Company
into a taxicab manufacturing enterprise in 1923 were stillborn resultant of an inability to attract investors. However, at the very least Keeton had proven to be tenacious as well as persistent as he had initially founded the Keeton Town Car Works in Detroit, Michigan for the manufacture of taxicabs in 1908.
Resultant of under capitalization, Keeton entered into a limited partnership with Jewel Motor Car Company of Massillion, Ohio for the manufacture of the taxi he had designed. Production of the Jewell-Keeton taxi had barely commenced when Herbert A. Croxton, the primary financial backer for Jewell, reorganized the company as Croxton-Keeton Motor Car Company. (more…)
In spite of the companies forward thinking leadership, initially vision pertaining to the long-range potential in the burgeoning taxi industry was largely myopic, as was an understanding about the changing nature of competition. .
However, entrepreneurs such as Charles A. Coey were quick to grasp that potential. In 1902, Coey established an automobile “livery” and the cities first parking garage for automobiles, and in 1907, John Daniel Hertz Sr. moved from selling pre-owned cars to using them, and leasing them, as cabs. Within the first years of the 20th century, there were seven taxicab companies established in Chicago that operated more than one hundred vehicles. There were also a countless number of independent operators. (more…)
In the city of Chicago, well-organized livery and carriage service companies
Photo Library of Congress
took to the streets almost as soon as the city was established. One of the earliest of these companies, Parmelee Transportation Company established in May 1853, would play a key role in the development of America’s most famous manufacturer of taxicabs, pioneer the use of the horseless carriage as inner city taxis, and serve as the foundation for the building of empires. (more…)