Page:Omnibuses and Cabs.djvu/30

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George Shillibeer introduces omnibuses into England—The first omnibus route—Shillibeer's conductors defraud him—His plans for preventing fraud—An omnibus library— Shopkeepers complain of omnibus obstruction.

Laffitte's omnibuses were so exceedingly well managed that they continued to prosper in spite of the many new lines started in opposition to them. With a view to maintaining the superiority of his omnibuses over those of his rivals, Laffitte decided to have two vehicles built which should eclipse in comfort and appearance any others on the streets. He gave the order to Mr. George Shillibeer, a well-known Parisian coach-builder. Shillibeer had been a midshipman in the British Navy, but quitted the service and went to Hatchett's, in Long Acre, to learn coach-building. Later, he started business for himself in Paris, and as English carriages were then becoming very fashionable, he met with considerable success, and built carriages and coaches for the most influential men of the day.