Curt Anderson is a model-scale antique wagon and automobile builder. He lives in Oregon with his wife Jude and feline overlord. He built the 1834 Hansom Cab in his home museum and a second one, which we have available for sale at Triple Mountain. Here is a little backstory he wrote for his cab with its horse (a custom Breyer Duchess) and driver. Enjoy!
The Hansom cab is a horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from York, England. Cab is short for cabriolet, reflecting the design of the carriage. It was originally called the Hansom Safety Cab because it was designed to combine safety -- using a low center of gravity for safe cornering -- with speed.
Hansom cabs enjoyed immense popularity as they were pulled by a single horse, making the ride cheaper than traveling in a larger four-wheel coach. They were also agile enough to steer around other horse-drawn vehicles in the notorious traffic jams of nineteenth-century London. The cab was eventually made known to other British cities and to the United States, most commonly used in New York City.
In 1834 Reginald Beasley was fine-looking young man of twenty with plans of improving his lot in life. He had saved a little and borrowed enough money to buy a Hansom cab and a horse he named Gingersnap. He proffered a whip, but it was only for show, as Gingersnap knew when to go and when to stop. They made a fine combination in their ability to smoothly thread their way through traffic.
Reginald was a good, prompt and courteous driver which gained him a reputation for chivalry and respectability. He saved his money religiously and after his first year in service was able to make improvements on his cab including lining the interior with red leather upholstery, improving the cushioned seat and even padding his driver seat a little more.
Five years into his profession he became so popular he could select his clientele from the elite society, primarily taking them to the opera or the theatre or on a ride through the park. Of course, word of this remarkable young man found its way to the Queen, who invited him for high tea one summer afternoon and she was so impressed, she bestowed Knighthood on him – which is how he came to be known as Sir Reginald the Hansom cab driver.
postscript - (Reginald, his wife Prudence and Gingersnap lived happily ever after)
(((in a comfortable flat in the North of London with a small garden and a dog named Wilford)))
~ C. Anderson
The cab seen here, made by Curt, became the first carriage he has sold. Congrats to its new owner! We hope to see it do well in shows around Region X!
Curt has also built a chuck wagon that we have available for purchase on our website. A story about it and its crew will appear in this blog in the future.