Naturally, there was also a demand for cheaper transport. So the two-man carrying a chair appeared in almost every country in the world under a variety of names.
About the 17th century, the enclosed carried chair appeared. This was named the sedan from an Italian word for sitting and was extremely popular, especially if you wished to travel in privacy. Today, the vast majority of cars are some type of sedan.
But sedan chairs were expensive and slow, and so horse-drawn carriages for hire soon appeared. The first were four wheeled vehicles called hackney carriages. These were named after a type of horse raised in Hackney, which is near London. In New York there are still people who call a taxi a hack.
About the same time the cabriolet appeared. This name comes from a French word for a leaping goat. The cabriolet was a light two-wheeler with a folding hood to shield the passengers from exposure to the weather. It was usually driven by the owner or a driver perched up front. It was elegant and fast but highly unstable.
In 1834, a Mr. Hanson invented a two-wheel vehicle that was more maneuverable than the hackney and safer than the cabriolet. The driver sat high up at the back and there were little doors to protect the passenger up to the waist. The door lock was operated by the driver, and the passenger passed the fare up through a trap door in the roof before exiting. Hansom cabs were very popular until the automobile appeared on the scene.
Like the hackney, the first automobiles for hire were called cabs, a shortened form of cabriolet because that form of carriage had been so popular. However, there was no general agreement as to the cab fare. In 1891, when a German named F.W.G. Bruhn invented a device called a taximeter (the taxi part means “tariff”) for the motor cabs, the vehicles were called taxicabriolets, a word that was soon shortened. Today you can take your pick and ride in a hack, a taxicab, a taxi, or a cab. They’re all rides for hire.