London Horse Cabby character jug produced by Richton Studios of England circa 1980. The London Horse Cabby carried riders throughout the city as a service in his hansom cab, or cabriolet, a kind of horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834. It was designed to combine speed with safety, with a low center of gravity for safe cornering. It replaced the hackney carriage as a vehicle for hire with the introduction of clockwork mechanical taximeters to measure fares. Hansom cabs enjoyed immense popularity as they were fast, light enough to be pulled by a single horse and were agile enough to steer around horse-drawn vehicles in the notorious traffic jams of nineteenth-century London. There were up to 7,500 hansom cabs in use at the height of their popularity and they quickly spread to other cities, particularly Paris, Berlin, and St Petersburg. A cane forms the handle of the jug.