On the omnibus (or inside a tramway passing over a bridge)
Taken from Mary Cassat's collection
National Library of France
Engraver: Mary Cassat (1844-1926)
The question of multi-passenger transport emerged first in capital cities. In the 17th century, Blaise Pascal had the idea of creating transport lines in Paris with scheduled itineraries for horse-drawn carriages seating 8 people. This type of transport saw increasing success in the 19th century as did, on the other hand, the use of cabs with specific destinations. In 1855, all Parisian omnibus companies were merged into the "Compagnie Générale des Omnibus" at the request of the Chief Commissioner of the Seine, in a desire to prioritise the movement of tourists visiting the Exposition Universelle (world fair). Steam or fuel-powered tramways were also introduced in the 1870s. This drawing does not accurately reproduce the atmosphere of those overcrowded omnibuses, however, as Mary Cassat chose to foreground a mother who, lost in her thoughts, does not notice the nanny playing affectionately with her daughter.
"On the omnibus (or inside a tramway passing over a bridge)" in Sharing History , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=sh_objects;AWE;fr;21;en&id=cartoons_and_caricatures
Translation by: Flaminia Baldwin
MWNF Working Number: FR 021