In 1900 virtually every vehicle on the streets of London was horse-drawn. More than 300,000 horses were needed to keep the city on the move, hauling everything from private carriages and cabs to buses, trams and delivery vans.
Early mechanical vehicles were unreliable and short-lived. Electric tramways had been introduced in a number of American and European cities in the 1890s, but London itself did not have a single tram line in operation at the turn of the century.
By 1915 everything had changed. Horse buses and horse trams had disappeared in London, and motor taxis heavily outnumbered horse-drawn cabs. Motor cars had replaced carriages, but only for the wealthy.
Motorbuses and electric trams were everywhere, and used by everyone. Londoners more than doubled the number of journeys they made by bus and tram. Horses were still used for most goods delivery, but in public transport the electric motor and petrol engine were now in the ascendancy.