I now have two of these handsome buttons by Stokes and Sons.
Yellow Cab Company
In early 1924 Mr Pearson William Tewkesbury proposed to introduce to Australia the “Chicago Yellow” cab. He had already been involved several other taxi companies, the ‘City Motor Service Ltd.’ (from 1911) and the ‘Royal Blue Motor Service Pty. Ltd.’ (from 1921) in Melbourne, and the ‘de Luxe in Sydney’. This company, ‘The Yellow Cabs of Australia Limited ‘, was the first in Australia to run meter-operated cabs, and did not to charge the customer for the return journey when the cab was empty! This was achieve by locating various depots in the suburbs so the taxi could wait at the nearest location rather than return to the city.
The company commenced operations in Melbourne in October 1924, 12 months later in Sydney, and by 1926 in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The taxis were custom built A2 Broughams, imported from the United States. The driver had the luggage compartment along side him in the front, with a window separating him from the passengers behind. The meter was fitted in the front next to the window by the driver. The driver wore distinctive brown uniforms including caps. By 1938 the drivers were allowed to drive in khaki shirts and ties, without coats, in the heat of summer. In July 1942 the company employed women as drivers for the first time. They too wore uniforms.