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There are many Yellow Cab taxicab operators around the world (some with common heritage, some without). The original Yellow Cab Company, based in Chicago, Illinois is one of the largest taxicab companies in the United States.
In 1908, Albert Rockwell, (founder and General Manager of the New Departure Manufacturing Co. of Bristol, Connecticut) traveled to Europe to evaluate their taxi systems, hoping to develop a similar one in Washington, D.C. 'Wyckoff, Church and Partridge' had a number of orange-yellow colored Rockwell taxicabs operating on Manhattan streets in 1909. By March 1910, the Connecticut Cab Co. (essentially the directors of New Departure Manufacturing Co.) assumed operating control of Wyckoff, Church and Partridge's taxis.
The 'Yellow Taxicab Co.' was incorporated in New York on April 4, 1912. Its fares that year started at 50¢/mile (equivalent to $11.44 in 2011 adjusted for inflation). Among its directors and major stockholders were Albert F. Rockwell and the Connecticut Cab Co. Shortly after incorporation the Yellow Taxicab Co. merged with the Cab and Taxi Co., and with the strength of Connecticut Cab with whom its name was interchangeably used, the young business assumed a large share of the New York market. Its independent corporate life was fairly short, however, as fare wars and restrictions forced a merger with the Mason-Seaman Transportation Co. on March 3, 1914.
The Yellow Cab Company of Chicago (not to be confused the Yellow Taxicab Co.) was founded by John Hertz in 1914. Their specially designed taxicabs were powered by a 4-cylinder Continental engine equipped with a purpose-built taxicab body supplied by the Racine Body Co., of Racine, Wisconsin. According to Yellow Cab Co. tradition, the color (and name) yellow was selected by John Hertz as the result of a survey by the University of Chicago which indicated it was the easiest color to spot.