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© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Fifth Avenue Coach Company Collection
1895-1962
  PR 18

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Lauren Gilbert

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 10, 2011
Description is in English.

Historical Note

The Fifth Avenue Coach Company, incorporated in 1896, was a horse-drawn omnibus line originally founded in 1885 as the Fifth Avenue Transportation Company (Ltd.) to discourage the laying of trolley tracks on the fashionable two-way thoroughfare. Battery operated vehicles were quickly abandoned after their introduction in 1900 as a result of their expense and inefficiency. Horse-drawn London-type omnibuses continued to be used until 1907, when they were replaced by gasoline-driven motor coaches with French engines and London chassis. The company began producing their own motor coaches in 1914 and became well known for their double-decker models.

The Fifth Avenue Coach Company became a subsidiary of the Third Avenue Railway Company in 1898 and the New York Transportation Company in 1899, gaining its independence in 1912. In 1924 it became a subsidiary of the Omnibus Corporation, which controlled the bus systems in New York and Chicago. In 1954, after acquiring the Hertz car rental business, the Omnibus Corporation sold the assets of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company to the New York City Omnibus Corporation, which was renamed Fifth Avenue Coach Lines in 1956. After a strike in 1962, the company's bus operations were taken over by the city.