street carriage on rails, pulled by horse or mule, introduced into New York City's Bowery in 1832 by John Mason, a bank president. The horsecar, precursor of the motorized streetcar, spread to such large cities as Boston, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, then to Paris and London, and later to small cities and towns in the United States. A common variety of horsecar held 30 passengers and had one open compartment with transverse seats, a centre aisle, and front and rear platforms for the driver and conductor. There were also enclosed and double-decker horsecars. Small, low cars without a rear platform were called bobtails.
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