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A Brief History of Limo Service

Limousines have long been considered an important status symbol. Presidents, movie stars, and business tycoons rarely leave home without one, and the resulting image has put them in demand for special events like proms and weddings. If someone wants to feel special and important, we feel that one of the best ways to do that is with a limousine service.

Etymology and Evolution

Interestingly enough, the word “limousine” is derived from a type of cloak worn in medieval Europe. This cloak had a high neck that shielded the back of the head from behind, concealing it from other people. As time went by, the horse and carriage began to evolve. At one point, carriages were built to enclose their patrons but leave their drivers exposed. This effectively isolated one from the other, a feature that is still alive and well in limousines today.

The Great Divide

It wasn’t until 1902 that the limousine was made into an automobile. At the time, it featured an enclosed carriage to house its passengers and an outside, yet covered, compartment for the driver. By 1916, the Society of Automobile Engineers officially recognized the limousine as its own special breed of car and even divided it into two different kinds: berline and brougham. A limousine was considered a berline limousine if there was a roof over its head, while a brougham limousine had no covering over the driver.

A Big-Band Tribute

Though stretch-limousines are the epitome of luxury in today’s society, they were first built out of necessity. The 1920s was the decade of big bands. These ensembles were in demand at every party, club, and function in the nation. While business was booming, it left big bands in a bit of a lurch when it came to transportation. Due to the fact that the automobile was still relatively new, it had not yet evolved into large vans or trucks, which made transporting a band, with all of its equipment, tricky and extremely expensive.

In response to this transportation crisis, the Arkansas-based Armbruster Coach Company figured out how to lengthen the chassis so that the band and their instruments could all fit inside. For this reason, stretch-limos were originally called “big-band buses.”

An On-going Evolution

Since that time, limos have undergone immense amounts of change. Whether it’s the addition of a hot tub or simply stretching an SUV, it isn’t hard for people to find an Austin limo service such as us through which they can express their individuality.

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