[Ads-l] antedating medallion

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 23 04:10:23 UTC 2021

I know from looking at "taxi" in the past, that "badge" was used earlier.

Here's an example from England in 1921 referring to a Taxi badge as a medallion.  But it is a badge worn by individual drivers, not associated with the car, which may be a distinction?

"TAXI-DRIVERS' BADGES. The dispute between the Manchester Watch Committee and the taxi owners and drivers with respect to the wearing by the driver- of badges was settled- yesterday. At a meeting in the Packers' Hall, last night, the drivers agreed to adopt a recommendation of the Hackney Coach Committee for a small medallion to be worn. The medallion has a design containing the arms of the city, the word " driver," and a distinct number for each driver."

The Manchester Guardian, 15 Jul 1921, Page 11.

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of James Eric Lawson <jel at NVENTURE.COM>
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2021 8:57:15 PM
Subject: Re: antedating medallion

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Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       James Eric Lawson <jel at NVENTURE.COM>
Subject:      Re: antedating medallion

OED now has 1932 for the taxicab license sense of medallion, attested as
shown in the 2015 ADS-L post from Bill Mullins (copied below my
signature line).

Here is a clear 1931 use from Boston, and a not-so-clear 1928 use from
New York:

10 Mar 1931 _The Boston Globe_ (Boston, Massachusetts) p 3 col 1

As a measure to make certain cabs operate only from the stands for which
they are licensed, Commissioner Hultman gave orders yesterday to have
medallions affixed to the right hand side of the cowls of taxicabs.
These medallions are being placed on taxis.


01 Mar 1928 _The Brooklyn Daily Eagle_ (Brooklyn, New York) p 30 col 7

TAXI, Dodge, new 1927, medallion, 5 new tires, clock, etc., $375.


James Eric Lawson

[Ads-l] antedating medallion (UNCLASSIFIED)
Mullins, Bill CIV (US) william.d.mullins18.civ at MAIL.MIL
Mon May 18 16:58:54 UTC 2015

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Caveats: NONE

OED has 1960 for the taxicab sense of "medallion": "U.S. A licence to
operate a taxi in a city or particular locality, usually issued in the
form of a small metal plaque fastened to the hood or bonnet. In extended
use (in New York City): a driver holding such a licence."

23 Aug 1932 _Brooklyn Daily Eagle_ p 14 col 4
"No applicant for a license for a taxicab has been able to obtain a
medallion since last December."

31 Mar 1937 _Brooklyn Daily Eagle_ p 9 col 4
"In addition, Charles E. Gunn, president of the L. C. M. Transportation
Co., petitioned the court for a writ of mandamus, directing the police
department to re-issue 49 taxicab medallions which he surrendered last
December, when he temporarily suspended that many cabs from operation."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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