c) The following account is taken from: Philip Warren and Malcolm Linskey, Taxicabs: a Photographic History, Taxi Trade Promotions, 1980
On 2 July 1868 the Society of Arts had decided to award its Gold and Silver Medals for various types of hackney carriages for two persons, open and enclosed, and the best hackney carriage for four persons, either open or enclosed or both. The response was not very fruitful and the offer was dropped. However, in 1872 they revived the idea, after the cab proprietors had said that they were reluctant to incur expense unless cash prizes were offered. The Society withdrew its Medals award and substituted cash prizes. These were £60 for the best improved cab of any description, £20 for the next best two and £10 for the following two. The conditions were that the cabs must be ready for the Exhibition at South Kensington in 1873 and that the judges must be satisfied that the cabs had been working on the streets of London for three months. The judges were the Duke of Beaufort, Lord Arthur Somerset, Major General Earley-Wilmott, Lord Alfred Churchill and Colonel Henderson, Commissioner of Police. To give the judges some professional status they also included a coach-builder, a cab proprietor and a cab driver, the last three being unnamed.
Sixteen different vehicles were entered, but the judges could not find one that was an outright winner. However, they decided that four of them were worthy of sharing the prize money equally between them. They were C. Thorn of Norwich; Mr Lambert of 66 Great Queen Street, Holborn; Forder & Co. of Wolverhampton; and Messrs Quick and Mornington of 8 Netherwood Street, Kilburn. The following Saturday these four cabs were lined up at Marlborough House for an inspection by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. He was so impressed with Forder's cab that he ordered one from the company for his own use.
The most important of Forder's improvements was the reintroduction of the straight axle. This was achieved by cutting away the body of the cab under the passenger seat. He also raised the driver's seat some 7 feet above the ground. Thus he achieved the perfect fulcrum. The driver's weight counterbalanced by the shafts meant a perfectly balanced vehicle. In addition as the weight was taken off the horse it was possible to maintain a high speed and greater manoeuvrability. ....
Flushed with the success of the first Exhibition, the Royal Society decided to hold a special Exhibition, this time at Alexandra Palace. …. The Exhibition was held on 4 October 1875 and Forders won the prize outright, displaying once again the firm hold they had on the design and manufacture of these 'Gondolas of London' that were now capable of obtaining a speed of 15 to 17 m.p.h. But not all the credit can go to Forders. Between 1843 when Mr Harvey had patented the seat attachment for Hansom cabs to 1868 when Mr G. Clark invented the folding hood, no less than ten other men had patented improvements incorporated in the final version of the Hansom of 1875.