It doesn’t look very sturdy or comfortable. And an awful lot of people seem packed into that upper deck.
But if you needed to travel along Fifth Avenue between Washington Square and 59th Street in the early 1900s, this was your mode of transportation.
New York was the first city to use “motor omnibuses” for public transit, and the earliest fleet hit the streets in 1902, according to The Wheels That Drove New York. In 1905, the Fifth Avenue Coach Company invested in 15 French DeDion Bouton double deckers, like the one in the postcard.
Motor buses for commuters were a hit, and even sightseeing buses popped up, the precursors to today’s big red tourist haulers. Within a few years, Fifth Avenue’s horse-drawn omnibuses were history.