Did you know that a female chauffeur is sometimes referred to as a chauffeuse? Neither did we.
Everyone remembers their first time… in this case, their first ride in a limousine. Whether it was a ride to the prom or maybe even as part of a wedding party (or bachelor/ette party), the first time you settled into the back of a limo was an experience you always remember. But very few of us have ever really thought about the origin of a limousine and chauffeur ride. Here’s a quick history lesson.
Limoges, a province in France, is where the first engine-powered limousine was developed in 1902. “Limousine” comes from the word Limoges. These cars were called that because the first limousine was designed so that a driver sat outside in a covered compartment that resembled the cloak hood worn by the people of the province. A chauffeur, of French origin, has a masculine gender and female chauffeurs are sometimes referred to as chauffeuses?
The first stretch limo wasn’t invented until 1928 by a man from Arkansas. During this time period, they were referred to as “big band buses” because they mainly were used to transport big band leaders, instruments, and orchestras.
In the 1930’s and onward, limousines began to be used for airport transportation as well as sightseeing tours. Eventually they came into use for actors and actresses in movies to transport them to their sets, as well as film crew and equipment. They became a status symbol in this way, only used by the most rich and famous.