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Lens on History: A two-bit ride

November 8, 2018

In 1931, a gallon of gas cost a dime, a pound of hamburger was 15 cents and if you needed a cab ride around Rochester, that would set you back a quarter.

John Adams knew those things all too well. The Depression had been tough on the cab business in Rochester. There had been seven different cabbies. After the crash, there was just Adams’ Town Taxi Company and Yellow Cab.

Located at 15 Second St. SE, Town Taxi’s fleet, made up of once independent drivers and automobiles, had become a team to survive.

To help subsidize Town Taxi, Adams ran the Town Oil Company. There was already a pump in front of the garage, why not sell gas?

Also part of Adams’ syndicate was Buddy’s Hamburgers. Located next to the Chicago Great Western depot, it was the perfect late night greasy spoon for cab drivers to wait for their next fare.

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