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Published on 7/31/2007 By Josée Hanlon
The short history and the origin of the word “Limousine”

Limousines have become one of the most luxurious means of transportation. The concept of having chauffeur-driven vehicles dates back to the era of horse drawn carriages in the 1700s. The carriages were overstated with gold and they were drawn by the best looking animals. This service was anticipated for the wealthy. In the 1900, some of the first engine powered carriages were designed with two compartments. The chauffeur had a covered compartment outside the carriage and the other compartment, also covered, was for the fare. 

The first stretch limousine was built in Arkansas in the late 1920.

These deluxe machines used to be limited to the rich and famous. Now, many industries that provide luxury means of transportation use them as a valuable marketing tool to generate more business for their trade. A client can choose from a variety of interiors for the occasion for which they want to rent or purchase a limousine. The exteriors are chosen for looks and the lengths helps to accommodate a good number of guests. There are business only interiors, business-social interiors, wedding interiors and entertainment only interiors.

Limousines are now accessible to all including teenagers. They are choosing to travel in style to their numerous scholastic, athletic, social events and summer camps. 

What is the origin of the word LIMOUSINE?

The Lemovices were a Gallic tribe who established themselves in the Massif Central area including Haute-vienne, Creuse, Corrèze and Charente territories in France. Their capital was Durotincum (Villejoubert). Lemovices means “conquerors with the elm”. The Lemovices gave their name to Limoge and to the province of Limousin.

Famous products of the province of Limousin such as the Aubusson tapestries and enamels and porcelains are made in the capital city of Haute-Vienne, Limoge.
A part from these products, Limousin beef cattle have been raised here for many years and, the shepherds who began the tradition of raising this leading breed of cattle in Europe wore a long cloak associated with today’s lavish means of transport called LIMOUSINE. The shepherds used the cloaks to protect themselves from the rain and from the cold. Limousine is the feminine adjective of the masculine form limousin. These 2 adjectives describe the origin of a person or of a product.

Example:  1. Un berger limousin (masculine noun and masculine adjective)
  2. Une bergère limousine (feminine noun and feminine adjective)

The limousine industry is in its infancy in many parts of the world and active in the USA.  The Lincoln, Cadillac, Hummer and Chrysler to name a few, give a variety of exciting choices to industries such as car rentals, hotels, casinos, clubs, wedding salons and private buyers. The limousine business is growing.

This article was prepared by Josée Hanlon of builds and exports luxury limousines worldwide.

 Comments : Publish your article
Correction re Limousin(e)
By TonyH, Date: 11/29/2011
I think you missed the part about the early chauffeurs, who were NOT protected in the first cars, wore the cloaks for protection.

And so the name of the car was adopted?
You still haven't explained why the car is called a Limousine.
By Brian Zack, Date: 4/11/2015
Hello? Interesting material, really, but you completely missed any connection between the long cloak and the car. Please explain.
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