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The hidden history of the word ‘chauffeur’

Have you ever wondered about where the title and the position of "chauffeur" comes from? A Jalopnik article by Jason Torchinsky recently looked at the likely origin of this term, something that dates back to the 19th century and beyond, far before automobiles were as ubiquitous as they are today. His version of the story may change how you think about the way a private chauffeur should conduct their business.

While the modern chauffeur steers the car from the driver's seat, Torchinsky's piece suggested that the original chauffeurs did the opposite. When cars were carts driven by steam engines, the chauffeur was the person in charge of heating the furnace that boiled the engines water and kept the vehicle moving.

The author speculated that this name stayed on because it was the "dirty job" that required more technical expertise.In fact, the very word "chauffeur" comes from the French word that means "to heat."

A post from the Delaware-based Winterthur Museum's blog examined the strange relationship between a chauffeur and the rest of a home's domestic staff in the early 20th century. Since the original private drivers were also often mechanics, the source said, they didn't quite fit in with the other types of in-home help a household relied on, and could even clash with what the owner wanted them to do. 

We may have come a long way since steam-powered vehicles, but the chauffeur can still be someone who takes the burden of operating a car away from their employer. If you're seeking a Los Angeles chauffeur, interested parties can work with a domestic staffing agency to find someone with expert experience and practical skills. This person can also work with their employer to come up with an agreement for service.