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Trams

The history of trams, streetcars or trolleys began in the early nineteenth century. The world's first horse-drawn passenger tramway started operating in 1807, it was the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, in Wales, UK. It was switching to steam in 1877, and then, in 1929, by very large (106-seats) electric tramcars, until closure in 1961.

Horse Cars

The first streetcar in America, developed by John Stephenson, began service in the year 1832 in New York. Harlem Railroad's Fourth Avenue Line ran along the Bowery and Fourth Avenue in New York City. These trams were a horse- or mule-powered, usually two as a team. It was followed in 1835 by New Orleans, Louisiana, which is the oldest continuously operating street railway system in the world, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Horsecars were largely replaced by electric-powered trams following the improvement of an overhead trolley system on trams for collecting electricity from overhead wires by Frank J. Sprague. Sprague spring-loaded trolley pole used a wheel to travel along the wire. In late 1887 and early 1888, using his trolley system, Sprague installed the first successful large electric street railway system in Richmond, Virginia. By 1889, 110 electric railways incorporating Sprague's equipment had been begun or planned on several continents.

Steam Cars

Trams were also powered by steam. The most common type had a small steam locomotive (called a tram engine in the UK) at the head of a line of one or more carriages, similar to a small train. Systems with such steam trams included Christchurch, New Zealand; Adelaide, South Australia; Sydney, Australia and other city systems in New South Wales; Munich, Germany (from August 1883 on), British India (Pakistan) (from 1885) and the Dublin & Blessington Steam Tramway (from 1888) in Ireland. Steam tramways also were used on the suburban tramway lines around Milan and Padua; the last Gamba de Legn ("Peg-Leg") tramway ran on the Milan-Magenta-Castano Primo route in late 1958.

The other style of steam tram had the steam engine in the body of the tram, referred to as a tram engine (UK) or steam dummy (US). The most notable system to adopt such trams was in Paris. French-designed steam trams also operated in Rockhampton, in the Australian state of Queensland between 1909 and 1939. Stockholm, Sweden, had a steam tram line at the island of Södermalm between 1887 and 1901. Steam tram engines faded out around 1890s to 1900s, being replaced by electric trams.

Cable Cars

Another system for trams was the cable car, which was pulled along a fixed track by a moving steel cable. The power to move the cable was normally provided at a "powerhouse" site a distance away from the actual vehicle. The London and Blackwall Railway, which opened for passengers in east London, England, in 1840 used such a system.

The first practical cable car line was tested in San Francisco, in 1873. Part of its success is attributed to the development of an effective and reliable cable grip mechanism, to grab and release the moving cable without damage. The second city to operate cable trams was Dunedin in New Zealand, from 1881 to 1957.

The San Francisco cable cars, though significantly reduced in number, continue to perform a regular transportation function, in addition to being a well-known tourist attraction. A single cable line also survives in Wellington, New Zealand (rebuilt in 1979 as a funicular but still called the "Wellington Cable Car"). Another system, actually two separate cable lines with a shared power station in the middle, operates from the Welsh town of Llandudno up to the top of the Great Orme hill in North Wales, UK.
Hong Kong Transport
1856
1856
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2019
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2019
835 Media in collectionpage 4 of 9
[Paris Bus Driver Fights Against Communism]

[Paris Bus Driver Fights Against Communism]

[Paris Bus Driver Fights Against Communism] - [FRA-2958 through FRA-2964]

Melting snow at Stureplan in Stockholm 1948

Melting snow at Stureplan in Stockholm 1948

Snöslask på Stureplan..Photograph by: Ekelund, Gunnar..Date: 1948.Photo Nr: 2017-A989.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Traffic in Stockholm in 1949

Traffic in Stockholm in 1949

Trafik på Skeppsbron..Photograph by: unknown..Date: 1949.Photo Nr: 2017-A2144.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Bus in Paris 1950

Bus in Paris 1950

Buss i Paris 1950..tag:..Photograph by: Goliath, Sven..Date: 1950.Photo Nr: 2219-B549.To the museum database (text in swedish) ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se/databas/paris-sparvagar-8231648 )

Tram in Hamburg in 1950

Tram in Hamburg in 1950

Spårvagn i Hamburg..tag:..Photograph by: Goliath, Sven..Date: 1950.Photo Nr: 2219-B403.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Night fog, Chatswood  tram, July 1950, from Series 02: Sydney people & streets, 1948-1950, photographed by Brian Bird

Night fog, Chatswood tram, July 1950, from Series 02: Sydney people &...

Format: Photograph..Find more detailed information about this photographic collection: <http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=111061..From the collection of the State Library of New South W... more

Men painting a tram at the Hammaby workshop, Stockholm 1952

Men painting a tram at the Hammaby workshop, Stockholm 1952

Arbete med Mustang i Hammarbyhallen 1952..Photograph by: Ekelund, Gunnar..Date: 1952.Photo Nr: 2017-B724.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Traffic in Stockholm 1955

Traffic in Stockholm 1955

Trafikbilder..Photograph by: unknown..Date: 1955.Photo Nr: 2017-A10305.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Colwyn Bay trams

Colwyn Bay trams

Teitl Cymraeg/Welsh title: Tramiau Bae Colwyn..Ffotograffydd/Photographer: Geoff Charles (1909-2002).Dyddiad/Date: 01/07/1955.Cyfrwng/Medium: Negydd ffilm / Film negative.Cyfeiriad/Reference: (gch12172).Rhif c... more

Stureplan, Stockholm  in the winter of 1957

Stureplan, Stockholm in the winter of 1957

Stureplan i vinterskrud 1957..Photograph by: Ekelund, Gunnar..Date: 1957.Photo Nr: 2017-A13929.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Parade along George Street for Waratah spring festival, 13 October 1959 / unknown photographer

Parade along George Street for Waratah spring festival, 13 October 195...

Call no.: Government Printing Office 2 - 14323..Format: glass negative. .Find more detailed information about this photograph: www.acmssearch.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/itemDetailPaged.cgi?i... ( http://www.acmssearc... more

Street car at a stop enroute to the Golden Gate Bridge past the Presidio

Street car at a stop enroute to the Golden Gate Bridge past the Presid...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: San Francisco State: California (CA) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public C... more

Last day of trams, covered in graffiti, Rural Bank tram stop, corner Martin Place and Elizabeth Street, Sydney, 25 February 1961 / unknown photographer

Last day of trams, covered in graffiti, Rural Bank tram stop, corner M...

Call no.: Australian Photographic Agency - 10036..Format: photonegative..Find more detailed information about this photograph: www.acmssearch.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/itemDetailPaged.cgi?i... ( http://www.acmssearc... more

Buses and tram at Odenplan in Stockholm 1962

Buses and tram at Odenplan in Stockholm 1962

Bussar på Odenplan 1962..SJ:s busslinjer 15 och 16 ersatte spårvägslinje 15 i augusti 1959. Busstypen på bilden kallades "raketer" av förarna...Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1962.Photo Nr: 2108-13.To the m... more

Vasagatan in Stockholm 1962

Vasagatan in Stockholm 1962

Vasagatan vid Centralstationen 1962..Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1962.Photo Nr: 2108-1074.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Trams at Tegelbacken in Stockholm 1962

Trams at Tegelbacken in Stockholm 1962

Tegelbacken med spårvagnar på linje 1 och 2..tag:.Trams at Tegelbacken in Stockholm 1962..Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1962.Photo Nr: 2108-128.To the museum database (text in swedish) ( http://sparvagsmus... more

Tram in Gothenburg in 1962

Tram in Gothenburg in 1962

Spårvagn i Göteborg..Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1962.Photo Nr: 2108-2079.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Tram in Gothenburgh 1963

Tram in Gothenburgh 1963

Spårvagn på Östra Hamngatan i Göteborg 1963..Gamla Arkaden i bakgrunden..Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1963.Photo Nr: 2108-2101.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Trolley bus in Gothenburg in 1963

Trolley bus in Gothenburg in 1963

Trådbuss i Göteborg..Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1963.Photo Nr: 2108-2164.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Tram in Stockholm passing the Royal guard on there way to the Royal palace in 1963

Tram in Stockholm passing the Royal guard on there way to the Royal pa...

Spårvagn på linje 2 passerar Gustav Adolfs torg. Vaktparaden på väg till slottet..Photograph by: Ekelund, Gunnar..Date: 1963.Photo Nr: 2017-63-728.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Trams in Åbo, Finland 1963

Trams in Åbo, Finland 1963

Spårvagnar i Åbo..Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1963.Photo Nr: 2108-9015.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Bus and tram on Munkbron in Stockholm 1964

Bus and tram on Munkbron in Stockholm 1964

Buss och spårvagn på Munkbron 1964..Photograph by: Trapp, Håkan..Date: 1964.Photo Nr: 2108-56.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

Track maintenance at Stureplan in Stockholm 1966

Track maintenance at Stureplan in Stockholm 1966

Växelreparation på Stureplan 1966..Photograph by: Hillbo, Gunnar..Date: 1966.Photo Nr: 2108-819.sparvagsmuseet.sl.se ( http://sparvagsmuseet.sl.se )

A trolley car

A trolley car

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: San Francisco State: California (CA) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: PH2 Michael D.P. Flynn Release Status: Relea... more

Cities:  New Orleans, Louisiana

Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana

Photographer: David Valdez; HUD Staff Photo Creation Date: 4/23/2001 - 12/6/2008 Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana

Cities:  New Orleans, Louisiana

Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana

Photographer: David Valdez; HUD Staff Photo Creation Date: 4/23/2001 - 12/6/2008 Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana

Cities:  New Orleans, Louisiana

Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana

Photographer: David Valdez; HUD Staff Photo Creation Date: 4/23/2001 - 12/6/2008 Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana

[Hurricane Katrina] New Orleans, LA, December 20, 2005 - The trolly cars in New Orleans are again in operation after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is re-opening as businesses open, residents return and commerce reappears.  Robert Kaufmann/FEMA

[Hurricane Katrina] New Orleans, LA, December 20, 2005 - The trolly ca...

Photographs Relating to Disasters and Emergency Management Programs, Activities, and Officials

[Hurricane Katrina] New Orleans, LA, 2-4-06 -- This Streetcar is being pulled by a truck because there is no electric power. New Orleans transit authorities are repairing tracks and lines to get the Streetcars back in operation.  New Orleans streetcar lines are being repaired with Public Assistance (PA) funding from FEMA.  MARVIN NAUMAN/FEMA photo

[Hurricane Katrina] New Orleans, LA, 2-4-06 -- This Streetcar is being...

Photographs Relating to Disasters and Emergency Management Programs, Activities, and Officials

Hurricane/Tropical Storm - New Orleans, La. , Sep. 3, 2007 -- During Hurricane Katrina, the red streetcars were stored in the Canal Street facility where they were inundated with almost 60 inches of floodwater. FEMA allocated $21. 6 million towards the restoration of New Orleans red streetcars. Photo by FEMA/Ralph Simcox

Hurricane/Tropical Storm - New Orleans, La. , Sep. 3, 2007 -- During H...

The original database describes this as: Title: RTA Street Cars (After) Production Date: 09/03/2007 Caption: New Orleans, La. , Sep. 3, 2007 -- During Hurricane Katrina, the red streetcars were stored in the... more

New Orleans, La., Sep. 21, 2009 -- During Hurricane Katrina, the green and red streetcars were stored in two different barns. The vintage green streetcars rode out the storm in their old Carrollton barn, which did not flood.  However, the newer red streetcars sustained almost 60 inches of floodwater in the Canal Street facility where they were stored. FEMA provided $24 million to repair and replace the damaged streetcars. Manuel Broussard/FEMA

New Orleans, La., Sep. 21, 2009 -- During Hurricane Katrina, the green...

The original finding aid described this as: Date Taken: 2009-09-21 00:00:00 UTC Photographer Name: Manuel Broussard City/State: New Orleans, LA Keywords: New Orleans ^ hurricane katrina ^ RTA ^ Streetcar D... more

Japan kyoto heian jingu shrine.

Japan kyoto heian jingu shrine.

A Shinto shrine (神社 jinja, archaic: shinsha, meaning: "place of the god(s)") is a structure whose main purpose is to house ("enshrine") one or more kami. Its most important building is used for the safekeeping ... more

Tramway tram transport, transportation traffic.

Tramway tram transport, transportation traffic.

San Francisco Financial District is the city’s business center. Among the skyscrapers that dominate the skyline is the striking, spire-topped Transamerica Pyramid building. There is a wealth of happy-hour hot s... more