The first wave of trams (streetcar in the US) which went into service were horse drawn and began life as a means for industrial haulage, carting heavy products such as stone from quarries to cities for sale or exportation. This lead to a steady and natural evolution into modes of passenger transport. Thus creating a network of veins throughout the city, linking the suburban limbs to the beating heart of the city centre. The dawn of electricity and gas powered trams graced the network system causing these veins transformed into throbbing arteries of social interaction between the cities inhabitants.
These arteries of transport and travel can be seen throughout the rising metropolis’ of world dawning from an industrial age. Each city maintained its own unique style of tram ans some still do. London, Dublin and Cork had two tiered trams meandering their city streets, whilst in cities such as Los Angeles and Vienna they used a single tier. They quickly became social points of contact for citizens as passengers, they became mobile advertisement boards for businesses and places of work for drivers and engineers alike.
With motor cars only available to the exceptionally wealthy the tram/streetcar became ideal methods of transport for those unable to afford the expensive luxury of the car. In Dublin, family’s could commute to seaside towns such as Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) and Howth for a ‘day out’. They could be out walking the promenade by day and back under the city centre smog by night. It was a liberating service, connecting the suburbs that would later intertwine with the modern metropolis.
Image i: National Libray of Ireland. 1959. National Library of Ireland Catalogue. [ONLINE] Available at: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000303988. [Accessed 12 November 15].
Image ii: University of Southern California. 1957. USC Libraries. [ONLINE] Available at: http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15799coll65/id/21371/rec/1. [Accessed 12 November 15].
Image iii: Irish Photo Archive. 1956. Irish Photo Archive. [ONLINE] Available at: http://irishphotoarchive.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/1956-20-12-Howth-Tram-Special/G0000E1.9Jy4TWPc/I0000BLF552MHJ2Y. [Accessed 12 November 15].
Image iv: National Library of Ireland. 1920. National Library of Ireland Catalogue. [ONLINE] Available at: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000299146. [Accessed 12 November 15].