Discover the History of Trolleys

In the olden days, horsecars were the most efficient means of transportation. These horsecars featured small cars which horses pulled along the streets. The streets had rails in place and horses travelled over the rails, delivering people from Point A to Point B. Horsecars were invented during 1832, in the Big Apple, and they were very popular. Horses could move faster over rails than they would be able to without rails. However, horsecars had their disadvantages, including the necessity of a lot of manpower in order to clean up their messes.

After the advent of the Industrial Revolution, technology was in place which helped to move public transport forward. At this pivotal stage in history, cable cars began to replace horsecars. These cars were hooked up to cables which ran under the ground. When a driver wanted to stop his cable car, he would break the connection to the cable and then use his vehicle’s brake. Cable cars were bigger and quicker than their horse-driven predecessors and they were quite efficient.

Nonetheless, this type of transportation came with disadvantages. Cable cars were costly and it required a lot of effort in order to keep them working correctly. As well, they stayed at one speed and this was often too fast for taking corners, which made them dangerous at times. For this reason, people began to look for new ways to move people from place to place within cities.

Trolleys Features Electric Generators

During the latter part of the 1880s, electric generators and engine technologies moved forward and these technological developments made it possible for streetcars to come into being. These trolleys were first utilised in the State of Virginia, within the city of Richmond. Afterwards, Brooklyn purchased trolleys and then ran them along Coney Island Avenue.

Cable cars were phased out completely in 1905. Some horsecars were still operational in 1917.

Electric streetcars became very popular in the USA. These trolleys got their name from their electronic pick-ups, which were deemed, “trawlers”. Neighbourhoods developed as tracks were lengthened, so trolleys played a role in the development of new urban centres.

As you can see, trolleys worked without the disadvantages of horsecars and streetcars. The are a fine symbol of human ingenuity and helped people to move around cities with greater ease. Since they were easier to maintain and safer, they were a real advance in technology and they are definitely an important part of history.