Baltimore Streetcar Museum
An 1896 open car in operation at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum
Backstory and Context
Baltimore is the home of the country's earliest commercially-run electric streetcar, which took its first journey in 1885. Streetcars replaced older forms of transit such as horse-drawn cars. Increased use of streetcars contributed to the expansion and suburbanization of the city.
By the 1910s and 20s, however, cars were entering the transportation scene. Using efficient assembly lines, Henry Ford's cars could be produced more quickly than ever. As the number of cars increased, the city invested in improving roads and eventually in developing a bus system. The last electric streetcar ran in 1963.
The Baltimore Streetcar Museum contains important historical documents, including holdings from the National Railroad Historical Society (Baltimore Chapter).
Helton, Gary, on behalf of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. Images of America: Baltimore's Streetcars and Buses. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008.
"The History of Baltimore." City of Baltimore. Accessed February 10, 2017. http://planning.baltimorecity.gov/sites/default/files/History%20of%20Baltimore.pdf. p. 34.
Olson, Sherry. Baltimore: The Building of an American City. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press,  1997.