Highly Detailed 1890 Photo of D.C. Streetcar

1890s streetcar in DC

You have to see the details in this image. Click on it for more to see what a D.C. streetcar looked like well over 100 years ago.

- click image for more -
1890s streetcar in DC
1890s streetcar in DC

Source: Library of Congress

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  • Bob

    Every man on this train was a rapist

  • Jen

    Very Cool Pic! Seems that ALL my relatives worked as a Conductor at some point Even my Maternal 2nd great grandma Sallie [Harrison] Bryant drove a Cab back in the 20s her son, Clinton was always a Conductor, by 1917 he worked for Capital Traction Co.. My Paternal Great Grandpa James Harris moved from Sharpsburg to DC by 91 & was a Motorman until abt 1920 & My Cousin 1x removed, Peter George Doyle was a Conductor when they were still Horse Cars he worked Pennsylvania Ave in 1864 when he met his life long companion, Walt Whitman….. LOVE YOUR WEBSITE THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS! It Really Helps with my Genealogy, just wish they hadn’t destroyed so much of DC for “Improvements” grrrr its called “RESTORATION” not bulldozing & rebuilding! Doh! some of my relatives were major House Painters [Southey Spalding Parker] in DC & Painted quite a few of the historic buildings, they were in the paper quite a bit….

  • Lee Higgins

    The mechanism and heavy wiring coming from it appear to be an experimental electrical pickup which would contact the raised plates in the boxes as they passed beneath the streetcar. One of those metal boxes can be seen ahead of the streetcar. If successful this would enable the cars to run without overhead trolley wires. This setup could have been a predecessor to the center “plows” that were in a slotted trough which existed until the end of streetcar service. This is an important technical photograph.

  • Lee Higgins

    The device beneath the car is historically significant. My comments are continued in the next post.