`Baltimore Streetcar Memories' is a photographic essay of the Baltimore, Maryland streetcar system. Baltimore was the first United States city to begin regularly scheduled electric railway service in 1885. However, because of technical problems the line had to go back to horse car operation. After Frank J. Sprague developed an electric streetcar powered by an overhead wire for Richmond, Virginia; Baltimore adopted the new system and in 1893 opened the first electric line in the United States to operate on an elevated structure. By 1899, Baltimore streetcar lines, with their unique 5 foot 41/2 inch track gauge, were unified by the United Railways and Electric Company which purchased 885 semi-convertible cars with windows that could be raised up for summer operation and lowered for winter operation. Baltimore Transit Company was the third United States system to introduce modern Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) cars and at its peak operated the eighth largest fleet of these cars. Although Baltimore's streetcars made their last run in 1963, a new light rail system opened in 1992. `Baltimore Streetcar Memories' documents the city's street railway era.
KENNETH C. SPRINGIRTH, the author of 33 books on railroads and trolley car lines, has an interest in rail history as his father was a street car motorman in Philadelphia, and his grandfather was a street car motorman in Washington D.C. A native of Philadelphia, he commuted to Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in Philadelphia by trolley car, subway, and sometimes commuter rail graduating in 1962.