First electric trams begin running in London

BOOK LONDON HOTELS

History on 10th March


Alexander Graham Bell makes 1st telephone call

first official census is held in Britain

First electric trams begin running in London

Acton, London The 10th of March 1883 AD

The Victorian era was one of industrial and engineering innovation in a climate of social conservatism. In transport this was the golden age of the railway, and the surge of the steamship. Urban transport too was revolutionised with the rapid growth of the tram system, initially horse-drawn but eventually powered. And though the first full electric tram service would not be established in London (actually Croydon ) until the last year of Victoria ís reign, 1901, the first trial of an electric tram took place there as early as 1883, when the West Metropolitan Tramway Line which ran between Acton and Kew saw tests on a revolutionary vehicle.
This first London electric tram was perhaps an opportunity missed: it was powered by storage batteries, a technology very much in its infancy in 1883. Had the company persevered and perfected the system much might have changed. In local terms it was resistance by Kew residents to the installation of ugly overhead electric cables for the trams that was the final nail in the coffin of the line that served that suburb, a line already losing money. But more significantly the cityscapes worldwide spoiled by overhead wires might have been entirely different had the West Metropolitan set the trend with battery powered vehicles. And we may wonder if transport technology had taken that route would the internal combustion engine have dominated the 20th century as it did, with the serious consequences we are becoming more aware of in the 21st.

More famous dates here

8556 views since 10th March 2008

Comment

From Seydi on 10th March 2010
Well written! Good & informative little article.

Brit Quote:
Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure. - Lord Byron
More Quotes

On this day:
Battle of Edgehill - 1642, First Parliament of Great Britain - 1707, War of Jenkinsí Ear Begins - 1739, First British-Made Ford Car - 1911, Battle of El Alamein - 1942
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages