THE TROLLEY STOP
The Horse Car Provided A Faster, Smoother Ride
"Faster" Horse Cars Replaced Horse Drawn Omnibuses
It was soon discovered, that a horse or mule could pull a load of passengers along a lot more quickly and smoothly, if the vehicle they were pulling rode on steel wheels on steel rails. Thus the horse drawn streetcar, or horse car as it generally became known, came into use in most major cities.
IMAGE-CLICK HERE >>> The "horsecar" was faster and smoother riding, than the horse drawn omnibuses, they replaced in many cities. Note that the postcard is even titled "Rapid Transit" Palm Beach Florida. (Postcard from the Collection of Rick Russell)
Horse Cars Had Many Disadvantages Too
The horse car companies, were always looking for ways, to overcome the many disadvantages of using animals to power their vehicles. Horses and mules could only be used for a couple of hours at a time, pulling heavy loads of passengers. Then, they had to be changed out for fresh ones. As a result, the horse car companies had to maintain as many as 8 to10 horses or mules, for each vehicle that they owned, in order to provide service from early in the morning, until late in the evening.
How Many Horse Cars Did It Take to Run a Large City System?
To give you an idea of the number of horses needed, to provide service on a large city system. The West End Street Railway of Boston, at one time ran the worlds largest horse car system. They had to maintain about 8,000 horses in order to provide daily service. You can imagine some of the problems, associated with maintaining that many horses. Also, horses and mules, like we humans, are subject to sickness and disease.
Click on "CABLE CAR BLVD." here to Continue your ride through the history of the trolley era.
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Last modified: December 19, 1998