Book Notes

McKay, John P. Tramways and Trolleys: The Rise of Urban Mass Transport in Europe. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1976. Pp. 266. $14.50[Record]

  • John H. Taylor

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  • John H. Taylor
    Carleton University

McKay, John P. Tramways and Trolleys: The Rise of Urban Mass Transport in Europe. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1976. Pp. 266. $14.50. This volume is a study of the introduction and impact of the electric "trolley11 car on European cities at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. The author argues that this technological innovation was revolutionary. In effect, it provided the working classes with wheels and thereby enabled them to escape the increasingly crowded centres of their industrial cities. And the cities, as a result, were for the first time able to expand beyond their medieval limits. In addition, the "streetcar" created a revolution in recreation for the working class, and a significant improvement in wages and working conditions for transit workers. Additional themes focus on the development, diffusion and management of the new technology and the relationship of the public and private sector in the process. As a final important facet, the author sets out some of the dicta on which comparative investigation might be made. A number of possibilities for the Canadian urban scene spring immediately to mind. The volume is near essential background reading for study of both "trolleys" and cities. [John H. Taylor, Carleton University].