Tram electrical systems, 19th century

Tram electrical systems, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tram electrical systems, 19th-century artwork. Electrification of trams (also called streetcars) took place in the 1880s and 1890s. Most systems used overhead cables to supply power, but some cities would not allow this and underground cable systems, called conduit current collection, had to be used instead. This cutaway artwork shows how a plough descending from the tram moves along a slot in a rail in the middle of the tramway, with metal shoe connections touching the two live wires running in the channel. Artwork from the 17th volume (first period of 1896) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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