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Electrification, one of the most important industrial developments of the late 19th Century, resulted in great technological advancements throughout the world, and it did not take long for new uses to be found for this commodity.In Derby, after first being proposed in 1889, the Electric Light Station was built in 1893 on Sowter Road – next to the Old Silk Mill and very close to the town centre – and opened on 10 October 1893 [Source: The Derby Mercury, ].The photograph shows a procession of six decorated electric trams – known in North America as streetcars or trolleys – as well as a horse and cart being driven away from the photographer down the opposite side of the street and several individuals and groups of people, including the tram drivers – referred to as motormen – and conductors.The reverse of the photographic print shows signs of having been removed from an album, but beneath the remains of album page still stuck to the print is a rectangular blue stamp filled in with a pencilled explanation of where and when the photograph was taken. Apart from Simnett’s studio address and a Professional Photographers’ Association (PPS) logo printed on the reverse, the text handwritten in blue ink appears to refer to details of the tram line: In other words, the service provided by the 25 cars manufactured by the Brush firm to a 4’0″9 guage was inaugurated in 1904, and they were finally withdrawn from service on 2 July 1934.

The photograph that I have chosen is one from my collection that is a print rather than a postcard, although it does appear to have been published as a postcard, as I will demonstrate.Richard Keene Limited were commissioned as the official photographers for the event (though this card is published by Lever Brothers).The cavalcade route was London Road, Osmaston Road, Alvaston and Abingdon Street.Inauguration of the Electric Trams at Derby, July 27th, 1904Postcard by J.Harwood, Printer, Derby Derby Corporation tram No.1, Crich Tramway Village Image © Copyright P. Chadwick, courtesy uk and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence Finally, tram car No.

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