As a rail fan and street railway enthusiast, I find myself drawn to the era of the Horse Car. I can imagine one of the bells from my collection hanging from the horses hames, sounding out with each step to warn of the car's approach.
These were days long before my time, when innocence gave way to progress, and mans burden was made lighter by these wonderful animals.
They knew their route and dutifully responded to the conductors bell. They knew the faces of some of their patrons and would stop for them when spotted along the way.
However, by 1888 a steepening decline in their service had begun, as the electric trolley made its appearance.
The Horse Car Lines largely disappeared in less than a decade.
And another small piece of America slipped into history.........
"The harness for the street car horse or mule consisted of a collar, hames, traces, reins and bridle. A small bell was attached to the lower portion of the collar which the animals movement kept in a continuous jingle along the street, thus warning pedestrians to clear the way."
"One cannot but admire the evolution of the street car systems. Yet, one cannot help sighing in looking backward and recalling those lumbering, easy-going, old horse cars with their jolly drivers, their sociable conductors, their wonderful advertising scenery, their smoky, dingy oil lamps like the kitchen lamps at home, which threw a glare over the rows of passengers - thirteen to a side - and the jingling of the bells on the horses hames........
and it seems so long, long ago.........."
(San Francisco Chronicle, April 8, 1917)
A horse drawn car passes in front of the United States Capitol Building before the turn of the century.
The story of the CHERRELYN HORSE CAR, one of the most famous Horse Car Lines in the United States, can be found [ HERE ]
The Horse Car Bells in my collection may be seen [ HERE ]
A list of surviving Horse Car Bells and their manufacturers may be found [ HERE ]
'Stories and Lore' of Horse Car days may be found [ HERE ]
'Taking Stock' in Horse Car lines...... click [ HERE ]
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