Views along the tram line in the 1900s
Join us for a ride on one of Hong Kong's new trams. Here's how The China Mail reported the first trial of the trams on July 2nd, 1904:
"To the clanging of the alarm-bell, and the whirling round of wheels, the first tram to run on the Hongkong tramway line left the shed last Saturday. [...] The cars used were the combination and the ordinary open car. In their new coats of paint, the colour of which is mainly yellow, relieved here and there with darker hues, the cars looked very well, [...] The motor men and ticket collectors are nattily dressed in white with narrow black facings, and attend daily at the sheds for instruction and trials."
I don't have any photos of the nattily dressed staff, but here's what those first trams looked like:
I'm not sure how long these all-first-class and all-third-class designs continued in use. Later reports describe a different design, where each tram had a mix of first- and third-class seating (maybe this is the "combination car" described in the newspaper report above?). However we do know that throughout the 1900s, all the trams were single-deck like these. Double-decked trams weren't introduced until 1911.
Here are the scenes we have on Gwulo that show views along the tram line in the 1900s, arranged as though we're travelling from west to east:
- "110 years of Hong Kong Trams in photos" shows how the trams have changed over the years.
- If you'd like to see more photos taken along the tram line, you can take similar journeys in the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s
- You can also find tram scenes in photo 15 of Volume 1, and photos 2 and 3 of Volume 2 of the Gwulo books
Thanks to all the contributors who've posted these photos to Gwulo. If you have any more photos of trams or locations along the tram lines, please upload them and I'll add them to the page for their decade.