- Historic Sites
“Gems of Symmetry and Convenience”
So Richmond proudly described its electric trolleys, the first truly successful system in the world
February 1973 | Volume 24, Issue 2
The decline of the trolley was already well begun when Sprague, still hard at work on new electrical inventions, died in 1934 at the age of seventy-seven. Even so, the old gentleman probably had no idea that the familiar electric cars would have all but vanished from the streets of the North American city in only a few more decades.
But even if Frank Sprague’s trolley itself was to disappear, the 1970’s would find an overcrowded urban America taking renewed interest in electric transportation in the form of modern rapid-transit systems that, however sophisticated, still employed many of the same fundamental principles Sprague’s genius had developed more than seventy years before.