Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, D.C.–book talks by John DeFerrari

You can hear John DeFerrari speak about his newly published Capital Streetcars: Early Mass Transit in Washington, D.C. at one of these upcoming events:

  • Saturday, Sep 26, 1:00pm – Georgetown Neighborhood Library Peabody Room (3rd floor)
  • Tuesday, Oct 6, 6:30pm – Busboys and Poets Brookland (in partnership with Politics & Prose)
  • Sunday, Oct 11, 6:00pm – Upshur Street Books
  • Saturday, Oct 17, Noon – National Capital Trolley Museum
Washington DC Streetcars 1880s

Washington DC Streetcars 1880s —Matthew Gilmore

Washington’s first streetcars trundled down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Civil War. By the end of the century, streetcar lines crisscrossed the city, expanding it into the suburbs and defining where Washingtonians lived, worked and played. From the quaint early days of small horse-drawn cars to the modern streamliners of the twentieth century, the stories are all here. Chapters include:

1. The City of Magnificent Distances: Transit in Washington Before Streetcars, 1800–1862
2. Horses in the Mud: The Early Horse-Drawn Streetcar Era, 1862–1888
3. Close Quarters: Riding the Cars, 1862–1888
4. Hard Choices: Modernizing the Streetcar System, 1888–1897
5. Grid-Ironing the City: The Rise of Streetcar Suburbs, 1868–1899
6. Bigger Crowds and Bigger Cars: The New Century’s Challenges, 1900–1918
7. A Vast Amount of Harm: The Struggle to Maintain Equal Access, 1900–1920
8. Yesterday’s Technology: Competition with Automobiles and Buses, 1920–1940
9. War and Peace: The World War II Years and Afterward, 1940–1950
10. Endgame: Washington’s Streetcars Disappear, 1950–1962
11. Lost and Found: Nostalgia for the Streetcar Era, 1962–2015

[Note: I’m pleased to have worked with John on the maps for his book, reproduced here.]

Anacostia and Potomac Railway

Anacostia and Potomac Railway — Matthew Gilmore

Eckington and Soldiers Home Railway

Eckington and Soldiers Home Railway – Matthew Gilmore

Rock Creek Railway

Rock Creek Railway – Matthew Gilmore


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