I came across this video on YouTube, and I absolutely love it. It captures my wistful feelings towards streetcars while showing some of the great machines on exhibit at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. Just watch the way it transitions from videos from the past to the present along with a subtle change in the music. And if anyone can tell me what the music is, I would really appreciate it.
So think back to the early part of the last century. Ok, you probably can’t think back to then, but you can imagine. Imagine the change from an agrarian to an industrial nation. Imagine the first world war, a war that for the first time truly had machines of war. A time when automated personal transportation was becoming a reality as automobiles reached the masses. Electricity, radios and mass transit were moving the population closer together and making the world smaller.
This was the world of the streetcar. I am not going to imply that it was a simpler or better time, but it was certainly different. Actually, for many people it was a more complex time of change, and many were far worse off than people are today. It was a time of segregation and injustice in voting rights. A time of extreme poverty and massive political corruption. It was, overall, a time we can learn from. A time of lessons that can be learned from today and applied to our current world.
All in all, a fascinating time. And a time that is now fading from memory as the last of those who lived in that time are passing away.
Oh, and if anyone would like to give me a late Christmas present or early Valentine’s or birthday present, take a look at this beautiful little model of a Peter Witt streetcar.