Electric Interurbans and the American People

by H. Roger Grant

Foreword by Norm Carlson

Published by: Indiana University Press

192 pages, 7.00 x 10.00 in, 68 b&w illus.

  • Hardcover
  • 9780253022721
  • Published: October 2016


  • eBook
  • 9780253023209
  • Published: October 2016


One of the most intriguing yet neglected pieces of American transportation history, electric interurban railroads were designed to assist shoppers, salesmen, farmers, commuters, and pleasure-seekers alike with short distance travel. At a time when most roads were unpaved and horse and buggy travel were costly and difficult, these streetcar-like electric cars were essential to economic growth. But why did interurban fever strike so suddenly and extensively in the Midwest and other areas? Why did thousands of people withdraw their savings to get onto what they believed to be a "gravy train?" How did officials of competing steam railroads respond to these challenges to their operations? H. Roger Grant explores the rise and fall of this fleeting form of transportation that started in the early 1900s and was defunct just 30 years later. Perfect for railfans, Electric Interurbans and the American People is a comprehensive contribution for those who love the flanged wheel.