Who invented the electric trolley car?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is some conflicting information as to the true inventor of the trolley car.  Some say that that the trolley was invented by Steven Dudley Field in 1874.

"The first electric streetcar. Invented by Stockbridge, Mass.-born engineer Stephen Dudley Field, 28, it is the first car anywhere to be run successfully with current generated by a stationary dynamo: one wheel picks up current carried by one of the rails. Conveyed to the car's motor, it flows back to the other rail via a second wheel, insulated from the first, and is returned to the dynamo, but the system is hazardous and presents no immediate threat to the horsecar."

Others say the electric trolley car was invented by Frank J. Sprague in 1887.  Sprague was born in Connecticut in 1857 and worked with early electric motors.  Sprague attended the United States Naval Academy.  While he was there Edison invented the telephone and Sprague got interested in mechanics and electricity.  In 1885 he became a professional electrical engineer.  He worked with Edison for a short time before going out on his own.  In 1887 he accepted a contract from Richmond, VA to construct a street railway system.  He never looked back.  Within a very short period of time he had orders from cities all over the country.

"The South Side Elevated Railway employs the first "multiple-unit" system, invented by Richmond trolley-car pioneer Frank J. Sprague to control trains whose cars each have their own motors and do not have to be pulled by a locomotive; this not only eliminates slipping of locomotive driving wheels when trains start up but also assures rapid acceleration and permits long trains to operate at high speeds. "

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Frank J. Sprague in 1887

Jyotsana | Student

The electric trolley car was invented by Frank J. Sprague in 1887.

kjeev235 | Student

I am little confused.

Is it Electric Golf Trolleys and yours are same?

ruotgabr | Student

The first person to invent the first trolley was Themi Tzelepis.

One day themi tzelepis was board and decided to invent something that could hold your shoppinng while wheeling it around so it would make it easier to get what you wanted. the reason he dicided this was because his wife was hated carrying her shopping because she couldnt get everything she wanted or else it would become to heavy. After he created this invention he didnt want the money for his great invention all he took back was his trolley that he invented.



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