Room 7 - Trains, trolleys and trams. - mid19th century
People wanted to go faster and farther. In Europe people discovered how to use the steam engine to make a car go over tracks. This was the first railroad. Soon people in the United States wanted to have railroads too.
Railroads could hold lots of people and things. They could go places that did not have water.
The railroad opened a lot of land for people to use and see where they had not been able to go to before.
Visit the Smithsonian Institute's Railroad Hall.
In the city, people used the idea of the railroad to build trolleys and trams which were powered by electricity instead of a steam engine.
The city streets got very crowded with trolleys, trams and horses and wagons. People decided to put special trains powered by electricity in cities and to put them under ground ("subways") or above the ground ("elevated trains")
Activity - Teacher read the story The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton ISBN 0-395-25938-X. Look at pages 22-34 and discuss with class all the forms of transportation in the city. List on chart and have students indicate which types of urban transportation they have used.
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