Black and white photograph of Minneapolis Street Railway streetcar tokens, 1947.

Minneapolis Street Railway streetcar tokens

Minneapolis Street Railway streetcar tokens, 1947.

Twin City Rapid Transit Company and Electric Streetcars

Horse car and cable car systems in the Twin Cities spurred urban growth and gave residents more mobility. The coming of the electric streetcar in 1889 had an even greater impact. With cars that could travel faster and farther, the system grew to become one of the nation's finest public transportation networks before the dominance of automobiles and buses in the 1950s.

Cable Cars of the Minneapolis and St. Paul Street Railway Companies

Before Minneapolis and St. Paul upgraded their street railway systems from plodding horse cars to modern electric trolleys, both cities flirted with the use of cable cars. Costly to build, only two lines operated in St. Paul before both cities converted to electric streetcar systems.

Black and white scan of "The situation changed." Minneapolis Journal, April 22, 1889.

"The Situation Changed"

"The situation changed." Minneapolis Journal, April 22, 1889.

Black and white scan of "To be seen on the patrol box at Nicollet Av. and Sixth St." Minneapolis Journal, April 19, 1889.

"To be seen on the patrol box at Nicollet Av. and Sixth St."

"To be seen on the patrol box at Nicollet Av. and Sixth St." Minneapolis Journal, April 19, 1889.

Black and white scan of "Mr. Lowry's 'Pigs in Clover.'" Minneapolis Journal, April 16, 1889.

"Mr. Lowry's 'Pigs in Clover'"

"Mr. Lowry's 'Pigs in Clover.'" Minneapolis Journal, April 16, 1889.

Black and white scan of "Mr. Lowry, having no cash to put in it, uses the office safe for a coal bin." Minneapolis Journal, April 15, 1889.

"Mr. Lowry, Having No Cash to Put in it, Uses the Office Safe for a Coal Bin"

"Mr. Lowry, Having No Cash to Put in it, Uses the Office Safe for a Coal Bin." Minneapolis Journal, April 15, 1889.

Black and white scan of "Nothing to arbitrate."  Minneapolis Journal, April 13, 1889.

"Nothing to Arbitrate"

"Nothing to Arbitrate." Minneapolis Journal, April 13, 1889.

Black and white scan of "The best way to settle it." Minneapolis Journal, April 12, 1889.

"The Best Way To Settle It"

"The Best Way To Settle It." Minneapolis Journal, April 12, 1889.

Twin Cities Streetcar Strike, 1889

Wage cuts to employees of the Minneapolis and St. Paul streetcar companies in 1889 prompted a fifteen-day strike that disrupted business and escalated into violence before its resolution. In spite of public support for the strikers, the streetcar companies succeeded in breaking the strike with few concessions.

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