Electric Interurbans and the American People
By H. Roger Grant.
Cloth with dust jacket, 7x10", 192 pages, 68 b/w illustrations. 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.
"H. Roger Grant is Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professor of History at Clemson University. He is author of more than 30 books, including Railroaders without Borders: A History of the Railroad Development Corporation and The Louisville, Cincinnati & Charleston Rail Road: Dreams of Linking North and South, as well as Railroads and the American People.