Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Dictionary of Wisconsin History

Browse Things

By Letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Or Search Everything...
Search All Terms:

Search All Fields:

Search Results for: the letter 'M', Term Type: 'Things'

Term: Mass transportation in Wisconsin

Definition: The electric streetcar made its first appearance in Wisconsin on the streets of Appleton in 1886. At the time, Wisconsin's mass transit was limited to a skeletal system of horse drawn streetcars in a few cities, a system rendered obsolete by new technologies before most Wisconsin cities had even established lines. Several years passed before electric streetcars appeared in other Wisconsin cities but with the construction of central power plants across the state, new railways were established in Eau Claire (1889), Merrill (1889), Milwaukee (1890), Superior (1890), Janesville (1892), Madison (1892), La Crosse (1893), Green Bay (1894), Oshkosh (1894), Sheboygan (1895), and Fond du Lac (1899). By 1900, not a single horse car remained on Wisconsin streets. Although other modes of mass transit enjoyed brief favor in the late 19th century (Milwaukee flirted with cable cars and steam powered streetcars), electric streetcars were cheaper, faster, and could travel longer distances. Streetcars enabled the development of new neighborhoods (called "streetcar suburbs") and new shopping districts sprung up at points along the routes. Streetcars also allowed towns to develop interurban service, connecting, for example, people in Milwaukee to West Allis, Hales Corners, and Cudahy. By 1901, 17 electric railway companies operated 446 miles of track in Wisconsin. The interurban lines became so connected that soon, one could travel from Elkhart Lake to Oneonta, New York, the longest single stretch of track in the country. By the 1920s, the automobile and bus posed a clear threat to the continued reign of the streetcar, although streetcar companies had been the ones to pioneer interurban bus service to supplement their network of rail lines. Most companies had begun to replace trolleys with buses by the 1930s, and bus service, not surprisingly, grew. The last streetcar was abandoned in 1953 and the last trolley in 1963. While urban bus lines continued to provide transit service, highly integrated mass transporation systems never regained strength.

[Source: Wisconsin's Cultural Resources Study Units, Wisconsin Historical Society]

110 records found

Mackinac Island
Mackinaw (logging)
Mackinaw boat
Madeleine Island
Madison Alliance for Homosexual Equality (MAHE)
Madison Guard (Civil War)
Madison Sharp-shooters (Civil War)
main deck (maritime)
mainchains (maritime)
mainline (railroads)
mainmast (maritime)
Major (Civil War)
Major General (Civil War)
Make her out (logging)
Man-catcher (logging)
mangeur de lard (Fr.)
Manitowoc and Kewanee County Guards (Civil War)
mansard roof (architecture)
manufacturing in Wisconsin
maple syrup industry
Marching 12th (Civil War)
Marching 12th (Civil War)
marl (farming)
marl (mining)
Mass transportation in Wisconsin
mast (maritime)
master (maritime)
mate (maritime)
mattock (farming)
maw (farming)
May Riot (1886)
meat packing industry
medecin (Fr.)
Menasha Guards (Civil War)
Mendota Guard (Civil War)
Menominee Treaty of 1831
Menominee Treaty of 1836
Menominee Treaty of 1848
meridian (survey)
Messmore Guards (Civil War)
metamorphic rocks (mining)
metis (Fr.)
Metzner Act
mica (mining)
mica slate (mining)
Michigan Territory
Michilimakinac County
midden (archaeology)
midships (maritime)
milch (farming)
Military Ridge Road
military road
Milk strikes, 1933
mille (Fr.)
Mills Law
Milwaukee & Horicon Railroad
Milwaukee & Missississippi Railroad
Milwaukee & Watertown Railroad
Milwaukee 14
Milwaukee and Rock River Canal
Milwaukee Braves
Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee German Turners (Civil War)
Milwaukee Handicraft Project
Milwaukee Light Guard (Civil War)
Milwaukee Regiment (Civil War)
Milwaukee Riflemen (Civil War)
Milwaukee Union Rifles (Civil War)
Milwaukee United School Integration Committee (MUS
Milwaukee Zouaves (Civil War)
Milwaukee-Downer College
Miners' Guard (Civil War)
mining in northern Wisconsin
mining in southwestern Wisconsin
Mirro Aluminum Company
Missionary Ridge, Battle of
Mississippian culture (archaeology)
mizzen (maritime)
mizzenmast (maritime)
Monongahela Rlver
Monroe County Voluneers (Civil War)
moor (maritime)
mooring bitt (maritime)
mullion (farming)
musqueton (Fr.)
Muzzle-loaders (logging)
Méchéygan, Lake

  • Questions about this page? Email us
  • Email this page to a friend
select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text