Trolley Museum – Scranton PA

Across the parking lot from SteamTown is The Trolley Museum.

The Trolley Museum - Scranton, PA
Museum and more!
The Trolley Museum - Scranton PA
Nice Restored Trolley

It doesn’t exactly have the pizzazz, or pull, or press agents that SteamTown has, however, it is a unique piece of history that the City of Scranton maintains. If you’re coming to the trolley museum and if you’re not careful you can easily miss the last driveway in the parking lot. Next thing you know you’re you’re out of the place and it’s difficult to turn back in order to get back into the parking lot. So be warned. It turns out that if you have been to SteamTown, you may be done for the day, but if you can muster the strength, give the Trolley Museum a visit. It turns out let the trolley
was first a horse-drawn item, and it really enabled people to get around cheaper and easier. Who would have thought? The ability to get across town to do things that they might have been otherwise difficult is, of course, a good service.  The horses do take a certain amount of, let’s say maintenance, and it could be difficult having the people to take care of the horses.

The Trolley Museum and Electricity

Well the Trolley came along and there were many people who worked very hard to get the Trolley to be electric. They worked with

The Trolley Museum - Scranton, PA
Trolley’s you can ride

overhead wires first, then they worked with third rails on the bottom, and then the cable cars with the motor underground. After a lot of trials the power wires were put overhead as the wires were then easier to deal with. So that worked pretty good until one man invented a really workable motor for the trolley cars which, by the way, made him a very rich man because the electric trolley was such an important part of urban growth. Now we can get people from one side of town to the other easily during working hours and guess what,  now a little town could expand. That’s what it’s all about towns could expand. This expanded the use of the trolley just made life wonderful. You didn’t have to bring a shovel along in order to clean up everything.  Making everything a little cleaner and nicer, well, it really worked well well they trolleys just grew and grew. People could get around so much easier. Well as use expanded routes expanded, more hours, then the weekends, and everything was flourishing. Getting people to attractions increased fun, and now well it sounds like a dream.  Things were just going great there were trolleys in major cities all across the country trolleys. This was marvelous till the advent of the automobile. People didn’t want to take that trolley route anymore, they wanted their own machine they wanted full independence. So the trolleys begin to decline but in their heyday they had a lot to do with the ability to grow cities, with the ability to expand urban areas, and to live in the suburbs.

The Trolley Museum - Scranton, PA
History of Trolley’s in Print

So in the trolley museum they’ll talk about electrical systems, and how electricity was distributed, they’ll show you various trolleys, and more. I think the 30 minutes or so movie that describes all of this is really excellent it really brings a point of view that I think is on now unknown to most Americans. The bookshop, by the way, shows that there are people who do know about it.  I’ve never seen so many books about trolleys trolley systems in different towns across the country all laid out there ready for you. Whoever the researcher is or the person who wants to learn more, there is a lot more here.  So enjoy looking at the trolleys and the collections of insulators, the collection of lanterns, the collections of various things that help to run trolleys in their early days. Finally in the late forties and early fifties was pretty much the death of trolleys so again we have a piece of History here that is a couple of generations back and his seemingly invisible to our youth, So I encourage everybody be sure and stop and allow an hour or two for the trolley museum or make another trip on the next day, it’s a completely separate experience from SteamTown. I enjoyed and hope you do too.

About The Author

Charles Carlin - Stupid
Charles Carlin

Museums small, medium and large are a passion for Charley. Locating them around the southwest and other parts of the country is a quest that will never end. Enjoy the finds, flubs, and more here on Stupid Vacations. Charley can be found about the web on his family blog – –  his social media guide – Charley Carlin – Social Media Guide  and via Reviews on YELPTrip Advisor, and Google