This photograph shows the downtown intersection with a streetcar passing in front of William Crewse Drug Company in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1930. Des Moines was the second city in the nation to have electric street railway service. Other Iowa communities were also in the forefront of transit developments. In 1882, Dubuque's Fenelon Place Elevator was one of the earliest cable car systems (and is one of very few still in operation). Sioux City also broke new ground when, in 1892, it opened the nation's third elevated railway system in its downtown area, but this one did not last.
- Look closely at the photo. What were some of the innovative transportation systems in Iowa at this time?
- When viewing the image, discuss what other modes of transportation competed with the streetcar. What's the benefits and drawbacks of each mode of transportation?