This card is number P.5120, an Autochrom card of the Peacock Brand, produced by the Pictorial Stationary Co. Ltd., of London. This example was posted on 15th January 1905 and dates from around that time. The caption is "Ipswich - Cardinal Wolsey's birthplace", which location is actually thought to have been in Silent Street, the road on the right. The tram is standing in St. Peter's Street and is heading towards the Felixstowe Road route having come from the railway station.
The tram shown is car 28, built by Brush in 1904 with Brush AA trucks and Westinghouse controllers and motors (2 x 25HP). The Ipswich tram bodies were an unusually narrow width of 5 foot 9 inches. The trams had seats for 24 inside on longitudinal bench seats and 26 on top on "garden" seats. Ipswich had 36 such trams built in 1903/4. The gauge was 3ft 6in. The livery was green and cream.
The Ipswich tramways began life as small a privately owned horse tramway which opened on 13th October 1880. In 1900 the Corporation took over this tramway, closing it on 6th June 1903 so that the lines could be re-laid and electrified. The new electric tramway opened for service on 23rd November 1903, at the same time extending the system to a total of 10.82 miles on four routes. The depot and power station were in Constantine Road. The routes radiated from the area of Cornhill and served the main railway station, Bamford Road, Whitton, Lattice Barn, Derby Road station, and Felixtowe Road.
After trials with three single-deck "Railless" vehicles with "Short" bodies, the system was replaced by trolleybuses in stages and enlarged. The final tram ran on 26th July 1926. Seven trams were then sold to Scarborough and one to the Felixstowe Pier railway. The body of car 33 survived and is being restored in Ipswich, and parts of the body of car 35 are also in store. Motor buses did not appear until 1950 and the last trolleybus ran on 23rd August 1963.
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