On December 5th, the Shore Line Trolley Museum took delivery of the one of the most significant street railway vehicles in existence, Eight Avenue Railway horsecar #76, an 1850’s John Stephenson product used in New York City. This car is complete in every way, including the unique fare collection apparatus, beautifully detailed interior flower details, and maintains a remarkable degree of historic integrity, and has been in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York since 1932. It is an omnibus style car, operated by one man, with a reversible body. With the assistance of the good folks at the New York Transit Museum, MCNY has transferred title to SLTM. Our thanks go to both of these fine organizations for allowing us to have what is believed to be the oldest remaining horsecar in the world. It joins a collection that contains the world’s oldest rapid transit car (1878), first commercially successful electric locomotive (1888), only private subway car, first production PCC car (1936), only surviving trolley rotary snow plow, and dozens of other unique street railway vehicles.
Upon arrival, horsecar #76 was brought to the museum’s restoration and repair shop where it will be thoroughly inspected and documented before being moved to a flood-proof portion of the museum property. We welcome this addition to the collection and look forward to interpreting the story of the early horsecar days to our visitors in the future!