Join us for our next presentation in our Making History Greater Series when Mike Szilagyi presents Montgomery County Trolleys.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, was once served by 140 miles of trolley lines. In the first half of the 20th century, a wide array of trolley cars rolled over Montgomery County’s rails, from quaint open streetcars rumbling through borough streets to sleek 80-mile-an-hour trolleys sailing across open fields in Upper Gwynedd and Hatfield Townships. The cars had zero emissions, and some lines were powered by renewable hydroelectric power. Taking the trolley was a convenient, affordable option for those travelling and commuting in Montgomery County, nearby Philadelphia, and points beyond. Freight was also carried on board trolleys, with prompt parcel delivery service. Fortunately, many years ago, dedicated trolley fans had the foresight to aim their cameras at these unique vehicles, providing rare glimpses not just of the trolleys but also of Montgomery County’s rapidly changing landscapes.
Mike Szilagyi's interest in trolleys was sparked at a young age by the sight of big green streamliners gliding down Old York Road near his grandmother's house in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia. Today, Szilagyi lives and works in Montgomery County, where he plans and designs bicycle paths. He spent most of 2017 visiting historical societies and contacting the owners of collections from Pottstown to Willow Grove; Hatfield to Ardmore to offer truly county-wide coverage of the history of the trolleys in Montgomery County.
The Making History Greater series features scholars, authors, and historians who are currently working on telling new stories about the complexity of our region’s history. Montgomery County Trolleys will take place on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The day will begin at 12:30 with a social gathering and light refreshments. The presentation will begin at 1:00 pm and last for about an hour with time for questions at the end. Books will be available for purchase and the author will be available for signing at the end of the program. This program is free and open to the public.