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Electric Trams

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Radiorails
I do not want to disagree with you as your information and knowledge is always spot on, but I think there is only one tram at the back. it does look unusually long, but there is no trolley pole visible at the left hand side of the picture and you can see the shops on the far side of the road through the windows of the tram. I printed this out on A3 and went over it with a magnifying glass. If there is a skilled draughtsman and the measurements of a tram were available it could be possible to draw the missing body in through the 79 tram and prove how many trams there are. I tried it roughly using a side view from one of the David Harvey books I have and it did match up.
Bob
A draughtsman friend and I went over this photo with a fine toothcomb, firstly scaling the windows from a sideways view in one of David Harveys books, the back tram has room for four windows as a typically four window bay, taking into account all the other bits and pieces, the zebra crossing slopes away. but that could be the road camber, the shadows are a little suspect, but that again could be the angle of the shot. The important thing is that the roof of the back tram is correct to be the roof of the front tram, and there is no slippage of the livery. The picture at 416 does in actual fact line up the tracks with this picture and I think any seeming disparities are at the hands of the late 1940s early 1950s cameraman. From the shadow s it was obviously a bright day and we do not know what sort of camera he was using, and of course the trams were moving so he took a snapshot. What did amaze my draughtsman friend were the people waiting to get off as the tram is not stationery but moving into the tram stops further along the line, and yet they stood with only one hand to steady them on that bottom step as the tram swayed (and yes they did sway) into the stop. He felt that in this day and age, trams like this would be banned, then I showed him the picture of the stairs to the upper deck. But I suddenly realised that all these black and white photos of trams and those coloured by Old Mohawk show a magnificent machine, reminiscent of an age perhaps but with an identity and a proud livery usually very clean reflecting the pride that the city took in its transport fleet. Now we have all these identikit tin boxes bereft of a manufacturers name, but garishlypainted and so often now with the windows covered in advertising.
Bob
 

Radiorails

master brummie
J.H.Barker seems to have become a 'ghost picture' in the second one, although it is still a butchers albeit one owned by W. Gibbs & Son. The travel bureau and radio dealer have also gone and are now a gas and electric cooker company. Giles has had new wall adverts done above the shop from; not sure what the new ones describe.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Post 441 by Bob mentions the folks, poised and ready to alight from the tram. A very common occurrence in the days of trams and before buses had doors fitted. Many stops could witness people jumping off trams and buses yards from their stopping places, particularly during the working peoples rush hour times and many passengers were out of their seats after the tram/bus left the penultimate stop and were psyched up for their leap into the open (unknown?). Very few went 'hairpins over bustle' and nobody blamed the bus company, driver/conductor if they did as they were sensible enough to know it was their own fault. I am sure it was a form of stress relief often after a hard and maybe repetitive working day. :D
Those, of course were the days before 'ambulance chasers' and the belief that whatever goes wrong is always someone else's fault and somebody should be doing something about it. ;)
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
I had a go today colouring the pic with GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). I heard someone on TV say a picture had been 'Photoshopped' and I suppose it would sound funny if they said a picture had been 'Gimped'...
Shortheath_terminus_gimp.jpg
Below is the original black and white pic from post#429 only visible if logged in.
A No 78 at the Short Heath terminus with the driver apparently waiting to turn his key in the Bundy clock before he can set off back to town.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
You friend may be a draughtsman, but that does not make him, or yourself right. I also disagree with what you say that “the roof of the back tram is correct to be the roof of the front tram”.


I have also enlarged this photo too, and as oldMohawk confirmed in post #422 the levels on the trams don't seem to match by a small amount. It was this prospective error or parallax misalignment that made me think it may be a composite image.


I would say that there are most likely two trams both facing the same direction. People getting ready to jump off the back of trams and busses was a regular occurrence. In fact, did it myself a few times.


I think that this image was taken with a camera and lens with quite a long focal length. This may explain why the perspective is compressed and the shops to the right look relatively straight, when we know they curved away at the corner of Slade Road.


This has been a fascinating discussion, that will hopefully continue. It is captivating how we interpret the past. I quite often hear people talk about historical fact and will refer to the primary source as fact. This post goes to show that even with a photograph, different people see the image in different ways, and will interpret the past in ways relating to their own culture, education, social standing and experiences.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
At least readers, now and in the future, can assess what has been suggested and written and hopefully make their own conclusions at that time.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Tram 700 is displaying posters announcing the final closure of the tramway system and replacement by buses. The General Managers name is quite clear and that of Wilfred Harry Smith who took over the job on 9th. December, 1950. He had worked for the Corporation since 1912 commencing as a junior clerk. Thirty two others, many already general managers of other British municipal bus systems, applied for the job. A tradition of keeping it in the family alredat had a precedent as the first GM, Alfred Baker was succeeded by his son, Alfred Chantry Baker in 1928. A.C. Baker joined the corporation in 1922 and his death caused the vacancy. W.H. Smith retired in 1962 and was suceeded by his deputy W.G. Copestake who had been Chief Engineer.

Post 103, by Lloyd, in the Birmingham Buses thread has similar information.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Many have probably seen this film but if you have not it is worth a look to see the old trams running. It is nearly two hours long so needs some fast forwarding in places (use your mouse to click along the bar) but some very familiar street views and the old trams running. It starts slowly with some general Brum views but in places there are clear views of trams. Looks good full screen.
Some nice views from the top of a No 5 Lozells tram traveling the route see it crossing Six Ways about 1 hour into the film.
 
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robroy

master brummie
Hi very interesting film..This is the first film I have seen of FOK 90 the last trolly bus on the Coventry Road route,. Which was driven by my Grandfather on the last day. Thank You.
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
You friend may be a draughtsman, but that does not make him, or yourself right. I also disagree with what you say that “the roof of the back tram is correct to be the roof of the front tram”.


I have also enlarged this photo too, and as oldMohawk confirmed in post #422 the levels on the trams don't seem to match by a small amount. It was this prospective error or parallax misalignment that made me think it may be a composite image.


I would say that there are most likely two trams both facing the same direction. People getting ready to jump off the back of trams and busses was a regular occurrence. In fact, did it myself a few times.


I think that this image was taken with a camera and lens with quite a long focal length. This may explain why the perspective is compressed and the shops to the right look relatively straight, when we know they curved away at the corner of Slade Road.


This has been a fascinating discussion, that will hopefully continue. It is captivating how we interpret the past. I quite often hear people talk about historical fact and will refer to the primary source as fact. This post goes to show that even with a photograph, different people see the image in different ways, and will interpret the past in ways relating to their own culture, education, social standing and experiences.
Like yourself used to jumping off trams and buses, arrived in Plymouth, jumped off as a bus went around a corner, the bus stopped and the conductor told me that I had to get back on the bus and travel the 100yards to the bus stop. People did not get off the bus in Plymouth until it stopped.
Bob
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Many have probably seen this film but if you have not it is worth a look to see the old trams running. It is nearly two hours long so needs some fast forwarding in places (use your mouse to click along the bar) but some very familiar street views and the old trams running. It starts slowly with some general Brum views but in places there are clear views of trams. Looks good full screen.
Some nice views from the top of a No 5 Lozells tram traveling the route see it crossing Six Ways about 1 hour into the film.
Super film, would love to be able to put it on a big screen as on the tablet it is rather cramped and dark. However whilst it is full of fascinating bits (how those trams swayed and jumped both at speed and on bends), the most interesting sight was the Midland Red BHA FEDDs in the original Red, Silver roof and with the two yellow bands over the lower saloon windows and under the upper saloon windows.
Bob
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Hi Bob,
I use a device called a Google Chromecast (£30) plugged into my 40" TV. In Windows 10 I right click on the laptop screen and choose cast and my laptop screen appears on the TV as shown in the pic below. You can cast direct from Youtube. There are other ways of doing it.
Not a very good pic I took it with my phone.
093407217_iOS.jpg
 

Bob Davis

Bob Davis
Hi Bob,
I use a device called a Google Chromecast (£30) plugged into my 40" TV. In Windows 10 I right click on the laptop screen and choose cast and my laptop screen appears on the TV as shown in the pic below. You can cast direct from Youtube. There are other ways of doing it.
Not a very good pic I took it with my phone.
View attachment 120268
Thanks Old Mohawk, I'll try it
Bob
 

guilbert53

master brummie
If you have a "smart" TV you can connect it to your Broadband over wi fi and watch YouTube vidoes on your TV.

In fact if you have a 4k TV (super new model) you can watch 4K vidoes from Youtube on to your 4K TV and get super high quality.
 

Old Boy

master brummie
Hi All,
This tram thread has been most interesting. I have followed it from the beginning but am still unable to reach a firm conclusion. However, i am left with the question, "If it is a composite of 2 or more photographs what is the point of it ?" It would have been a good enough photo independent of the number of trams in it. If it is advertising what, in fact, is being advertised?
Old Boy.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi All,
This tram thread has been most interesting. I have followed it from the beginning but am still unable to reach a firm conclusion. However, i am left with the question, "If it is a composite of 2 or more photographs what is the point of it ?" It would have been a good enough photo independent of the number of trams in it. If it is advertising what, in fact, is being advertised?
Old Boy.
I am quite convinced that it is not a composite image now. However you do raise a good point in why was this image taken? Its is a very good quality image, possibly professional photographer.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Many thanks OM for Post 449 drawing our attention to that video. Well worth watching. A great deal of the commentary covers a lot of information I and other have recently given here. Hand I known it was imminent I could have saved a lot of typing. :D
Another bonus, in addition to the tram and trolleybuses seen, was many of the buildings are in pictures in various threads here; good to be reminded of them and see them often from a different angle.
 

oldMohawk

master brummie
Regarding the photo in post#380 which has been the subject of much discussion.
Some screenshots from the film in post#449 at approx 1h 42mins.

Pic 1 Two women on the zebra crossing seen in original pic with the young boy crossing.
PIC(103).jpg
Pic 2 the tram now over the crossing, see the 'keep left' sign which a man was standing by in original pic.
PIC(105).jpg
Pic 3 the tram is now starting the run up Tyburn Rd
PIC(106).jpg
Pic 4 the film camera appears to not be on the pavement by the shops looking at how close the car is.
PIC(107).jpg
Pic 5 the tram is now well into Tyburn Rd.
PIC(109).jpg
 
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