The tram can rightly be called one of the oldest types of public transport. When it first appeared, it did not run on electricity. The tram was pulled by horses.
The prototype of the first tram appeared in 1828 in the American city of Baltimore. Although he rode on rails, his horses carried him. But the rails were very inconvenient for him, because they protruded as much as 15 centimeters above the ground, which was very disturbing.
Rails that would not interfere and not protrude above the surface were designed only in 1852, but are still used to this day.
In Russia, horse-drawn tram public transport appeared in 1860 in St. Petersburg. These «horses» did not go fast, only about 8 km / h, so many thought about how to replace the horses.
The idea of electric transport came at the same time to three scientists: Fedor Pirotsky, Leo Daft and Ernst Werner von Siemens. Independently of each other, they figured out how to make the tram run on electricity.
In 1876, Fyodor Pirotsky, who was a practical inventor, had already conducted the first experiments with the supply of electricity to the railroad tracks. And the very first electric tram was successfully tested in 1880. But, unfortunately, after a successful experiment, the case stopped.
Therefore, the German scientist Ernst Werner von Siemens is considered the first inventor of the electric tram. His first electric railway connected Lichterfeld and Berlin in 1881. Its length was 2.5 km. The electric tram could already accelerate to 20 km/h. The power of its engine was 5 kW, and the voltage was 180 volts. Electric current was supplied to the tram through both rails.
Also in 1881, electric tramways appeared in France. The novelty reached England in 1885. Leo Daft, an American inventor, gave America an electric tram also in 1885. He suggested using a third rail. But it was not very convenient and caused a lot of short circuits. A year later, Daft decided to use a contact network of two wires.
On the territory of Russia, the first electric trams appeared in Kyiv (at that time it was still part of the Russian Empire) in mid-1892. In 1899, tram tracks appeared in Moscow, and in 1907 already in St. Petersburg.