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Glasgow Trams c1902 - Phantom rides on trams around the city

Footage of trams shot in Glasgow city centre in 1901 or 1902, This film is attributed to the well-known early filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon Co. The film shows an open topped tram turning the corner from St Vincent Street into Hope Street. The conductor descends the stairs at the rear of the tram as another passes by. Shots from a tram as it passes along a busy street, possibly Argyle Street, passing an open topped tram bound for Shawlands and some bound for Queen's Park and Govan. Shots along Hope Street or possibly up Jamaica Street, as a tram passes for Shieldhall, followed by several others. Shot of a tram as it passes underneath "Hielandman's Umbrella" at the Central Station on a sunny day. Shot's along Argyle Street of pedestrians, trams and horse-drawn carts.

Black and white, Silent

Length of clip: 2:04
Length of original film: 02:04

View film strip:
Thumbnail. Click to view full image


  • How many Glasgow areas can you identify from the trams?
  • Between which years did the trams run in Glasgow and why were they stopped?
  • How much of Glasgow was accessible by trams?
  • At the turn of the 20th Century, was Glasgow the only Scottish city with trams or were they elsewhere?
  • What do you notice about how most of the people in the film are dressed? Do you think that this is a fair representation of all people in Glasgow at the start of the 20th Century?
  • Edinburgh is reinstating the trams, do you think other cities should follow?
  • Why do you think this film was made and where would it be shown?


When trams were designed they were very forward thinking and built to last. Design a form of public transport that will be used for the next 50 years within a city.

Research forms of transport available in Scotland in 1900, 1920, 1940, 1960, 1980, 2000. What are the major differences that you find?

Design a poster promoting environmentally friendly public transport.

Although this film was made around 1902, the behaviour of the pedestrians has not changed. Discuss the ways in which you could reduce the number of young people killed on the roads and produce an information leaflet for that specific target audience.

Record details

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Record ID: 007-000-000-133-C
Resource Rights Holder: National Library of Scotland
Related Records:
Project Ref: 0794
Date: 1902c
Genre: Documentary, local topical, newsreel
Subject: Victorians, Edwardians (Curriculum for Excellence)
Who: Mitchell and Kenyon Co. (production company – attributed)
Where: Glasgow (Streets)
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