For the first half or the twentieth century, the most
easterly city in North America had a public transportation system that was on
par with those found in Toronto, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. From 1900
to 1948, the streetcars of the Reid Newfoundland Company and, later Newfoundland
Light and Power, travelled along narrow-gauge rails on some of the oldest
streets to be found anywhere. From the famous cobblestones of Water Street to
Duckworth Street, Military Road and Queens Road, and powered by electricity
from nearby Petty Harbour, residents could avail of the most modern form of
inner-city transport of the day.
The black and white photographs are contrasted with
modern-day colour retakes by the author of the same scenes as they now exist. When
compared side by side, it is fascination to see just how much St. John’s has
changed in the past hundred years and yet, in so many ways, remained the same.