HIGH STREET, Oxford, Oxfordshire. Two horse-drawn trams passing in the street with advertising panels attached to the roofs. Magdalen Bridge was widened in 1899 by the Oxford Local Board to accommodate horse-drawn trams, but by 1913 motor buses had made their appearance. Photographed by Henry Taunt in c. 1905
Historic England is the public body that champions and protects England's historic places
EDITORS COMMENTS This photograph takes us back in time to the bustling streets of Oxford in 1905. Amidst the timeless architecture, two horse-drawn trams gracefully make their way down High Street, showcasing a bygone era of transportation. The image captures a moment when horse-drawn trams were still an integral part of daily life in Oxfordshire. These charming vehicles, adorned with advertising panels on their roofs, serve as mobile billboards for businesses eager to catch the attention of passersby. Magdalen Bridge, prominently featured in the background, had been widened just six years prior to accommodate these trams. It stands as a testament to the city's commitment to modernizing its infrastructure while preserving its historical charm. Photographer Henry Taunt skillfully captures this scene from his vantage point, freezing it forever within this print. His lens transports us back over a century ago when motor buses had yet to replace these elegant horse-drawn carriages on Oxford's streets. As we gaze upon this snapshot from history, we are reminded of how far we have come in terms of transportation and technology. Yet there is an undeniable beauty and nostalgia that lingers within these old-fashioned trams and their gentle equine companions – a reminder that progress often comes at the cost of losing some cherished traditions.
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