Books and Videos of Milwaukee Public Transit History

There are several books and videos that were developed at the university about ten years ago as part of a project to develop educational materials for the Milwaukee school System. These are:


  • Headlights and Highlights (72 pages, $7.00)
  • The Early Days of Streetcars in Milwaukee (41 pages, $6.00)
  • When the Trolleys were Stopped Cold - the Great Snowstorm of '47 (52 pages, $6.00)


    How to order this stuff

    All material is copyrighted by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System

    Headlights and Highlights

    Headlights and Highlights is a pictorial History of Public Transport in Milwaukee written by Don Neumann in 1982. It was written to be used in the schools of the Milwaukee area to give students an appreciation of local history and the role of transit in the history of the city. It is 72 pages long and includes 141 photos. Most of the photos are streetcars but there are also photos of early buses and scenes of the city. The photographs are from the collection of Don Mueller and also from other local sources. The report has an introduction and eight chapters, each covering a decade in local transport history from the 1900's to the 1970's.

    Here are some images from Headlites and Highlights, all are jpg's:

     T.M.E.R.&L. #211, 1900  The Marguerite, a special open car

     Double Deck Bus on Wisconsin Ave, 1920's  Wells Street, late 1930s

     Bridge opening, 1950's  Near the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, early, 1900's

    Early Days

    The early Days of Streetcars is a collection of photos taken ain and around Milwaukee between 1902 and 1910. Most of them are from a collection found in the basement of an older Milwaukee house. The book contains 41 photos including some of early construction of streetcar lines. Here are a few:

     1906 arrival at Wonderland Park  Open car #129

    The Storm of '47

    This booklet documents the snow storm that hit Milwaukee in January, 1947 and its impact on the city and its transit system. Most of the photographs come from the collection of the Milwaukee Journal. There are 46 photographs in the report. The photographs include transit and non-transit scenes

     Wells Street  Trackless trolley on Oakland Ave.


    The videos deal with different eras of public transit in Milwaukee. Each is mostly based on still photos. The 'overview' video gives a general history of transit in Milwaukee, while the others give more detailed information on different time periods. The videos availible are:

  • Over the Years: An Overview 1890 to the Present (VHS, 29:10 min, $30.00)
  • The Early Years: 1890-1920 (VHS, 17:32 min, $30.00)
  • The Middle Years: 1920-1950 (VHS, 23:00 min, $30.00)
  • Recent Changes: 1950-1980 (VHS, 16:45 min, $30.00)

    (all four videos are $100.00)

    If you are interested in obtaining a copies of these books or videos call 414-227-3337 or write to: