Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tram Tuesday - Durban, South Africa

Durban, South Africa had horse-drawn trams in 1880,  but converted to electricity in 1902. They had some fabulous-looking double-deck cars. In the mid-thirties, Durban started transitioning to trolleybuses, with the last electric trams running in 1949.  There is a great website with a section on the history of public transport in Durban written by Allan Jackson. In addition to a detailed history, he includes some very nice old photos of Durban's trams.

This card doesn't show a clear view of the tram itself, but it is a lively street scene. Here's a closer view of the tram.

The card was written in 1927, but the photo itself appears to be earlier, maybe 1910. At first glance I assumed the message was written in Afrikaans, but it isn't. My guess is that it's Danish, but I don't know for sure. Can anyone out there read this?

Here is a translation, courtesy of Helen in Denmark. Thanks Helen.

Septbr 4 - 1927
Dearest Gusta! 
You and the others are most welcome here for a small dinner this coming Saturday, the 8. of this month; can you be here between 6 pm and 6.30 pm, please not later; you know the way, don't you? Everything is fine with us - hope to see you, your husband, Beate and the two youngsters, I hope we can have a good time together. We have a dinner invitation today, so I will conclude with the warmest regards to you all from your [snuggling?] [a nickname referring to a child being put to bed possibly with a good night song] mother.


  1. I never knew South Africa looked like that -- lovely.

  2. Pamela - One of SA biggest virtues is its beauty.

  3. That tram looks really top-heavy! I wonder how tall it was?

  4. Great street scene, the tram unfortunately looks like a double-decker pissoir to me... (I like it though!)

  5. I think your guess of Danish as the language on this card may be correct -- "middag" apparently means lunch, midday in Danish.



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