Street Railway Conductor's Cap, Middlesex & Boston Street Railway

This cap was used by the donor, H. Lincoln Harrison, during his career as a street railway conductor for the Middlesex & Boston Street Railway Company. Harrison bought the cap in 1926 and used it into the 1940s while conducting streetcars. The cap is part of a uniform which Harrison donated, including a coat.
The cap's shape became similar as well for street railway conductors, from the beginning of the traditional electric-trolley era in the1880s through to its end in the 1950s. The style of uniform for streetcar motormen and conductors derived directly from the practice on mainline railroads. Whether the transit-company employee was a motorman or conductor was shown by a metal cap badge of brass or nickel plated alloy. There was usually no other ornamentation, other than perhaps a string of braid around the front of the headband.
Currently not on view
Object Name
cap, street railway conductor
overall: 9 1/8 in x 7 3/4 in x 4 1/2 in; 23.1775 cm x 19.685 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Street Railways
Clothing & Accessories
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Railroad
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of H. Lincoln Harrison

Visitor Comments

12/15/2012 3:28:19 PM
Douglas Carrier
Hello, I am project manager and historian for the Middlesex & Boston Street Railway. I am restoring the only surviving trolley from this 261 car fleet that served 18 towns/cities west of Boston. The last trolley route was April 1930 on Commonwealth Ave in Newton. If Mr. Harrison started in 1926, he did not operate streetcars for long. Only six car lines remained by 1926. The trolley is located at the trolley museum in Kennebunkport, ME and we also have the only surviving bus also, a 1948 ACF Brill bus, #192. I have a few hat badges and uniform buttons but no uniform or hat. One of the museum's founders help pay for the museum's first trolley back in July 1939, a former Middlesex & Boston operator, Horton Banks.
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