Review of 'Twin Ports by Trolley' Book Review of Twin Ports by Trolley: The Streetcar Era in Duluth–Superior by Aaron Isaacs

Isaacs_Twin coverThe “Twin Ports” of Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis., are popular destinations for people interested in the region’s ore-hauling railroads and lake boats. The area is well known as a place where trains bring iron ore taconite pellets to the harbor where they are transferred to lake boats for onward shipment. 

Many visitors to Duluth stop by the Lake Superior Railroad Museum where they can ride on trolley car No. 530, an import from Lisbon, Portugal, built from American parts supplied by Brill Manufacturing Co. of Philadelphia. This non-native trolley car operates along the main street of “Depot Square,” an exhibit portraying a 1900-1910 Duluth street scene. After seeing that exhibit, those wishing to learn more about the streetcar era in the Twin Ports should read Aaron Isaacs’ “Twin Ports by Trolley” which covers the region’s transit system from the horsecar era to the early buses and trolley buses of the mid-20th Century.

Aaron Isaacs is well-qualified to write this book, having worked for the Twin Cities’ Metro Transit for 23 years and being involved with the Minnesota Streetcar Museum for 40. Additionally, he has written several works on Minnesota’s streetcars and is editor of Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums magazine. His latest work “takes us into the workings of the Duluth–Superior streetcars: politics and corporate maneuvers, engineering and maintenance, scheduling and setting routes, running and riding the trolleys,” according to the publisher. The book contains more than 300 pages of history and illustrations plus 12 appendixes and suggestions for further reading.

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By: Bill Hough