The 'first monorail', 1911

‘In 1911, Burbank farmer Joseph Fawkes began developing what became known as the “Fawkes’ Folly” and secured a patent for the USA’s first monorail.  He formed the Aerial Trolley Car Company and set about building a prototype he believed would revolutionize transportation.’

- Wikipedia

Images 2,3 c/o USC Digital Library

Thank you to Wes Clarke

10 comments to The ‘first monorail’, 1911

  • James McBride

    The future was so much cooler in the past.

  • Timothy

    I think more vehicles need propellers.

  • junk

    propellers for everyone!

  • Harold Bromide Ganymede

    Er…uh… something else about propellers!

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    [...] Fans, Check This Out This blew my mind: The ‘first monorail’, 1911 | HOW TO BE A RETRONAUT First Visit at the age of 12, July 17, 1968. First Ride, The Disneyland and Santa Fe [...]

  • Lanley, that's Lyle Lanley

    I’ve sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and by gum it put them on the map!

  • Rus Gant


    Cool photos but the story you posted is far from being about the first monorail. For the first I submit the Meigs Elevated Railway which was an experimental steam-powered monorail invented by Joe V. Meigs of Lowell, Massachusetts, built in 1886 in East Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was built on land abutting Bridge Street, now Monsignor O’Brien Highway. A nice image on Wikipedia here:

    Best regards,

    Rus Gant

  • Jared Zichek

    Wonderful photos, thank you for sharing.

  • Adalbert

    worlds oldest monorail still in use:

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