19th century London > Vision for a better city
Various alternatives to horse power were tested on London's streets during the 19th century. Steam-powered road engines and trams proved too heavy and damaged the roads. Stationary steam engines were used to haul trams attached to a cable, but these were only really effective on hills that were too steep for horses.
There were also experiments with trams driven by gas engines and battery electric power, but neither was successfully developed. Petrol engines were still primitive and unreliable in the 1890s.
In 1900 the reliable horse still dominated the streets of London, but new technology was about to revolutionize road transport.