Cork Electric Tramways
For some now obscure reason, the owners of Cork Electric Tramways - the 'Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company Ltd' - chose not to issue tramcar staff with uniforms, instead allowing them to wear smart but informal attire, comprising: jacket, shirt and tie, along with the fashionable headgear of the day, which around the turn of the century, was the flat cap and the bowler hat.
By the early 1900s, it would appear that kepi-style caps may have been issued, though the photographic evidence is far from conclusive. From around 1905 however, it would seem that uniforms were finally being issued; these were single-breasted with two breast pockets (with button closures) and upright collars. It is unclear what insignia the latter carried, though in later years they certainly bore a round badge, which appears to have taken the form of a circlet, within which were either system initials or an employee number. Caps were military in style with a tensioned crown (top), and these bore a 'lettering' cap badge of some description, possible a grade badge, but not the classic 'Motorman' or 'Conductor' grade badges in widespread use elsewhere.
Tramcar staff were also issued with double-breasted greatcoats with high, fold-over collars; it is unclear whether these carried any insignia.
Photographs of senior staff are yet to come to light, so it is currently unclear what uniforms they wore.
Unlike the vast majority of tramway systems elsewhere in the British Isles, the CET appears not to have employed the services of women during the Great War, to replace tramwaymen lost to the armed service.
For a history of Cork's tramways, see: 'Tram Tracks Through Cork' by Walter McGrath; Tower Books (1981).
Motormen and conductors
Although out of focus, this shot of Tramcar No 6, captured on Parnell Bridge in 1900, clearly shows that tramcar crews initially wore informal attire. Photo courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
Tramcar No 1 on a St Sundays Well-Summerhill service in Patrick St - photo undated, but probably taken shortly before the Great War. Photo courtesy of the Tramways and Light Railway Society, with thanks to David Voice.
A blow-up of the above photo showing the motorman, who is clearly wearing a single-breasted jacket and military-style cap.
A shot of Tramcar No 9 taken on the 3rd September 1931 at St Sundays Well, barely four weeks before the system's demise. Apart from the advertising enamels and the sagging platforms, the vehicle appears to be in relatively good condition. Photograph by Dr H Nicol, courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
A blow-up of the above photo showing the motorman and conductor, both evidently still proud of their jobs and their charge.
Another crew shot taken on the same day (3rd September 1931) and at the same location, but this time of Tramcar No 13. Photograph by Dr H Nicol, courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
A rare study of four tramwaymen taken inside the depot, but one which is unfortunately out of focus. Photograph by Dr H Nicol (taken on the 3rd September 1931), courtesy of the National Tramway Museum.
An animated street scene in Douglas village - photo undated, but probably mid Edwardian. The figure on the left may well be a tramway inspector, though this is far from certain. Photo from the Fergus O'Connor Collection, courtesy of the National Library of Ireland.