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Perley Thomas 900 series streetcar in service in New Orleans in the 21st century
Perley A. Thomas Car Works, Inc. was a 20th century builder of wooden and steel streetcars, based in High Point, North Carolinamarker in the United Statesmarker. It was named for its founder, Perley A. Thomas.

The company built many of the wooden electric overhead-trolley powered streetcars used throughout the United States primarily in the first half of the 20th century. Known for their workmanship and durability, some of the cars built by Perley A. Thomas Car Works in the early 1920s are still operating today in New Orleans.

A famous Tennessee Williams play and later film of the same name was set in New Orleans, Louisianamarker where Perley A. Thomas streetcars were operated on the route labeled Desire around the period of 1947 in which the story was set, hence the name: A Streetcar Named Desire.

The Perley A. Thomas Car Works was reorganized as Thomas Built Buses, Inc., and became one of the three principal builders of large school buses in the United States by the end of the 20th century. It is still based in High Point, and is part of Freightliner Trucks of Daimler AG.

Perley A. Thomas, who died in 1958, was inducted into the North Carolina Hall of Fame.

Perley Thomas cars continue to run on New Orleans' historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line.

A few Perley Thomas cars have been preserved outside of New Orleans. Examples include New Orleans Public Service car #836 at the Connecticut Trolley Museummarker, #966 at the Seashore Trolley Museummarker and #850 at the Shore Line Trolley Museummarker. Two cars, Car #913 and Car #952, are preserved in San Franciscomarker's F Market & Wharves line. Car #913 is currently undergoing restoration.

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  • 800 series DE streetcar
  • 900 series DE streetcar


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