Records of United Electric Tramways of Montevideo Ltd, tramways operating company

Scope and Content

  • quarterly statements of account to La Sociedad Commercial, 1905-25
  • agreement with La Sociedad Commercial for tramway electrification, 1905
  • receipts of title deeds lodged with the London and River Plate Bank Ltd, 1905
  • debenture stock and share transfer records, 1905-08
  • legal opinion on the company's relationship with the state, 1908
  • records re appointment of, and power of attorney for, trustees, 1906-21

Administrative / Biographical History

United Electric Tramways of Montevideo Ltd was set up in the early twentieth century by La Sociedad Commercial de Montevideo, the local affiliate of a British transport company which, alongside La Transatlántica (affiliated to a rival German transport company), had purchased controlling interests in Montevideo's seven existing horse-drawn streetcar lines in anticipation of the electrification and expansion of the tramway system.

The first electrified line, owned by La Sociedad Commercial, opened in late 1906 and ran from the business district of the city to the beach suburb of Pocitos. Other lines were opened over the course of the next five years by both La Sociedad Commercial and La Transatlántica, and passenger numbers multiplied. The tramway companies were subject to a high degree of state regulation, concerning for example the expansion of their networks and fare prices. The companies were eventually nationalised in the 1940s, and the tramway system itself was dismantled during the following decade.

Glyn, Mills & Co, bankers of London, appears to have been involved in financing United Electric Tramways of Montevideo Ltd.

Access Information

Historical researchers are welcome to use the archives at our Edinburgh store. Access is by appointment and researchers are required to complete an access form before they visit. Some records are subject to closure periods. For further information please email or telephone 0131 334 1428.


  • A Rosenthal, 'The arrival of the electric streetcar and the conflict over progress in early twentieth-century Montevideo', Journal of Latin American Studies , vol.27:2, May 1995, pp.319-42
  • Peter Walne, A guide to manuscript sources for the history of Latin America and the Caribbean in the British Isles . London, Oxford University Press in collaboration with the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, 1973. p. 478.

Geographical Names