Of all the many books inspired by Ulysses, one of the oddest is surely The Bloomsday Trams: Dublin’s Tramway Fleet of James Joyce’s Ulysses, by a David Foley. The author modestly admits in his introduction that he ‘was unprepared for how difficult this task was to become’ although he is is undaunted by any slight reputation Joyce may have established as a tramway expert. The first chapter lists ‘those tramway references that need explanation and in some cases correction from Joyce’.
The most startling fact (and there are many) is that Dublin trams carried symbols instead of numbers from 1903 to 1922 – presumably to cater for the illiterate. Here they are in all their baffling glory – which leads one to wonder if there is any connection to the cryptic sigla of Finnegans Wake?