Over one hundred people, from over twenty nations, attended the first International Conference on the History of Transport, Traffic, and Mobility (T2M) in Eindhoven, Holland, in early November 2003. Attendees listened and contributed to a wide-ranging debate that underlined both the expanding nature of the field and the increasingly inter-related nature of its sub-components. The topics under discussion over the three days ranged from public policy, technology and business history, to questions of scale, tourism, advertising and gender. Peter Lyth, Editor of the Journal of Transport History, also delivered an important address in which he set out the future direction of the journal. Perhaps the most significant moment came with the official launch of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) on Saturday 8 November. Over half the participants joined, providing a core membership on which to build at subsequent meetings.
The social highpoint was the Saturday evening visit to, and subsequent meal, at the Van Abbe Museum (above picture). Recently re-opened in January 2003 after substantial renovation, delegates were greatly impressed by the collection, including an excellent selection of El Lissitzky’s work. Some were also left slightly vertiginous by Abel Cahen’s extraordinary “tower” section. All were taken by surprise, but thoroughly enjoyed, an after dinner demonstration of tango dancing by Gijs Mom, the Conference Chair.