In January 1954, some Adelaide tram enthusiasts formed a local branch of the Australian Electric Traction Association - an advocacy group with an interest in the retention and expansion of electric transport systems and which still exists.
At the Association’s 1956 National Convention in Adelaide, it was learned that museum collections had been established in Sydney and Melbourne and that tramway museums were already established in the USA and Europe. Also at the convention,
trams 111 and 381 (now in the Museum) were used to tour Adelaide’s tramways as a conference event.
To better distinguish between interests in advocacy and preservation, the fledgling Sydney tramway museum had been ‘spun out’
from the Australian Electric Traction Association to become the Australian Electric Transport Museum
Later in 1956 the Adelaide group approached Adelaide’s Municipal Tramways Trust on behalf of the Australian Electric Transport Museum, to
set aside six Adelaide trams for preservation, viz 1, 111, 192, 264, 380 and 381. After checking with, and encouraged by positive responses from the Sydney and Melbourne tramway authorities about progress by museum groups there, the M.T.T. agreed to make the
cars available to the newly formed group, reflecting faith in the young people behind the proposal for Adelaide.
By 1957, the Adelaide group became the SA branch of the Australian Electric Transport Museum. Later, the Adelaide group incorporated
in its own right under SA legislation as the Australian Electric Transport Museum (SA) Inc.- now better known as the Tramway Museum at St. Kilda.