Our new e-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story is finally 100% finished. The discs are being made, and all current orders will be shipped within the next couple of days. (Editor’s note: all orders have now been shipped as of July 12th.)
We know that many of our devoted readers have been patiently awaiting this new work. We kept finding more new things to add, in our quest to give you, the reader, the maximum value for your $19.95 investment.
One addition was a tribute to the late Alan R. Lind, author of Chicago Surface Lines: An Illustrated History. The book is dedicated to him.
Several important photographs recently came to light, and these have been added to the book. Some are reproduced here in this post, and they are significant additions.
These include a rare photo of experimental CSL car 4001 in revenue service. There are very few such pictures, since this streetcar (now at the Illinois Railway Museum) was, in the words of Frank Hicks, a “hangar queen.” Since this car was different than any other that CSL had, a dedicated crew was assigned to it, and apparently proved rather temperamental to operate.
By comparison, car 7001, built by J. G. Brill, saw more use and was much closer to the eventual design used for the PCC streetcar starting in 1936. It is somehow ironic that Brill never built any PCCs. The firm had a policy of not paying royalties to other companies, and their “Brilliner” was a failure in the marketplace. Few were sold.
Another last-minute addition is a photo showing CSL prewar PCC 4021 in service. This is the only survivor from the prewar fleet, and 4021 is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.
Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story includes my 59-page essay of 18,571 words, covering various Chicago PCC topics, including the mysterious 1937 “Green Book” that some claimed formed the blueprint for the Chicago Transit Authority; the CTA’s 10-year modernization program; transit unification; the red ink of the the CTA’s early years; an important 1951 consultant report that recommended keeping the PCCs, converted to one-man operation; how the 1952 purchase of the Motor Coach Company seems to have played a role in the decision to get rid of the PCCs; how the math of the PCC Conversion Program just doesn’t add up; and much more.
There are special sections with more than 325 rare high-quality images, none of which appear in the recently published CERA Bulletin 146, Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936-1958. We urge everyone to purchase a copy of this important book, the most important book about Chicago streetcars to be published in the last 40 years, if you have not already secured your copy. You can purchase it online directly from CERA.*
Our new e-book comes on a single DVD data disc and is playable on any computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free download.
In addition to the text and pictures, there is more than 3,500 pages of bonus material, including 176 different historical newspaper and magazine articles, and several entire complete research books. You can read all the CTA Annual Reports from 1945 to 1976, the entire 12-volume Metropolitan Transit Research series by Chicago Transit Board member Werner W. Schroeder, various other 1950s CTA publications, the CTA 10-Year Modernization Plan, the 1941, 1948, 1952 and 1954 track maps, and much more.
This e-book should appeal to anyone interested in Chicago’s PCC streetcars. It gives what the late Paul Harvey used to call the “rest of the story.”
You can purchase your copy for just $19.95 from our Online Store using either PayPal or a debit or credit card. Shipping within the United States is free.
We thank everyone for their patience in waiting for the completion of this new addition to the slender shelf of Chicago streetcar publications.
Every dollar you spend on our products goes to help cover the costs of doing this important original research. We have other exciting new projects in the works. Besides buying our products, you can also make donations via our Online Store.
Many people tell us how much they enjoy this blog, and the pictures and videos we present. With your help, we will continue to give you more great images, and the stories behind them.
We thank you for your support.
*Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.
2 thoughts on “Finishing The Rest of the Story”
Speaking of “read as you ride” holders, whatever became of Bill Saver and his devoted wife Penny? They were tireless promoters of the CTA. They had two children, a boy and a girl, whose names I’ve forgotten. Bill, of course, rode the CTA to his unnamed job (perhaps as a CTA flack in the Merchandise Mart), and Penny was a housewife, in keeping with the 1950’s model. The family’s primary entertainment was weekend riding all over the city on the CTA.
I guess they have gone the way of Reddy Kilowatt.
During the 1950s, weekday ridership on CTA held up fairly well, but there were large losses on weekends. The cause seems twofold– more people had cars they could drive on the weekend, even if they rode CTA to work, and the 40-hour workweek became standard.