More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Five

CTA 7208 southbound on Clark at Van Buren, a view from the Loop “L”, on August 15, 1956. (John F. Bromley Photo, M. D. McCarter Collection)

We recently presented four installments of Chicago PCC pictures from the collections of George Trapp. Today we offer another batch made up of our own recent acquisitions for your enjoyment.

To see the previous four posts, and another featuring Mr. Trapp’s pictures of historic Chicago buses, just type “George Trapp” in the search window on this page. Links to these should come right up.

Some of these pictures show prewar Chicago PCCs in experimental paint schemes. These were tried out by the Chicago Surface Lines in 1945-46 before settling on the well-known combination of Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swamp Holly Orange for the 600 postwar cars that were on order.

We found this online about the development of Swamp Holly Orange:

Yellow (truck lines) commissioned DuPont to determine what color was most visible from the greatest distance for the fleet. After careful research, DuPont presented a color, dubbed “Swamp Holly Orange.” And so the company named Yellow had an official color—orange—the safest color on the road.

All of the pictures in today’s post are being added to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store.

Over the next few weeks, we will post some of George Trapp’s pictures of red Chicago streetcars, so watch this space.

We also wish to thank the great photographers who took these pictures originally. We have provided attribution for each photo where we have the information. The two pictures taken by John F. Bromley in 1956 are presented with his permission.

He writes:

I was still a teenager with a Voightlander camera and was on a trip with my parents at the time. I recall riding the 36 up to the carhouse, and I think I came back on the 22.

Mr. Bromley is a well known historian and is the author of two books on the Toronto transit system.

Of course, the deluxe hardcover book Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era 1936-1958, published in June by Central Electric Railfans’ Association, is the premier volume covering the rise and fall of the modern streetcar in the Windy City. That book contains hundreds of great color photos and is a must-have for anyone who is interested in the subject, or even anyone who is interested in knowing what Chicago’s disparate neighborhoods looked like in a bygone era. While I am proud to be a co-author of that work, B-146 is available directly from the publisher. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with CERA.

In my humble opinion, B-146 is a fantastic bargain and a great value for the money, and I urge you to get a copy if you have not already done so.

My more recent E-book, available on a data disc in PDF format, is intended as a very unofficial supplement and companion to that noble work. One advantage that an electronic book has over a printed one is that more information can be added to it as things become available. We have already added numerous photos, maps, etc. to it, and the material from the Trapp Collection is a tremendous addition, which we are very grateful to have.

On top of that, we have now added another section of photographs to the book covering Chicago’s rapid transit system as it appeared early in the CTA era. That will give the reader a very clear idea of how badly the system was in need of improvement and modernization, a factor in the process by which CTA ultimately decided to eliminate streetcars.

With the E-book, we are not attempting to duplicate anything covered in B-146, which mainly showcases color photography. But there are still lots of great black-and-white photos that deserve to be seen, and lots of other information which could not be included even in a 448-page book. Chicago once had the largest streetcar system in the world, and chances are it will be a long time, if ever, before anyone has the “last word” about it.

If you have already purchased our E-book, and wish to get an updated copy with the additional information, this can be done at little or no cost to you. We always intended that it would be improved over time and offer an upgrade service to our purchasers on an ongoing basis.

As always, clicking on each photo with your mouse should bring up a larger version of the picture in your browser. You may be able to magnify this if you then see a “+” on your screen.

Finally, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to share about the photos you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know, either by making a comment on this post, or by dropping us a line to:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- We have just added a couple more pictures to our post Railfan Ephemera (August 26th). One shows the interior of Chicago, Aurora & Elgin car 300 shortly before it was scrapped in 1962. The other is of CA&E car 36 in action.

All of the photos in today's post are being added to our E-book Chicago's PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story.

All of the photos in today’s post are being added to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story.

CSL 4160 is westbound on Madison near Central Park in this 1947 Surface Lines photo.

CSL 4160 is westbound on Madison near Central Park in this 1947 Surface Lines photo.

CSL 4020 leaves the Madison-Austin loop for a trip eastbound on November 7, 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4020 leaves the Madison-Austin loop for a trip eastbound on November 7, 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4022 at Kedzie and Van Buren on July 22, 1946. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 4022 at Kedzie and Van Buren on July 22, 1946. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 4027 at Fifth Avenue and Pulaski, the west end of the Madison-Fifth branch line. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4027 at Fifth Avenue and Pulaski, the west end of the Madison-Fifth branch line. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4062 eastbound on Madison at Central Park, with the Garfield Park fieldhouse in the background. This CSL photo most likely dates to September 1946, when this car was new.

CSL 4062 eastbound on Madison at Central Park, with the Garfield Park fieldhouse in the background. This CSL photo most likely dates to September 1946, when this car was new.

A close-up of the preceding photo, showing what appears to be a 1940 Packard.

A close-up of the preceding photo, showing what appears to be a 1940 Packard.

CTA 4022, with some obvious front end damage, eastbound on the 63rd Street line. There is an ad on the side of the car promoting Hawthorne Race Course, which opened in 1891. One of our readers writes, "I believe that this car is laying over on the wye at 63rd and Central Park waiting to head east to Stony Island. The car was still two man at the time, but being in Everglade Green, I would date it as mid 1952 before the cars were sent to Cottage Grove after being converted to one-man operation." (R. Alexander Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 4022, with some obvious front end damage, eastbound on the 63rd Street line. There is an ad on the side of the car promoting Hawthorne Race Course, which opened in 1891. One of our readers writes, “I believe that this car is laying over on the wye at 63rd and Central Park waiting to head east to Stony Island. The car was still two man at the time, but being in Everglade Green, I would date it as mid 1952 before the cars were sent to Cottage Grove after being converted to one-man operation.” (R. Alexander Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 4085 westbound at Fifth Avenue and Pulaski on August 9, 1950. Madison-Fifth was a branch line from route 20. Today, this location is just south of the Eisenhower expressway. Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 4085 westbound at Fifth Avenue and Pulaski on August 9, 1950. Madison-Fifth was a branch line from route 20. Today, this location is just south of the Eisenhower expressway. Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 4018 at Madison and Austin on November 2, 1946. (Harold A. Smith Photo)

CSL 4018 at Madison and Austin on November 2, 1946. (Harold A. Smith Photo)

CTA 7006 at 63rd and Wolcott on January 4, 1951.

CTA 7006 at 63rd and Wolcott on January 4, 1951.

CTA 7070 southbound on the then-new State Street bridge over the Chicago River on February 25, 1950.

CTA 7070 southbound on the then-new State Street bridge over the Chicago River on February 25, 1950.

A “blind side” view of CSL 4051 at Kedzie and Van Buren on May 24, 1939. (CSL Photo)

CSL 4002 is eastbound at Madison and Paulina on July 4, 1941. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

CSL 4002 is eastbound at Madison and Paulina on July 4, 1941. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

CSL 4010 at Madison and Austin in November 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4010 at Madison and Austin in November 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CTA 4151, still wearing a CSL badge, heads south on the Clark Street bridge over the Chicago River in March 1948. (Harold A. Smith Photo)

CTA 4151, still wearing a CSL badge, heads south on the Clark Street bridge over the Chicago River in March 1948. (Harold A. Smith Photo)

Riders are exiting from the middle door in this view of 7101 at State and Roosevelt taken on October 24, 1948. These concrete platforms were called Safety Islands and once dotted the city.

Riders are exiting from the middle door in this view of 7101 at State and Roosevelt taken on October 24, 1948. These concrete platforms were called Safety Islands and once dotted the city.

CTA 4165 southbound at Halsted and Congress on shoofly trackage, September 15, 1950. This was the beginnings of construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway, which opened in this area late in 1955. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 4165 southbound at Halsted and Congress on shoofly trackage, September 15, 1950. This was the beginnings of construction of the Congress (now Eisenhower) expressway, which opened in this area late in 1955. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The caption on this picture of CTA 7136, taken in August 1954, says it is at the end of the Western Avenue line, but does not say which end. George Trapp writes, "I believe car 7136 is a pull out from Devon Depot slightly north of the Berwyn loop, pull outs did carry passengers." Another reader says this car is southbound on Western at Winona, which is one block south of Foster (and a few blocks south of the Berwyn loop).

The caption on this picture of CTA 7136, taken in August 1954, says it is at the end of the Western Avenue line, but does not say which end. George Trapp writes, “I believe car 7136 is a pull out from Devon Depot slightly north of the Berwyn loop, pull outs did carry passengers.” Another reader says this car is southbound on Western at Winona, which is one block south of Foster (and a few blocks south of the Berwyn loop).

One of our readers thinks that CTA 7217 is likely eastbound on 78th pulling off of Vincennes Avenue in this December 1953 view. They continue, "Since the sun is obviously in the east, this appears to be a route 22 pull-in after the AM rush." (Harold A. Smith Photo)

One of our readers thinks that CTA 7217 is likely eastbound on 78th pulling off of Vincennes Avenue in this December 1953 view. They continue, “Since the sun is obviously in the east, this appears to be a route 22 pull-in after the AM rush.” (Harold A. Smith Photo)

A close-up of the last shot. According to William Barber, this is a 1954 Chevrolet model 210.

A close-up of the last shot. According to William Barber, this is a 1954 Chevrolet model 210.

CSL 4047 is eastbound on Madison near Canal, with the landmark Chicago Daily News building (1928) at rear. (George Krambles Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 4047 is eastbound on Madison near Canal, with the landmark Chicago Daily News building (1928) at rear. (George Krambles Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Prewar PCC 4013 on private right-of-way near the western end of the 63rd Street route, between Central and Narragansett. I think the car is heading west. This is now a completely built up residential area today. Most likely we are early in the CTA era. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Prewar PCC 4013 on private right-of-way near the western end of the 63rd Street route, between Central and Narragansett. I think the car is heading west. This is now a completely built up residential area today. Most likely we are early in the CTA era. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

63rd Place and Austin today. We are facing west.

63rd Place and Austin today. We are facing west.

CSL 4035 at the Madison-Austin loop on November 7, 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4035 at the Madison-Austin loop on November 7, 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4018 at the Madison-Austin loop in February 1946. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4018 at the Madison-Austin loop in February 1946. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CTA 4400 southbound on Clark at Arthur, August 15, 1956. (John F. Bromley Photo, M. D. McCarter Collection)

CTA 4400 southbound on Clark at Arthur, August 15, 1956. (John F. Bromley Photo, M. D. McCarter Collection)

Riders are about to board via the rear on postwar PCC 4257, "Another New CTA Streetcar," southbound at State and Roosevelt in 1948.

Riders are about to board via the rear on postwar PCC 4257, “Another New CTA Streetcar,” southbound at State and Roosevelt in 1948.

6 thoughts on “More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Five

  1. The enlargement of the Chevrolet in the photo of car 7217 in this blog is actually a 1954 210 model based on the tail lights and trim. In those days, all General Motors new models and most other brands were announced and released for sale in September of the preceding year (as a kid, always an exciting time) so the December, 1953 date is accurate. My parents had two 1953 Chevys on which, I learned to drive. Here is a link to the 1954 Chevrolet catalog: http://www.1953chevrolet.com/1954_Models.htm

    Bill Barber
    Gravois Mills, MO

    Like

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