CSL 7003 lets passengers off in front of the old Chicago & North Western Station on Madison just west of the Loop. The late 1930s Packard at left helps date the picture.
The Trolley Dodger at 100
We have reached a milestone with this, our 100th post. When we began this venture in January of this year, I would never have dreamed it possible, to have come so far in so little time. But here we are.
The challenge then was to get people to take a look, even though there wasn’t yet much to look at. Little by little, we have gradually built up an archive of work that people can refer to. Many times, when I am researching a subject on the Internet, a lot of the “hits” that come up with are simply posts from this blog.
At first, we thought there was a need for something like this, a place where photos, information, reminiscences, and original research in transit history could be shared with people who have similar interests. We just didn’t know how many people would be interested in it.
There is a tendency in some quarters to think of this as a hobby in decline, that will simply shrivel up and fade away in future years. Nothing, I think, could be further from the truth. There are, I believe, a lot of folks who are interested, but you have to know how to reach them and how to engage them.
This we have done. We are well on our way to achieving 100,000 page views by the middle of December, and The Trolley Dodger has been visited by more than 28,000 individuals to date. Over time, the number of visitors and page views is increasing.
That would not be possible if this was really a hobby in an irreversible decline.
The good thing is we are not doing this alone. If we have had some success already, it is mainly due to all the various people who have helped us out and have shared things with us and others. Even in less than a year, the names of all who have helped are too numerous to mention individually here. It would be a very long list.
It is a rule of life that no one person ever has all the facts. I have made plenty of mistakes, and I apologize for that, but my errors are usually quickly corrected by an ever-larger army of keen-eyed, fact-checking readers.
I frankly admit that many of my readers know more about these subjects than I do. If you find yourself in the position of knowing more, we would love to hear from you. Lend us a hand.
I like to think of The Trolley Dodger as a collaborative effort. Your help and participation makes it all possible.
There will always be room for improvement here, and may our reach always exceed our grasp. As for the future, we have many exciting things in the pipeline. I don’t know just what our second 100 posts will bring, but of one thing I am certain.
We hope it will be something worthwhile. Something of lasting value. We will do our best, and with your help, we cannot fail.
More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Six
For our 100th post, here are lots of classic photos of Chicago PCC streetcars, all of them new to this blog.
Some 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 then on order.
In similar fashion, the door arrangement used on the postwar PCCs had first been tried out (before the war intervened) on CSL car 4051, and we have pictures of that car as well to go along with others we have previously featured.
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.
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.
We also wish to thank the great photographers who took these pictures originally. We have provided attribution for each photo, if we have the information.
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:
Help Support The Trolley Dodger
In addition to 100 posts, we have put out two electronic book collections, with a third on the way. We are also well on our way towards our goal of reissuing the entire output of the long-gone Railroad Record Club on compact discs for a new generation of railfans. So far, we have issued 25 different CD collections of vintage material, covering both electric railroads and steam. Nearly all of these collections include two LPs on a single disc. A few are multiple CDs.
All this has been done in less than a year, for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere.
You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a donation there as well.
As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”
We thank you for your support.
CSL 4081 and another PCC are northbound on Clark at Wacker Drive, June 13, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Collection) On the back of the photo it says the second car is 7174, but George Trapp counters, “The St. Louis built car cannot be 7174 based on the date, car 7174 being delivered 2/25/48. Note the car has a CSL logo and also has its rear marker and stop lights mounted on tubes, a spotting feature of the first 90 St. Louis Post War PCC’s. It looks to me like the car is either 7071 or 7074.”
CSL 4118 southbound on Clark at Wacker, June 13, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Collection)
Clark and Wacker today, looking north.
Although signed for Clark-Wentworth, CSL 4160 is eastbound on Madison at Central Park in this 1947 CSL photo, with the Garfield Park fieldhouse in the background. The newly delivered car was brought here to pose for staged photos.
CTA 4218 at State and 95th on April 4, 1948 (route 36 – Broadway-State). (John F. Bromley Collection)
CSL prewar cars 4042 and 7029, in “tiger stripes,” are at the loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett, western terminal of the 63rd Street line.
CSL 4050 in experimental Coronado Tan, with 4047 behind it, at the Madison-Austin loop on November 2, 1946. (Harold A. Smith Photo)
CSL 4028 is eastbound on Madison at Dearborn in Chicago’s Loop, having already changed the sign for the trip west . O’Connor and Goldberg shoe stores were once a fixture throughout the Chicago area, with 15 locations. (Ohio Brass Company Photo)
4020, in experimental colors, is eastbound on Madison Street between Parkside and Central circa 1946. (Robert W. Gibson Photo)
CTA 4208 on a shoofly at Halsted and Congress circa 1950-51, during the early stages of construction on the Congress Expressway. Two of the four Metropolitan “L” tracks were removed in this area, since they were in the expressway footprint. (M. D. McCarter Collection)
CTA Pullman PCC 4173 on the long Broadway-State route. The building at rear advertises the Werner Brothers – Kennelly moving and storage firm, owned by Martin H. Kennelly, Chicago’s mayor from 1947-55. This picture was taken in January 1951.
7024 at Madison and Austin on July 16, 1938. (M. D. McCarter Collection)
CSL 4090 and follower at 81st and Halsted, south end of the Clark-Wentworth line, circa 1947.
CSL 4043, despite the sign, is eastbound on Madison near LaSalle on May 12, 1945. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)
A more recent view of Madison near LaSalle. We are looking west. Bus rapid transit stops are under construction.
CSL 4033 and 7002 on 78th Street by South Shops on October 23, 1938, during a fantrip. Although sponsored by the Chicago Surface Lines, this trip helped recruit many members to the fledgling Central Electric Railfans’ Association. (M. D. McCarter Collection)
CSL 4039 at Madison and Austin on June 30, 1946. (Barney Neuburger Collection, Courtesy of John F. Bromley)
CSL 4022 and 4018, with varying stripes, at Kedzie and Van Buren in December 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
7002 and 7006 show the first and second generation CSL paint schemes. The “tiger stripes” were added in 1945 to warn motorists that these streetcars were wider than the older red ones.
From left to rigth, at Ashland and 69th Station, we have prewar PCC 4032, Pullman 813, postwar St. Louis Car Company PCC 7259 and an unidentified prewar car.
CTA 4009 is on route 4 – Cottage Grove, circa 1952-55. Patrick writes, “Photo 981 is in the 6700 block of (south) Cottage Grove, looking north. The one story Michael Dunn building still exists, as does the biggest building (now a self storage facility). This is across the street from Oak Woods Cemetery.”
The 6700 block of South Cottage Grove today.
CSL 7014 is westbound on the wider, outer end of Madison Street in this 1940s view. The auto at left is a type referred to as a “business coupe,” a two-door car with a small back seat and a large trunk– the type of car favored by salesmen of the 1940s. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 4051 at the Madison and Austin loop on February 22, 1942. This car had previously been modified with an experimental door arrangement later used on the 600 postwar Chicago PCCs. By the time this picture was taken, it had been partially returned to its original configuration. As John Bromley notes, “The car is not yet fully restored after the rear entrance experiment. It’s missing one front door and is thus in a hybrid state.” (James J. Buckley Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL 4051 at Kedzie and Van Buren, during the 1940-41 experiment with a modified door arrangement. (CSL Photo)
CSL 4020 and 4049 at Madison and Austin on November 7, 1945, showing off contrasting paint schemes (4020’s is experimental). These experiments eventually led to the adoption of the well-known combination of Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swamp Holly Orange. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 4050 in experimental paint (Coronado Tan), most likely in late 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 4035, in experimental colors, at Madison and Austin, probably in late 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 4036 on Madison Street. (CSL Photo)
PCC 7026 at West Shops, temporarily fitted with experimental roof-mounted forced air ventilation, of a type that was used in Boston, but did not find favor in Chicago. (CSL Photo) Chuck Amstein adds, “The large building behind the shop building is the back of the Paradise Theatre, 231 N. Crawford/Pulaski. It was one of the last big movie palaces built in Chicago (1928) and one of the first to be torn down (1956).”
A side view of the 1934 Brill-built experimental pre-PCC 7001, with doors open.
A side view of the 1934 Brill-built experimental pre-PCC 7001, with doors closed.
A rare 1947 picture showing 7001 at Rockwell Depot, signed as an Instruction Car. It had been retired from regular service in 1944 and was turned into a shed in 1948.
Chicago & West Towns Railways car 130 is at the east end of the Madison line on March 31, 1946, while a Chicago Surface Lines prewar PCC sits nearby at the Madison-Austin loop. This is the borderline between Chicago and suburban Oak Park. (Don Ross Photo)
CSL 7034 eastbound at Madison and Hamlin in July 1937. The tall building at rear is still there. (CSL Photo) Marty Robinson adds, “The tall building is the Midwest Hotel, which housed the studio of WNIB in the attic. I was a program host there in 1957.”