CSL 1744 and 830 at Western and Howard. The sign on the diner advertises a “small fry lunch,” perhaps for children, unless they had a tiny griddle. Another sign at rear promotes the Howard business district. George Trapp: “The Small Fry Restaurant was a full restaurant that lasted into the 1960’s under that name. I believe it was renamed the Small Chalet sometime in the late 1960’s.”
7555 N. Western today. The Small Fry/Chalet has been replaced by a Wintrust Bank.
For our latest post, we offer another ample selection of Chicago Surface Lines photos from the George Trapp collection. To find earlier posts in this series, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page.
Sometimes, the photos organize themselves into “themes,” and today’s batch features a lot of Broadway-State cars on the northern part of that route. Don’s Rail Photos has an excellent page with additional information on this type of car here.
Don Ross says:
When the various Chicago street railways were consolidated as Chicago Surface Lines, there were still vestiges of prior ownership which is why this group of cars is divided into various number groups. The CSL shops and other manufacturers turned out a number of cars for the various divisions including this group in 1923. There were also some smaller 10 window cars which are covered on another page. Some of the cars were converted to one man service in later years as indicated by the horizontal white stripe on the front dash.
Technically speaking, CSL was a unified operating entity made up of several underlying companies, the Chicago City Railway, Chicago Railways Company, Calumet and South Chicago Railway, and the Southern Street Railway. Of the four, the first two companies were by far the largest. All continued to exist, at least on paper, until the Chicago Transit Authority bought out the various bond holders on October 1, 1947, after which they were liquidated.
As always, if you can help us with locations and other tidbits of information about what you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can update the captions and share the information with our readers. You can comment on this post, or write us directly at:
We are very grateful for the generosity of George Trapp in sharing these great classic images with us. We also wish to thank the original photographers who took these pictures, most notably the late Edward Frank, Jr. and Joe Diaz, who tirelessly roamed the streets of Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s to document what was then the largest streetcar system in the world.
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CSL 3367 and 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL 3111, signed for Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: “Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars.”
CSL 3118, signed for Devon, in the mid-1930s. George Trapp: “Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars.”
CSL 3191 in the 1940s. The old Cine Theater, at rear, was located at 2516 W. Devon. According to Cinema Treasures, “The Rapp & Rapp-designed Cine was opened in 1937 in the neighborhood of West Rogers Park, on Devon Avenue at Maplewood Avenue. The Cine closed in 1953 and was converted into a clothing store. The former theater has housed an Indian restaurant for many years.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 1750 near the Cine Theater, at about 2560 W. Devon. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1750 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
Devon and Maplewood today.
There is a nearly identical picture of CSL 1775 in our earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Four (November 27, 2015), which we reproduce below. However, careful examination shows that they are two different photos taken at nearly the same time. They were so similar that I even tried using photo stitching software to see if they could be the same. The program said there is no overlap. Notice how the front trolley pole is in a slightly different position than in the other photo, which must have been taken seconds before this one. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 1775 during WWII, promoting the Navy, is signed for Broadway. At right there is one of those supervisor’s shantys that used to dot the Chicago landscape. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1775 turning from Clark onto Devon.”
CSL 1784 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. That’s a 1938-40 Cadillac at right. This William L. Mitchell design did much to catapult Cadillac to the forefront of the luxury car market. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 1741 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 1750. Perhaps the Sinclair gas station and the gas tank can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson says it’s Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: “Side shot of 1750 is at Devon and Kedzie, gas holder with red and white checkerboard located a couple of blocks North of Devon.”
CSL 1725 on the Broadway-State route. Perhaps the buildings at left can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson identifies this as Devon just west of Ridge. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 1725 is westbound on Devon at Damen, Angel Guardian Orphanage is located on South Side of Devon. Old St. Henry’s Church is in background at Ridge Blvd.”
CSL 1725. Same location information as above. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
Devon west of Ridge today. You can recognize the same church building as in the 1940s pictures, even though the orphanage just to the west of the cemetery has been replaced by Misericordia, another Catholic institution (out of this picture).
A Brill builder’s photo of CSL 3119. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3119 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was part of a series known as the 169 or Broadway-State cars. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)
The as-new interior of CSL 3119 at the Brill plant in 1922. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)
George Trapp: “Car 3120 and others of it’s class are actually in the Clark-Arthur loop, materials stockpiled for rebuilding of Devon Depot which was being rebuilt at the time.” Half of Devon Station burned down in a 1922 fire. (Fred Borchert Photo, printed by Edward Frank, Jr.)
CSL 3124 being delivered. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3124 was built by Brill Car Co. in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL 3137 at Clark and Devon. (William C. Janssen Collection)
An early photo of CSL 3161. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3161 was built by Cummings Car Co in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This may be a builder’s photo at the Cummings plant.
CSL 3161 as new at the McGuire-Cummings plant in 1923. This same builder also made Chicago and West Towns car 141, now restored to running condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)
You might wonder if both poles are up in this 1930s picture of CSL 3178. But there is another car behind this one. I would assume this picture was taken on Clark Street near Lincoln Park, and 3178 is operating as a Broadway car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “Car 3178 on Broadway line not Broadway-State in the early 1930’s before two lines combined in August of 1937.”
CSL 6158 and followers at Devon and Kedzie. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6158 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was another Broadway-State car. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 1745 at Devon and Sacramento. As another “169” or Broadway-State car, Don’s Rail Photos adds, “1745 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This photo predates the rebuilding since a one-man car of this type would have a white stripe on the front. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 1750 at Devon and Kedzie, north end of the long Broadway-State route. As you can see, the area here was not yet built up. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 1745, presumably near Devon and Kedzie. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 1725 on the Clark-Wentworth route. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 1725 is at Vincennes and 79th with coupler reattached at one end for possible use of trailers during World War II, which never took place.”
CSL 3201 is northbound at State on the Broadway route. That’s Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 3201 is on State not Wabash sometime between 7/10/32 and 8/19/37. Car is one of two experimental MU cars built by CSL in 1924 with the 23 class cars. Cars ran mainly on Broadway after their first year.” Broadway-State cars ran on Wabash from 1939 to 1949, when the State Street bridge was being rebuilt.
George Trapp: “CSL 2859, built in 1924 by CSL for the Calumet & South Chicago to replace a wrecked car.” This is typed as a “169” or Broadway-State car.
CSL 3246 and 3247 operating in tandem in the 1920s. Andre Kristopans has pointed out that two cars would have used but a single trolley pole in order to avoid having the second car run afoul of switches. The location is given as Maypole and Springfield. (CSL Photo)
CSL 6222 signed for Devon and Kedzie. One of our readers says this car is going westbound on Chicago Avenue at Clark.