CSL 6149, an Odd 17 car built by CSL in 1919, is on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway), which ran from 1912 until October 7, 1946. The bicycle at right is very likely the photographer’s. Ed Frank rode his bike all over the city instead of taking the streetcar, so he could save money to buy film. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
Today’s post features the final batch 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.
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.
The good news is that George Trapp is going to share his extensive collection of Chicago rapid transit photos with us. Watch this space.
CSL 1457. Don’s Rail Photos: “1457 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4505. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA68 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on December 17, 1958.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL/CTA Calt Car AA17. Don’s Rail Photos: “AA17, salt car, was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4523. It was rebuilt as 1475 in 1911 and became CSL 1475 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA17 on October 1, 1941. It was retired on October 30, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 2605, a Robertson Rebuild car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2605 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was stored at Devon Barn in 1948 and scrapped there in 1954.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
An early photo of CSL 1494 in charter service. This was called a “Bowling Alley” car due to the sideways seating. Don’s Rail Photos: “1494 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4543. It was rebuilt as 1494 n 1911 and became CSL 1494 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA83 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on October 7, 1954.”
CSL Pullman 362 on the trestle over the Illinois Central at Roosevelt Road, heading to the Museum Loop.
A 1910 builder’s photo of Chicago Railways Pullman 751. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
A close-up of the Chicago Railways logo.
CSL Pullman 870 is at Devon and Western. One of our keen-eyed readers notes, “I believe that this photo was actually taken in the Summer of 1948, rather than 1946 as stated in your caption. The reason that I say that is because the ACF-Brill bus seen at the curb on the left hand side of the photo was most likely operating on route 36A which was a shuttle on Devon from Kedzie to Broadway and Ardmore Loop. It was started on 12/15/1947 when route 36 – Broadway-State was cutback to Devon-Ravenswood when PCCs were instituted. PCCs were introduced on Western Avenue on August 1, 1948 which explains why Small Pullmans are shown running on Western Avenue in the photo. The car is heading west on Devon. In the distance, you can see the slight rise to Ridge Avenue near Misericordia.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 903 at the same location as the last photo, probably taken at the same time. Another factor, weighing in favor of a 1948 date, is the CTA recruitment poster on the front of the car. In its early days, the agency had quite a labor shortage. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
Although not identical, here is a similar sign on another Western Avenue streetcar, in a photo taken on May 22, 1948. That is probably not much different than when the previous two pictures were taken. The CTA had a lot of different signs like this, and many were variations on the same theme. To see the original picture, go to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015).
CSL Small St. Louis 1412. Andre Kristopans says it is at Noble Station (car house). Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1903 and 1906 for Chicago Union Traction Co. They are similar to the Robertson design without the small windows. Cars of this series were converted to one man operation in later years and have a wide horizontal stripe on the front to denote this. Two were used for an experimental articulated train. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers.” The 1374, which has been restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is part of this same series. Here is what http://www.chicagorailfan.com says about Noble Station: NOBLE 1901 N. Hermitage Ave. (at Cortland Ave.) Opened before 1908 Capacity in 1911: 18 cars inside/60 cars outside Capacity in 1943: 17 cars inside/103 cars outside Closed August 31, 1947 Building demolished (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 1353, shown on the 14th-16th Street route, was part of this same series. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 1422, also a Small St. Louis car, signed for 14-Canal-Fulton.
CSL 1348, again part of the same series as the “Matchbox” at IRM.
CSL 1427. Frank Hicks: “Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL.” It was retired on April 30, 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 1428 was retired on May 10, 1937. See the caption for the previous picture for a description of this series. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 2816 was a Calumet Electric Railway car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2816 was built by Brill Car Co in 1902, #12109, as Calumet Electric Ry 110. It became Calumet & Street Chicago Ry 801 in 1908 and rebuilt from single end to double end in 1910. It was renumbered 2816 in 1913. It became CSL 2816 in 1914 and scrapped in 1946.”
CSL 1584 was a Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier.” It’s odd that the car body would appear so light. It would have been dark green originally, then red starting in the early 1920s. Even if orthochromatic film had been used, this would have rendered the red darker than usual, not lighter. Perhaps it is just a “trick of the light.”
CSL 1592 was another Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Andre Kristopans says 1592 is “on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)
CSL 5704 was a Nearside or Muzzleloader car. Don’s Rail Photos: “5704 was built by Brill Car Co. in 1912, #18322. It was rebuilt as one man/two man service in 1933.”
CSL 5983 at Broadway and Wilson. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)
CSL 3091, signed for Elston, was called an “Odd 17” car, although there were actually 19. It was built by CSL in 1919.
CSL 6152, an Odd 17 car, on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. This picture was taken at the same location as another we previously posted, which George Trapp identified as Devon and Glenwood (1400 W). The car is heading westbound. You can find that photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten (May 6, 2016). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
The two buildings in the previous picture are still there today.
CSL 6153, another Odd 17 car, circa 1933-34. Our regular reader M. E. has identified the location as being Devon, just west of Western. He adds, “route 1 ran to Devon and Kedzie starting in 1932.” So, this car is heading east on Devon, which explains why it is signed for Lake Park and 55th. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
The same location today.
CSL 6148, another Odd 17 car, is sporting an NRA (National Recovery Administration) sticker, which dates it to 1933-1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)
CSL 3092 was known as a “Sewing Machine” or Safety car. Don’s Rail Photos: “3092 was built by CSL in 1921. It was scrapped in 1946.” The lower part of this car, which is probably red, may appear darker due to the use of orthochromatic film. This may show the car as new. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
We featured previously featured Birney cars in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016). Birneys were not very successful in large cities such as Chicago, but had a long life in some smaller cities like Ft. Collins, Colorado. Don’s Rail Photos does not list information on CSL 2000, but like the other Birneys he mentions, it was “built by Brill Car Co in October 1920, #21211. It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in March 1937.” Since it looks in pretty good shape in this photo, this photo probably dates to 1932 or earlier. Andre Kristopans: “2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!”
CSL 3109 at Clark and Devon. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). Not sure what those sheets are doing hanging in the windows. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
An Evanston Railways car on Dempster Street, with the “L” in the background. We are looking west from the corner of Dempster and Chicago. Evanston Railways pictures are as scarce as hen’s teeth. The “L” was elevated between 1908 and 1910. This picture was taken sometime between 1913, when ER got these cars, and 1935, when streetcars were replaced by buses.
In 1957, CTA PCC 7271 and 7215 pass on Clark Street, just north of North Avenue. The old Plaza Hotel, located at 59 W. North Avenue, is in the background. A Hasty Tasty restaurant was located in the building, with a Pixley and Ehler’s across the street. These were “greasy spoon” chains that were known for offering cheap eats. Local mobsters were known to hang out at the Plaza. The Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, would be just to the left, out of view in this picture. The Moody Bible Institute would be out of view on the right. (Russel Kriete Photo)
In this close-up, that looks like 7215 at right. Photographer Russel A. Kreite (1923-2015), of Downers Grove, Illinois, was a member of the Photographic Society of America and had many of his photos published in books and magazines.
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12 thoughts on “Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Twelve”
1412 is at Noble carhouse
1592 on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park
2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!
Glad you’re pleased.
Our regular reader M. E. writes:
Looks like you have it figured out, thanks. I looked at a Google Street View of the area around 2400 W. Devon, and the buildings match.
What you read as 2414 is actually 2404. The number is on a canvas awning, and part of the awning is not visible, making the “0” look like a “1”.
Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL.
Thanks for the correction. Don Ross had lumped them in with the Bowling Alleys on this page:
I would bet he will want to clarify this on his site.
Yes, he will make the change and also to look at the Birney page. Old guys take time/
Thanks. Don’s web site is an invaluable resource, and deserves the support of all railfans.
I have to wonder if the Bowling Alley cars, as well as the early 4000’s, were as (un)popular as the current longitudinal-seated L cars are with the public.
Well, they didn’t stick with that seating arrangement on the great majority of the cars that followed. That will tell you something.
Only Yerkes could love bowling alley seating, since he proclaimed that “the straphangers pay the dividends”!