Here are lots of “new” old photos that we have recently unearthed for your viewing pleasure. As always, if you have interesting tidbits of information to add, including locations, do not hesitate to drop us a line, either by leaving a Comment on this post, or by writing us directly at:
M. E. writes:
which was labelled “Campbell Av. barn yard” but you think it is the 69th and Ashland carbarn:
Campbell is 2500 West, which puts it a block west of Western (2400 West). Suppose the original location statement was a mile off. Paulina is 1700 West, a block west of Ashland (1600 West), and at 69th St., Paulina was just west of the carbarn. So I agree with you that this is probably the 69th and Ashland carbarn.
As confirmation, the 67th-69th-71st St. line (route 67) went right past the carbarn, and the destination sign aboard the route 67 car says 71st and California, the western terminus, where the route 67 car will go after leaving the barn.
However, I cannot explain the presence of route 4 Cottage Grove cars at the 69th and Ashland carbarn. The readable destination sign on car 6149 says Cottage Grove and 79th, which is a lot closer to the big carbarn at 77th and Vincennes than it is to 69th and Ashland.
I consulted my Lind book to find out when the 79th Street line and the 67th-69th-71st Street line were converted to buses. Lind says 79th was converted in September 1951 and 67th-69th-71st was converted in May 1953.
So I think this photo was taken after September 1951 and before May 1953. Somehow Cottage Grove cars were able to get to the 69th and Ashland carbarn, even though the trackage diagrams in the Lind book show no switches at 67th and Cottage Grove. Maybe the CTA built switches at 67th and Cottage Grove after September 1951 just for this purpose.
The 69th and Ashland carbarn also housed Western Ave. cars. But that carbarn must have closed soon after May 1953, because after that date, PCC cars on Western used 69th St. trackage to go east to Wentworth, south to Vincennes, and southwest to the 77th and Vincennes carbarn. That lasted until Western was converted to buses in 1956.
As I recall, the 69th and Ashland carbarn served these lines in the 1950s:
67 67th-69th-71stLind says both lines 63 and 67 converted to buses in May 1953. But Ashland did not convert until February 1954. And as I said earlier, Western converted in 1956.Therefore, the 69th and Ashland carbarn closed in February 1954, after which Western cars lived at 77th and Vincennes until 1956.
I looked it up on the Internet, and after streetcars left, 69th and Ashland continued to handle buses for many years:
1601 W. 69th St. (at Ashland Ave.)
Opened in 1908
Capacity in 1911: 191 cars inside/25 cars outside
Capacity in 1943: 191 cars inside/133 cars outside
First used for buses in 1953
Used for propane buses 1953-1973
Last used for streetcars 1954
First diesel buses 1973
Closed June 18, 1995
Replaced by 74th Street Garage
Building demolished in 1998
I moved out of Englewood in November 1954. I wasn’t aware that the 69th and Ashland carbarn became a bus barn and lasted another four decades. Live and learn.
The fact that the 69th and Ashland barn stayed open after May 1954 begs this question: Why didn’t the Western Ave. streetcars continue to use it, rather than travel all the way to 77th and Vincennes?
I think I have an answer. After May 1954 there were only a few remaining streetcar lines:
4 Cottage Grove
The CTA probably wanted to consolidate all streetcar operations in one or two barns. The 22 line ran right past the 77th and Vincennes barn; the 36 line was half a mile away; and the 49 line used 69th St. to reach the 77th and Vincennes barn. The 4 line continued to use the 38th and Cottage Grove barn until the 4 line was converted to bus in June 1955. (I found this on the same Web page you cited: http://chicagorailfan.com/rosctaxh.html .)
But herein lies a further question: If 38th and Cottage Grove was kept open until the Cottage Grove line was converted, then why were Cottage Grove cars in the photo of 69th and Ashland? I already mentioned that I saw no trackage that would allow Cottage Grove cars to reach 69th and Ashland.
I had the radical notion that perhaps the photo was not of 69th and Ashland, but instead of 38th and Cottage Grove. But then why would a 67 route streetcar be there? And the same lack of switches at 67th and Cottage Grove would preclude allowing 67th-69th-71st cars to travel to 38th and Cottage Grove.
All told, a mystery.
A mystery alright, and one that perhaps our readers might help solve, thanks.
Our previous post The Littlest Hobo (November 27, 2016), which featured some pictures of scrapped Pacific Electric “Hollywood” cars stacked up like cordwood, inspired me to run this photo, showing one of the cars that actually was saved:
The following photo has been added to our post Red Arrow in Westchester (September 13, 2016):
PS- Here is a video with many additional pictures of the Red Arrow Railbus:
Hampton Wayt writes:
I am trying to research the history of the design (industrial design or “styling”) of the PCC streetcars. Over the years, two different people have independently indicated to me that industrial designer Donald R. Dohner was responsible for the design of the PCC, but I have been unable to verify it. Dohner was the head of design for Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company from 1930 through 1934 and would work on many transportation designs while employed there. He also had an industrial design firm in Pittsburgh after leaving Westinghouse.
Dohner was the unrecognized primary designer of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s iconic GG-1 electric locomotive for which Raymond Loewy got (or should I say, “took”) full credit. For years, retired industrial designers that I met told me that Dohner designed the GG-1 despite what Loewy claimed, and after doing some serious in depth research I was finally able to prove they were right (Loewy made some very minor changes to the GG-1 prior to manufacturing, but would take credit for much, much more than he actually did). Dohner never received credit for the design during his lifetime, and only began to receive recognition for it for the first time 75 years later after the fact, thanks to an article I wrote on the matter for Classic Trains magazine in 2009.
A couple of years ago I was also able to verify that Dohner designed the New Haven Comet Train with the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation, his having worked heavily on the design in 1933. He never received credit for the design of this train either.
Neither of the two individuals who credited Dohner with the PCC design knew the name of the streetcar, but both stated that it was a design that was used universally all over the country. One of the men also stated that the cars were in Brooklyn first and then “all over.” That suggests the PCC to me, but I do not know where to begin to research it.
Do you happen to know if any of the original paperwork for the Presidents Conference Committee exists for researchers? If so, I would love visit the archives and take a close look and see if Dohner’s name appears anywhere in the record as it did in Pennsylvania Railroad paperwork found during my research on the GG-1.
It also occurred to me that Dohner could have been involved in the design of the experimental CSL 4001 car, which was developed with Westinghouse. Do you happen to know if there is any documentation on the development of this unit?
Any guidance you can give me would be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to your response.
Hampton C. Wayt
Thanks for writing. In one of my previous blog posts, I note the following:
Starting in 1929, CSL* was a very active participant in the Electric Railway Presidents’ Conference Committee, whose work developed the standardized PCC car, which soon dominated the industry.
The PCC patents were assigned to the Transit Research Corporation, whose stock was owned by the various transit operators who took part in the program. CSL apparently owned the largest amount of stock, which in turn was owned by the Chicago Transit Authority starting in 1947. Eventually Walter J. McCarter, first general manager of CTA, became the head of TRC, which I think has since been disbanded.
*Chicago Surface Lines
TRC’s successor, in turn, was the Institute for Rapid Transit, which merged with the American Public Transit Association, and is now called the American Public Transportation Association. So, you might try contacting them to see what they may know.
However, if Dr. Harold E. Cox is to be believed, TRC’s main focus was technical patents involving components such as truck and wheel design. (See his 1965 article, “What is a PCC Car?”)
Dr. Cox is, as far as I know, still living, so you might try contacting him as well. However, according to this news story from 2015, Dr. Cox is fighting a courageous public battle with Alzheimer’s.
It may be that a lot of the familiar PCC design “look” came from each individual car manufacturer, building on previous work done by others. The progression would be from the 1934 Brill car 7001, built for the Chicago Surface Lines, to the very similar cars built for Washington, D.C. in 1935 (the order split between Brill and St. Louis Car Company), to the 1936 PCCs from SLCC (Brooklyn, Chicago, et al) and the one car built by the Clark Equipment Co. (which has standee windows, not seen on many cars prior to the end of WWII).
The efforts from various manufacturers to develop a “type car” preceded the PCC effort, as can be seen in the Brill “Master Units” circa 1932. But these efforts were never 100% successful, although the PCC car did come the closest. Still, there were numerous variations between cities, Chicago’s being the most different of them all.
Even after the concept of a “standard” PCC car became the norm for North American cities, the PCCs made by SLCC competitor Pullman have subtle differences in styling, including a somewhat boxier overall appearance. This may have been the result of differences in manufacturing techniques between the two companies.
So, chances are the styling of the PCC cars cannot be ascribed to a single individual, but it is certainly possible that one person, such as your candidate, may have played a very important part.
There is also a complicating factor regarding Brill. While Brill built the CSL 7001, and part of the 1935 order for DC, the company had a policy of not paying any patent royalties to other firms. Thus, they parted ways with the PCC project at this point.
However, they did come up with their own PCC knock-off, which was called the Brilliner. They first started marketing these in 1938, and the last ones were sold in 1941. Very few were sold.
The Brilliner came too late to save Brill. By then, St. Louis Car Company had the bulk of the streetcar market to themselves, with Pullman taking a much smaller share.
Brill exited the streetcar market at this point, and merged with ACF in 1944 to form ACF-Brill. They made buses, including some trolley buses.
I hope other people who read this may be able to offer additional insights of their own. I am assuming you are familiar with the available literature, which includes various books such as PCC From Coast to Coast. There is at least one book about the St. Louis Car Company, written by the late Alan R. Lind. Some of the other PCC books, which you might find for cheap or in public libraries, include PCC: The Car That Fought Back, An American Original: The PCC Car, and Dr. Cox’s PCC Cars of North America.
Jay Maeder, Sr.
We have written about the short-lived and ill-fated Speedrail project before. This was a 1949-51 attempt to continue interurban service between Milwaukee and Waukesha, Wisconsin, led by Jay Maeder, Sr. (1908-1975).
This was a noble effort. Maeder grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where a former interurban still runs today as the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit line.
Milwaukee’s TMER&L (aka TMER&T) west line was known locally as the “Rapid Transit” line, and with a little less bad luck, could have evolved into something akin to what Cleveland has today. But alas, it was not to be, due to a horrific head-on collision in 1950 that killed several people.
Jay Maeder, Sr. was at the controls of one of the two cars involved in the collision, which remains controversial to this day. The question recently came up on one of the online transit forums I belong to, as to what Maeder’s background was. I did manage to come up with a few things:
His real name was John Edward Maeder. Jay was a nickname. In the 1930 census, the family was living in South Euclid, Ohio.
In a 1949 newspaper article, regarding the Speedrail purchase, Maeder is referred to as a “Cleveland industrial engineer.” Apparently, he was an efficiency expert.
“Jay” probably was a nickname based on his first initial. Perhaps, like many other people, he did not like his first name (cf. James Paul McCartney).
Here is his high school yearbook from 1925:
Click to access misc_112653.pdf
At that time, John Edward Maeder was nicknamed “Ed,” which is how they had him in some of the census records. Apparently, he did not like his first name.
John Edward Maeder’s birth certificate gives the same date of birth as that given for Jay Edward Maeder (March 11, 1908).
The 1910 US census says there was a two-year-old child named Edward in the household, but does not mention other siblings. Since his father’s name was also John, that may be why they were calling him Edward from an early age.
The 1920 census has him as J. Edward, but again mentions no siblings.
In the 1930 census, they have him as Edward J., but again there are no siblings listed. He was 22 years old then, and his occupation is listed as a newspaper solicitor (salesman?).
So, everything seems to indicate he was an only child. Haven’t found an obit for Jay Maeder Sr. yet though.
Jay Maeder Sr.’s wife Catherine died in Houston, Texas in 2009, aged about 99.
I don’t know if Jay Maeder Sr. ever lived in Texas, or if, sometime after the 1950 crash, he reverted to using John, his real name. His son, Jay Maeder, Jr. lived from 1947 to 2014, and was the last writer for the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip before it was retired in 2010.
If Speedrail had survived, it surely would have received a shot in the arm from the opening of County Stadium along its route in 1953. The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee that year, and had good attendance for several years before moving to Atlanta in 1965. The Braves were in the World Series two years running (1957-58), winning the world championship in 1957 over the New York Yankees.
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22 thoughts on “Recent Finds”
CSL 3106 is on Leavitt, northbound, at 21st Street. The buildings are still there. The Douglas L is in the background. https://email@example.com,-87.680767,3a,75y,61.46h,99.49t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJ1ZgdxuXUDC-qR98niRLmQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
CSL 1856 looks to be eastbound on Harrison (it appears signed for Harrison), crossing Ogden. The building on the northeast corner is still there. https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-87.6747792,3a,60.3y,77.06h,91.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxelDBNibHrEX4uiPJ4zgCQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
That is the J.L. Higgie building, which even has its own page on the Chicago Architecture site:
The IC Electric pic is likely Kensington. Look at extreme magnification and one sees the r-o-w expand to 4 tracks.
I concur that the IC electric photo was taken at the Kensington station.
NSL 774 is west of Green Bay Jct. The line to the west leads to the Highwood shops and offices. In the distance you can see the bridge that is currently used by the Metra UP-N. You can still see where the NSL once ran under the bridge. The line to the east leads to The Lake Bluff station just across the street out of the shot.
Not totally sure if the cement that once held the catenary supports is still there or not, but the telephone POLES behind the camera man are still there.
CSL car 1076 is southbound on Damen Avenue about to turn south on Lincoln Avenue at Irving Park Blvd. The route is Lincoln-Rosehill . On August 1, 1948, the CTA discontinued Lincoln-Rosehill service, while extending the North Damen Bus to follow roughly the same route north of Irving Park. The white Terra-Cotta building behind car 1076 housed the North Center Theatre at 4031 N Lincoln, which opened on Februrary 3, 1926 and closed in 1963. The building was demolished in 1966-67.
Thanks! I should have recognized the corner, since I used to live nearby.
I believe the picture on Madison and Wells is looking west; in the distance you can see Market St, and the weird “L” stub structure ending on the south side of Madison.
Market St. “L” at Madison St.:
Not sure what the connection is, but F W Wurzburg was a department store chain in Grand Rapids & other parts of Mid-Michigan.
I lived at 2325 w Giddings St in Lincoln Square from 1951 to 1976. My Parents worked at the Music Box Theatre at 3733 n Southport, and they took me with when they went to work. My parents did not own a car, so public transit was how we got around Chicago. I got to ride all the different types of CTA buses, trolley coaches, and Elevated trains several times a week, including a Western Ave Green Hornet in 1956, and wooden open gate elevated cars on the Ravenswood L in 1957. I also rode the North Shore from Milwaukee to Wilson Ave in 1962. I attended McPherson School and Amundsen High School, class of 1969. My father and I would often eat at the Lincoln Restaurant on Lincoln Ave across from the North Center Theatre, or the Diner Grill on Irving Park. While they were doing some renovation work at the Diner Grill, I could see part of the exposed Evanston Railways Streetcar body the Diner was built around.
I lived in North Center from 1982 until 1989. The neighborhood sure has changed a lot since then.
Although the Lincoln Restaurant has closed, as has the Alps, at least the Diner Grill is still in business.
We have posted a few pictures of Evanston streetcars on our blog in the past few months.
3280 turning from nb State into wb Root. Old Bowman dairy bldg still there.
Car 3280 is turning West onto Root from State Street.
some years ago I contacted APTA about some information on the development of the PCC car and even visited their office in DC. they “claim” that all information is/was lost in a move some years previously. probably dumped into a dumpster and lost to history.
I wish him luck maybe someone has found something since then
[…] and Ashland carbarn instead might have been the 38th & Cottage barn. (See our previous post Recent Finds, December 2, […]