Here, we see one-man CTA 3150(?) and its operator at the east end of route 21 on Cermak and Prairie Avenue in June 1951. Prairie Avenue was also the location of the local Kodak processing plant, which handled Kodachrome until the early 1980s.
“One good turn deserves another.” Or at least, that is how the saying goes.
We started this blog on January 21, 2015, so this post (our 173rd) is the last one for our full second year. When we started, we had no clue what the reaction would be. But, we had to believe that some good would come from sharing our transit photos and information with you.
Our experience from the past two years has shown this very much to be the case. As we have shared our information, others have come forward to share theirs with us. We have reached an audience, and our continued growth demonstrates that railfan interest is growing, not shrinking.
Now, we are being contacted by more and more researchers, who are using us as a resource for their own work.
Another word that comes to mind is “sustainability.” I don’t consider this a commercial site, since everything here is free for all to enjoy. But it does take both time and resources to keep providing you with a steady stream of high-quality images.
We are happy to put in the time, but resources are always limited. As a general rule, for each image you see here, it probably costs us $10 to bring that to you. That is the average cost of a print, negative, or slide, including the shipping. Some images cost more, some less.
When you have as many as 40 or 50 high-quality images in a single post, you can see how that can add up in a real hurry. Every little bit we can raise helps.
Often there is one and only one opportunity to purchase these images. Collections come to market, often when the original photographer or collector has unfortunately died, and their images are sold off one at a time and scattered to the four winds. If you see something unique, and pass on the opportunity to acquire it, you may never see it again.
Such are opportunities are fleeting.
So there has always been a gap between the images that we get to share with you, and the ones that we could if we only had the resources. Our goal is to make this gap as small as possible.
Luckily, some people have shared images with us, and we appreciate it. But as much as we may try, soliciting donations and offering items for sale in our Online Store, this blog still runs a substantial deficit.
Now, it may come to pass that this will always be so, but it is our goal to make The Trolley Dodger a “sustainable” enterprise, for now and the future. That will give us the best chance to keep it going.
We are encouraged by the response to our last post, where we asked for donations to help pay our domain registration and web site upkeep costs for the coming year. We received more than enough money for the costs that come due on February 3rd. So we will be here for another year, and thank everyone who so generously contributed.
We used the additional funds we received to pay for some of the images you see in today’s post.
Meanwhile, we are quickly coming up on the deadline to finish our new book Chicago Trolleys. This will be our own modest contribution to the slim shelf of books about Chicago’s once-great streetcar system.
Some fantastic images have come up for sale recently, which would make tremendous additions to the book. Once finished, chances are it won’t get revised or updated again for a long time.
We want this book, which will include about 215 classic back-and-white pictures, to be the best that it can be. With the help of your donations and purchases, we can make this dream a reality.
Chicago Trolleys is expected to be published later this year. We will keep you posted on our progress.
Meanwhile, here is another batch of classic images of Chicago streetcars. And, as always, we hope that this will be “one good turn” that “deserves another,” and not just “another fine mess.”
PS- Our next post, the first for our third year, will feature all three great Chicago interurbans. Watch this space.
It’s August 17, 1956, and southbound PCC 7192 is about to stop at a safety island at Clark and Armitage. (Joseph M. Canfield Photo)
On August 21, 1956, PCC 7215 turns from Broadway onto Devon, as a northbound route 36 car with the North Side “L” in the background. (Joseph M. Canfield Photo)
The “Broadway Downtown” sign on this car, and the appearance of the autos in the background, would probably indicate that this picture was taken circa 1956. The south portion of the route 36 Broadway-State Through Route was bussed on December 3, 1955, and the remaining half on February 16, 1957.
Prewar PCC 4012 on Cottage Grove in 1952. Jack Fuller adds, “The Green Hornet view along Route 4, Cottage Grove is actually at 99th Street. This is the only opening under the Illinois Central tracks between 95th Street and 103rd Street.” (C. R. Scholes Photo)
This birds-eye view of CTA 1744 was taken from the Pulaski Road “L” station on the Garfield Park branch in April 1950. However, what we are looking at may actually be a Madison-Fifth car at the west end of its route, ready to loop back via Pulaski and Harrison. Bill Shapotkin adds, “This image is looking E-N/E on Fifth Ave from the Garfield Pk ‘L’…no question about it. The intersection behind the streetcar is Harrison.”
CTA one-man car 1778 heads west on Lake in May 1954, shorty before route 16 was bussed. Kevin Doerksen adds, “I believe that One-man car 1778 is actually looking East on Lake at Ogden/Loomis. The building on the right hand side is right at the corner of Loomis and Lake. It’s also under threat of demolition, I believe.” Daniel Joseph: “I believe this photo is at Lake Street at Randolph at Justine. Ogden did not have car tracks north of Randolph but Randolph went northwest along Union Park with (car tracks) connecting with Lake.”
CTA one-man car 1760 on Cermak at the CB&Q (Burlington) tracks on March 21, 1954.
CTA 6141 at Navy Pier in June 1951. This was the location of the University of Illinois Chicago campus until it moved to its present home about 15 years later.
CTA 6177 at Cermak and Clark in March 1950 on route 21.
CTA 3178 on Cermak in April 1950. We sometimes get a late snow like this here in Chicago. The billboard advertises “squint-free, strain free” Hoffman TVs.
CTA 201 at the Lawndale Station (car barn) in May 1951. Later, this became the home for the CTA’s collection of historic streetcars, until they were dispersed to museums in the mid-1980s. Jeff Weiner notes, “Ah, the Lawndale barn. It was inactive when I surveyed Ogden, Pulaski, and Cermak for signal modernization in the early 2000’s, and has since been torn down. The City put in sidewalks, curb and gutter, and you’d never know that a carbarn had been there.”
CTA 4084 at 81st and Wallace on March 24, 1954 on route 22. By this time, Pullman PCCs were fast disappearing as they were scrapped for parts recycling into new rapid transit cars. There is a picture of another car at this location on page 233 of CERA Bulletin 146.
CTA 4063 at Cermak and Clark on April 11, 1954. There was a jog on route 22, where cars went between Clark and Wentworth.
CTA 7266 on Clark at around 15th on April 11, 1954, about ready to go under the St. Charles Air Line.
CTA 692 at the Museum Loop in May 1950. This extension of the Roosevelt Road line was built for the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair (A Century of Progress).
One-man car 1722 is on Washington at LaSalle in downtown Chicago, running route 58 (Ogden). George Foelschow: “Red car 1722 is westbound on Washington Street at LaSalle Street. The building on the left with arches and bay windows is genius starchitect Louis Sullivan’s Stock Exchange Building now, sadly, demolished. Photographer Richard Nickel was killed when documenting demolition and the floor above him collapsed. The stock trading room as well as the main entrance were saved and can be visited at the Art Institute.” Kevin Doerksen: “One-man car 1722 is on Washington. The Chicago Eye, Ear Nose and Throat Hospital, pictured in the background, was located at 258 W Washington (at Franklin).”
CTA 1758, at the east end of route 16, has just turned from Lake onto Dearborn circa 1953, while a train of 6000s roars overhead.
Circa 1952, a CTA red Pullman passes a Pullman PCC on temporary trackage at Halsted and Congress, during expressway construction.
CTA 225 is on Roosevelt near State in Apri1 1951. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.
CTA 1760 at Cermak and Kenton, west end of route 21, on March 21, 1954. This was the city limits. When the nearby Douglas Park “L” was cut back to 54th Avenue in 1952, CTA began running an “interurban” bus west of here. Bus route 21 now goes all the way to the North Riverside Mall, just west of Harlem Avenue.
CTA 3153 is turning from Pine onto Lake Street in January 1952, crossing ground-level tracks of the Lake Street “L”. These were elevated onto the nearby embankment in 1962.
CTA 4317 on State Street near the Loop in March 1952.
This is not a very sharp photograph, but CTA 4242, shown here in November 1950, may be on Halsted, having just crossed the Chicago River.
CTA 4392 is at the south end of route 36 on March 21, 1954, somewhere in the vicinity of 120th and Morgan. CTA had plans to build a new off-street loop for these cars at 115th and Michigan, which would have eliminated this portion of the route, but such was never built before streetcar service ended.
CTA 4067 at 120th and Halsted on March 21, 1954, near the south end of route 36.
This was a tough one to figure out, but my best guess is we are on Halsted looking north just south of 119th. The route 36 PCC 7264 is turning east onto 119th on March 21, 1954, making a jog from 120th. Under the gas sign, you can just barely see a small part of the gateman’s tower at this location. Route 8 Halsted PCCs ony ran as far south as 79th.
The same location today.
This is the view on 119th looking east at Hasted. This is shown in the top picture on page 292 of CERA Bulletin 146. The building at left is the same as in that earlier picture.
This enlargement from the 1952 CTA supervisor’s track map shows how route 36 streetcars turned around at 120th and Morgan and where they crossed various railroad tracks. The track at an angle was the old PRR “Panhandle” route that went between Chicago and Logansport, Indiana. It was abandoned in the Conrail days.
In the aftermath of the catastrophic collision between PCC 7078 and a gasoline truck on May 25, 1950, in which 33 people tragically lost their lives, we see one of the fortunate survivors, 14-year-old Beverly Clark. She was thrown to the floor by the collision, but managed to escape with relatively minor injuries. News reports indicated that 44 riders survived.
CSL 185 on the Roosevelt Road extension in 1946. (Walter Hulseweder Photo)
San Francisco cable car 524, shown here at the Chicago Railroad Fair in 1949, operated over a short section of track where the cable pulled it up an incline over a short distance. This made it the last cable car to operate in Chicago. 524 is back in San Francisco, and still operates there as far as I know.
CTA Pullman 122, signed for route 53 Pulaski, on September 2, 1949.
CTA salt car AA96 in the early 1950s. Formerly CSL 2844, this car had a scrap date of December 27, 1955.
Here is an oddity. In this picture, CSL work car 106 has been decorated for Anti-Litter Week as part of a parade.
CSL Pullman 127 passes the old North Western Station on Madison on August 18, 1941, while a man in a straw hat wonders why anyone would want to take a picture of a streetcar.
This July 1948 picture of CSL 161 shows it in the weeds at that portion of the Cermak line extended to the lakefront for the Chicago World’s Fair.
This picture is a bit of a mystery. Although CSL 1899 says it is destined for 63rd and State, that is not this location, since we see the “L” in the background. Sandy Terman: “The photo of flexible 1899 I believe was taken in the lower yard north of west shops just north of Lake street.The trains above I think were actually Lake Street. the 1899 may have been pulled out of service from the State-Lake route according to the destination sign.” That’s a pretty good theory, and backing it up, you can see trolley poles on some of the “L” cars in the picture. If Mr. Terman is right, those cars are being stored on a third track on the Lake line, which did not have a “proper” yard at the end of the line until after the 1962 elevation.
CTA 3226 at 71st and California in 1950.
CTA work car W-204, described as a “two-cab flat,” in May 1950.
CSL one-man car 3281 is at Division and Austin, west end of that line. Before there were off-street turnback loops, double-ended streetcars typically stopped right in the middle of the street before going back the other way. Across Austin, that’s suburban Oak Park.
CSL 1964 is at Chicago and Austin, west end of line, at the city limits.
CTA 3200 heads east on the Roosevelt road extension over the IC tracks, which ran to the Field Museum and Soldier Field. By this time, streetcar service on Roosevelt had been reduced to a shuttle operation between Wabash and the Museum Loop. This picture was taken in May 1952, and the shuttle was discontinued the following year.
CSL 4024 at the Madison-Austin loop on October 14, 1946. Note the modified trolley shroud on this car.
CTA 7251 at State and Washington in August 1948. That’s one of the iconic Marshall Field’s clocks at left.
Clybourn (left) and Halsted (right) in 1938. There are no streetcars present, but plenty of tracks. In the background, we see part of the Northside “L”, generally called the “triple curve.” The State Street subway had not yet been built when this picture was taken, but a station at North and Clybourn would eventually replace the one here on the “L”. This section of line is still used today by Brown and Purple Line trains, and has not been straightened out.
CTA Pullman 996 at the 69th and Ashland Station (car barn).
CTA 3196 at Wabash and Roosevelt in March 1953.
CTA PCC 4100, built by Pullman, is turning from Kinzie onto Clark in November 1953, with Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear.
CSL 5408 is on Roosevelt at Ashland on January 15, 1937. Daniel Joseph: “I believe this photo is at Roosevelt at Ashland with Immanuel Lutheran Church in the background.”
CTA 7217 at 77th and Vincennes in February 1953. We have run this picture before (in More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Five, October 28, 2015), but now we own the original negative. One of our readers thinks that CTA 7217 is likely eastbound on 78th pulling off of Vincennes Avenue. They continue, “Since the sun is obviously in the east, this appears to be a route 22 pull-in after the AM rush.” The date given for that other version of the picture was December 1953, and it was credited to Harold A. Smith.
You would be forgiven for thinking that this photo of CSL Brill car 5986 was taken on State. In actuality, this is Lake and Austin, with the old Park Theater in the background. This was the west end of the line, at the city limits. This car was on the Lake-State through route 16. The through route was discontinued in 1946, and streetcar service on Lake in 1954. This picture dates to the 1930s.
Riders wait to board the rear of CSL 3156 at Lake and Austin in the late 1930s. This car was on Through Route 16 (State-Lake). That is the Park Theater behind the car. It closed sometime around 1952.
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