Reader Showcase

CTA 1758 at Randolph and Clark in the 1950s, with the Woods Theater in the background. It closed in 1989. "The Beauty and the Outlaw," playing at the Woods, is more typically known as Ride, Vaquero!. This western starred Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner and was released on July 15, 1953, which helps date the photo.

CTA 1758 at Randolph and Clark in the 1950s, with the Woods Theater in the background. It closed in 1989. “The Beauty and the Outlaw,” playing at the Woods, is more typically known as Ride, Vaquero!. This western starred Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner and was released on July 15, 1953, which helps date the photo.

As we work hard to finish our new book Chicago Trolleys, we thought we would take this opportunity to share some interesting images that our readers recently shared with us. Most of these are from a single individual who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Many of these are slides that were sold by the late Jack Bailey, under the name Ashland Car Works. Mr. Bailey also sold models using the ACW brand name.

The collector who shared these purchased most of the black-and-white prints from Downtown Hobby, which is now called Chicagoland Hobby.

That doesn’t tell you who took the pictures, in most cases, but that is where they came from.

We thank everyone for their contributions.

-David Sadowski

CTA PCCs 7070 and 7168 at Clark and Howard, the north end of route 22 - Clark-Wentworth, in the 1950s. (Ashland Car Works)

CTA PCCs 7070 and 7168 at Clark and Howard, the north end of route 22 – Clark-Wentworth, in the 1950s. (Ashland Car Works)

A CTA Sedan at 115th adn St. Lawrence, near the south end of the Cottage Grove line.

A CTA Sedan at 115th adn St. Lawrence, near the south end of the Cottage Grove line.

CTA PCC 4019 heads east on 63rd Place private right-of-way in 1949. This is a completely built up residential area today.

CTA PCC 4019 heads east on 63rd Place private right-of-way in 1949. This is a completely built up residential area today.

Patrick wirites,"CTA 1733 is actually on 25th Street east of Laramie. Ogden is a diagonal street and the street is too narrow for Cermak. The bank building seen over the top of 1733 is still there." This would be the west end of route 58 - Ogden.

Patrick wirites,”CTA 1733 is actually on 25th Street east of Laramie. Ogden is a diagonal street and the street is too narrow for Cermak. The bank building seen over the top of 1733 is still there.” This would be the west end of route 58 – Ogden.

Andre Kristopans: "Re 723 at 'Pulaski and North' – no way. However, look carefully at the front truck of 723. It is not following the curve to its right, but is turning left. Seems like we are looking east on Harrison at Halsted and that is a Blue Island car about to go down Blue Island Av. That was a very awkward intersection before Circle Campus street realignments."

Andre Kristopans: “Re 723 at ‘Pulaski and North’ – no way. However, look carefully at the front truck of 723. It is not following the curve to its right, but is turning left. Seems like we are looking east on Harrison at Halsted and that is a Blue Island car about to go down Blue Island Av. That was a very awkward intersection before Circle Campus street realignments.”

CTA 7260 at 119th and Morgan. One of our regular readers writes, "I seem to recall that this photo was taken by Bill Janssen on December 4, 1955, the last day (early morning) that route 36 Broadway-State still existed. It is a Broadway-State car laying over, waiting to head north to Clark and Schreiber. It is not Broadway and Ardmore." We were only going by what was written on the slide, which appears to be in error, thanks. This picture appears to be a time exposure (see the light streaking at right). My guess is that the photographer had his camera on a tripod, and used an exposure time of a few seconds for each picture.

CTA 7260 at 119th and Morgan. One of our regular readers writes, “I seem to recall that this photo was taken by Bill Janssen on December 4, 1955, the last day (early morning) that route 36 Broadway-State still existed. It is a Broadway-State car laying over, waiting to head north to Clark and Schreiber. It is not Broadway and Ardmore.” We were only going by what was written on the slide, which appears to be in error, thanks. This picture appears to be a time exposure (see the light streaking at right). My guess is that the photographer had his camera on a tripod, and used an exposure time of a few seconds for each picture.

CTA 4408 is southbound on Clark at Lake Street.

CTA 4408 is southbound on Clark at Lake Street.

CTA 653 is northbound on Dearborn.

CTA 653 is northbound on Dearborn.

CTA 144 on a fantrip at Broadway and Ardmore, with a PCC behind.

CTA 144 on a fantrip at Broadway and Ardmore, with a PCC behind.

The view looking north from State and Van Buren in the 1950s.

The view looking north from State and Van Buren in the 1950s.

CTA 7193 heads south on State Street in the 1950s.

CTA 7193 heads south on State Street in the 1950s.

CTA 7192 northbound on Dearborn, after both Clark and Dearborn were converted to one-way streets.

CTA 7192 northbound on Dearborn, after both Clark and Dearborn were converted to one-way streets.

CTA 7175 is westbound and Polk and Dearborn.

CTA 7175 is westbound and Polk and Dearborn.

CTA 7210, southbound at Clark and Van Buren.

CTA 7210, southbound at Clark and Van Buren.

CMC GM bus 624 on route 34 - Diversey in the early 1950s. The fare at this time was 13 cents.

CMC GM bus 624 on route 34 – Diversey in the early 1950s. The fare at this time was 13 cents.

Chicago Motor Coach bus 1281, newly painted, at Wilcox garage on May 11, 1946. The CMC assets were purchased by the Chicago Transit Authority on October 1, 1952. Route 26 - Jackson became CTA route 126.

Chicago Motor Coach bus 1281, newly painted, at Wilcox garage on May 11, 1946. The CMC assets were purchased by the Chicago Transit Authority on October 1, 1952. Route 26 – Jackson became CTA route 126.

CMC double-decker 146 in July 1936.

CMC double-decker 146 in July 1936.

CMC double-decker 146 in the 1930s.

CMC double-decker 146 in the 1930s.

CMC 61.

CMC 61.

CMC Mack bus 1005, eastbound on Addison near Wrigley Field. Andre Kristopans: "Cmc Mack was built in 1951."

CMC Mack bus 1005, eastbound on Addison near Wrigley Field. Andre Kristopans: “Cmc Mack was built in 1951.”

In this tricked-up photo, we see a GM demo bus, the design of which eventually became the 500 series, at an unidentified location (not Chicago) circa 1950. George Trapp adds, "The bus is the GM Model TDH5502 Demo which became Chicago Motor Coach #500 in 1951. This bus may have been the first paired window version of the Yellow/GM so called "Old Look" buses. It differed somewhat from the production buses #501-600 delivered from Oct. - Dec. 1948. The demo lacks the "Michigan marker lights" front and rear and has two rectangular shaped vents between the headlights which the 501-600 lacked. The CMC TDH5103's 601-650 of 1950 and 651-700 of late 1951 as well as Fifth Avenue Coach TDH-5104's of 1952 also lacked them." Dan Cluely adds, "I believe that the demo bus picture is downtown Pontiac MI. The S.S. Kresge store seem to match, and this would only be a short distance from GM’s bus plant."

In this tricked-up photo, we see a GM demo bus, the design of which eventually became the 500 series, at an unidentified location (not Chicago) circa 1950. George Trapp adds, “The bus is the GM Model TDH5502 Demo which became Chicago Motor Coach #500 in 1951. This bus may have been the first paired window version of the Yellow/GM so called “Old Look” buses. It differed somewhat from the production buses #501-600 delivered from Oct. – Dec. 1948. The demo lacks the “Michigan marker lights” front and rear and has two rectangular shaped vents between the headlights which the 501-600 lacked. The CMC TDH5103’s 601-650 of 1950 and 651-700 of late 1951 as well as Fifth Avenue Coach TDH-5104’s of 1952 also lacked them.” Dan Cluely adds, “I believe that the demo bus picture is downtown Pontiac MI. The S.S. Kresge store seem to match, and this would only be a short distance from GM’s bus plant.”

Fifth Avenue Coach Company (NYC) double-decker 2030.

Fifth Avenue Coach Company (NYC) double-decker 2030.

CSL gas bus #1 in the 1930s.

CSL gas bus #1 in the 1930s.

A CTA Lawrence Avenue trolley bus turning from Leland onto Broadway in the 1950s. This is how Lawrence TBs looped at the east end of the route. Notice the trolley bu wires were not shared with Broadway streetcars. (Gary Johnson Photo)

A CTA Lawrence Avenue trolley bus turning from Leland onto Broadway in the 1950s. This is how Lawrence TBs looped at the east end of the route. Notice the trolley bu wires were not shared with Broadway streetcars. (Gary Johnson Photo)

The famous Norfolk and Western Class J steam engine 611. Retired in 1959, and resurrected 21 years later, the 611 has three excursions planned for this April.

The famous Norfolk and Western Class J steam engine 611. Retired in 1959, and resurrected 21 years later, the 611 has three excursions planned for this April.

Illinois Terminal double-end PCC on the St. Louis-Granite City route.

Illinois Terminal double-end PCC on the St. Louis-Granite City route.

CTA's historical cars 4271-4272, now 95 years young.

CTA’s historical cars 4271-4272, now 95 years young.

1898 - General Electric and the forerunner to the Chicago Transit Authority make history with the world's first electric multiple-unit cars. That must be inventor Frank Julian Sprague at the front of the car.

1898 – General Electric and the forerunner to the Chicago Transit Authority make history with the world’s first electric multiple-unit cars. That must be inventor Frank Julian Sprague at the front of the car.

In 1972, CTA 4358 emerged as rail grinder S-I "Shhhicago." Don's Rail Photos: "4358 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1924, (order) #2860."

In 1972, CTA 4358 emerged as rail grinder S-I “Shhhicago.” Don’s Rail Photos: “4358 was built by Cincinnati Car in 1924, (order) #2860.”

A CTA wooden "L" car, signed as a Lake Street "B" train.

A CTA wooden “L” car, signed as a Lake Street “B” train.

The Lake Street Elevated Railroad in the 1890s, when it was steam-powered.

The Lake Street Elevated Railroad in the 1890s, when it was steam-powered.

A train of CTA 2000s on the Lake Street "L".

A train of CTA 2000s on the Lake Street “L”.

CTA GMC New Look bus 1305, on State near the Chicago Theater.

CTA GMC New Look bus 1305, on State near the Chicago Theater.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue. Note Kroch's bookstore, which later became Kroch's and Brentano's.

Chicago Motor Coach double-decker buses on Michigan Avenue. Note Kroch’s bookstore, which later became Kroch’s and Brentano’s.

Although the Chicago Surface Lines built some replica vehicles in the 1930s, North Chicago Street Railroad car 8 is not among them. An original built in 1859, we see it here in demonstration service during the 1948-49 Chicago Railroad Fair on the lakefront. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Although the Chicago Surface Lines built some replica vehicles in the 1930s, North Chicago Street Railroad car 8 is not among them. An original built in 1859, we see it here in demonstration service during the 1948-49 Chicago Railroad Fair on the lakefront. This car is now preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Chicago Motor Coach Ford bus 434, circa 1946.

Chicago Motor Coach Ford bus 434, circa 1946.

An artist's rendering of a CTA New Look bus.

An artist’s rendering of a CTA New Look bus.

This is the upper deck of CMC double-decker bus 146.

This is the upper deck of CMC double-decker bus 146.

A CSL streetcar at Western and Devon in the 1930s, near the old Nortown Theater. That appears to be a Chrysler Airflow in front of the streetcar.

A CSL streetcar at Western and Devon in the 1930s, near the old Nortown Theater. That appears to be a Chrysler Airflow in front of the streetcar.

CTA 7155 signed for route 49 - Western.

CTA 7155 signed for route 49 – Western.

CTA 4160 on Madison near the Garfield Park field house. George Trapp notes, "CSL PCC #4160 on Madison, while photographed on Madison in Garfield Park, this is a publicity photo. The side sign reads Clark-Wentworth and was probably taken in the summer of 1947 before cars in this series, although not necessarily this one, went to Madison."

CTA 4160 on Madison near the Garfield Park field house. George Trapp notes, “CSL PCC #4160 on Madison, while photographed on Madison in Garfield Park, this is a publicity photo. The side sign reads Clark-Wentworth and was probably taken in the summer of 1947 before cars in this series, although not necessarily this one, went to Madison.”

CTA 225 in the 1950s, probably at 77th and Vincennes prior to a fantrip. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

CTA 225 in the 1950s, probably at 77th and Vincennes prior to a fantrip. This car is now preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine.

CSL 297 on Belmont.

CSL 297 on Belmont.

It's hard to make out the number, but this shows a CSL one-man car at Armitage and Hudson in the 1940s. That is not far from Lincoln Avenue.

It’s hard to make out the number, but this shows a CSL one-man car at Armitage and Hudson in the 1940s. That is not far from Lincoln Avenue.

Recent Correspondence

1917-uniform

Neil Pantelis writes:

Thank you for such a great page and for sharing an incredible amount of information.

Can you tell me by looking at this photo if the subject is wearing the uniform of a conductor, driver, motorman etc?  He is in a group photo from my grandparents engagement party.

The photo is from the Douglas Park area of Chicago in the year 1917. It is very likely near the intersection of California and Ogden.

Anyone working for the Chicago Surface Lines in 1917 would most likely have had a CSL badge, with a number, on their hat. The resolution on this picture is such that it’s difficult to tell whether or not there is such a badge.

Perhaps our readers can weigh in on this. This appears to be but a portion of a larger photo. If I could see the rest, perhaps we can try to put this into the proper context.

Glad you like the blog.

A Chicago City Railway Co. hat badge.

A Chicago City Railway Co. hat badge.

Spence Ziegler writes:

I tried to access this website recently and I noticed that it’s gone; do you know anything about this?  Any information or thoughts on this would greatly be appreciated. It’s address was CAERR.com.

Thank you in advance.

Looks like someone didn’t pay for the domain renewal.  Julie Johnson died in 2011, and presumably left some money to pay for this, and now the registration has run out. Not sure who else was involved with this web site.

I did a “Whois” search and it looks like someone updated the site several months ago, so someone else must be involved:

Expires On 2017-02-14
Registered On 2000-02-14
Updated On 2016-06-22

Jack Bejna writes:

I enjoy the Trolley Dodger immensely, especially anything CA&E! I grew up in Broadview and walked to Proviso High School every day along the CA&E right of way from 9th avenue to 5th Avenue. This month’s CA&E images are some that I haven’t seen before and are great, especially since they’re medium format images. I have a request… I would like to see a good image of the old dispatcher’s office (before it was repainted and the upper windows covered over. I’m sure someone took pictures of the office but I’ve never seen one.

Thanks for all you do; it sure makes my day!

PS- Here are some CA&E shots that I have Photoshopped. All of them except CA&E 26 are from the JJ (Julie Johnson) collection.

What you call “Photoshopping” is nothing new, when you consider that retouching and airbrushing has been around for a long time.  There is nothing wrong with creating idealized versions of photographs that eliminate unnecessary parts of the background that are distracting, as long as everyone realizes what they are.

If anyone is familiar with promotional materials from General Motors, St. Louis Car Company, Chicago Surface Lines, etc., you will see all sorts of retouched and airbrushed images. Photoshop is just a different way of achieving the same result.

My own approach to photo restoration is to eliminate imperfections to make the image look more realistic. It’s a big world, and there is plenty of room for both approaches, as long as there is “truth in packaging,” so people will know the difference.

Thanks for sharing these with our readers.  Another good reason for posting these is that Julie Johnson’s web site has, for the moment, disappeared.

-David Sadowski

CA&E 46: This builders photo of CA&E 46 was too good not to improve; looks a lot better.

CA&E 46: This builders photo of CA&E 46 was too good not to improve; looks a lot better.

CA&E 28: A really poor print that I worked on to improve; not a bad shot.

CA&E 28: A really poor print that I worked on to improve; not a bad shot.

CA&E 26: The nice original was marred by the fence in front of it so I removed it and it looks much better.

CA&E 26: The nice original was marred by the fence in front of it so I removed it and it looks much better.

CA&E 24: A washed out shot that deserved to be worked on a bit.

CA&E 24: A washed out shot that deserved to be worked on a bit.

CA&E 14: Pretty much the same as CA&E 12.

CA&E 14: Pretty much the same as CA&E 12.

CA&E 12: The original was coupled to another car and looked a little crowded, so I got rid of the car and cleaned up the image as well.

CA&E 12: The original was coupled to another car and looked a little crowded, so I got rid of the car and cleaned up the image as well.

In my search for CA&E car Photos, sometimes you just can"t find what you want. Recently, I was looking at an image from the WCJ collection - ETRM, specifically car 46, a 1902 Stephenson Motor. I had been searching for a good image of car 101, a 1902 Stephenson trailer. Hmmm, the wheels started turning and here you see the result. I'm sure a purist would be able to pick apart some details, etc., but it sure looks like CA&E trailer 101 to me! (Editor's note: I assume WCJ stands for early railfan William C. Janssen.)

In my search for CA&E car Photos, sometimes you just can”t find what you want. Recently, I was looking at an image from the WCJ collection – ETRM, specifically car 46, a 1902 Stephenson Motor. I had been searching for a good image of car 101, a 1902 Stephenson trailer. Hmmm, the wheels started turning and here you see the result. I’m sure a purist would be able to pick apart some details, etc., but it sure looks like CA&E trailer 101 to me!
(Editor’s note: I assume WCJ stands for early railfan William C. Janssen.)

cae-dining-car-carolyn-niles-1905

cae-car-309-3-hicks-1908-end

cae-car-101-trailer-stephenson-1902

street-railwayreview1895-002

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23 thoughts on “Reader Showcase

  1. Something unusual about the photo of Pulaski and North. The photo looks like it was taken during the late thirties or early forties. During that time there was the Pioneer bank on the northwest corner. Also North Ave barn supplied Pulaski as well as Lawndale. Do not see pull-out tracks east to south or pull-in tracks North to west. Although Lawndale did have pressed steel cars, I do not believe this photo is North and Pulaski. Maybe somebody does know what location this is

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  2. Re 723 at “Pulaski and North” – no way. However, look carefully at the front truck of 723. It is not following the curve to its right, but is turning left. Seems like we are looking east on Harrison at Halsted and that is a Blue Island car about to go down Blue Island Av. That was a very awkward intersection before Circle Campus street realignments.

    Like

    • If there is no way to log in, and I have a feeling there isn’t, the site would still be inaccessible, even on archive.org. There are two things at issue here. One is the domain registration, the other is web site hosting. The site may still be hosted, but now that the domain registration has expired, people can’t find it. The links on archive.org won’t work, and the only way to access the site, if it is still hosted would be to know the IP address that the domain used to point to. All the links on the archived site are currently “dead.” I hope that whoever has been handling http://www.caerr.com will straighten this out soon.

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  3. I believe that the demo bus picture is downtown Pontiac MI. The S.S. Kresge store seem to match, and this would only be a short distance from GM’s bus plant.

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  4. I have enjoyed your site. I have your disk of Chicago Streetcar track maps. Where can I find maps of the Barn’s/Shops. I would like to see the set up of the shops and barns.

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    • Thanks… at some time prior to the formation of the Chicago Surface Lines in 1914, a series of books were published that detail the assets of the various underlying companies. As far as I am aware, this may be the only publication where you can find such maps.

      It’s possible that over the years, First & Fastest may have done features on various car barns. I don’t have an extensive collection of these magazines, so cannot comment further.

      I hope that in the future, such information will appear in book form.

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  5. 653dearbornnb003.jpg is on the 42 Halsted-Downtown route.
    staterandolph72.jpg – yes, late September 1972. “The New Centurions” and “A Group Marriage” (Loop Theater)
    belmonthalsted40s.jpg Was thwarted by not being able to identify the location until; car is on wrong track. Must predate Halsted loop; be east of Halsted.
    dave631.jpg The flat-door 6000 train is signed for Ravenswood. This must be a very short-lived period for CTA; to assign a steel train to an “L” route which did not go through a subway. Also note that the conductor’s position is still between the cars. Considering we do not see a person between these two cars, this is probably a four or six car train heading westbound on Lake.

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  6. The route 22 turn back loop at Clark and Howard streets, I noted the overhead continues north towards Howard. Did the track originally connect with trackage in Evanston and/or was there a turn back crossover for stub-ending double ended cars in earlier years?

    According to Lind track-maps there is both a trailing and leading crossover in addition to the loop.

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    • Yes, from 1906 to 1910, Chicago streetcars provided service into Evanston via an extension of existing service on the Broadway route. This was discussed in our recent post The Great Chicago Interurbans – Part Two (CNS&M), with some quotes from Lind’s CSL book. Here are the relevant passages:

      In 1906 this North Side trunk route ran from Clark and Howard at the city limits to a loop in downtown Chicago via Cark, Devon, Broadway, Clark, Randolph, LaSalle, Monroe, Dearborn, and Randolph. At this time streetcars to north suburban Evanston also ran on the Broadway route from the old Limits carbarn at Drummond and Clark to Central and Bennett in Evanston. The route was the same as the Broadway cars to Howard, then via Chicago, Dempster, Sherman, and Central to Bennett.

      On July 24, 1907 the Evanston line was extended west from Bennett to Lincolnwood Dr. On the same day a single track extension line known as the North Shore & Western Railway began service via Lincolnwood and Harrison to the Glenview Golf Club west of the Chicago River.

      The local Broadway cars and the Evanston service to Lincolnwood Dr. were operated by the Chicago Union Traction Company, a Yerkes property. The track north of Irving Park was owned by the Chicago Consolidated Traction Company. (The North Shore & Western was owned by some men with a stake in the golf club.) On February 25, 1908 CUT was reorganized as Chicago Railways Company. On December 27, 1910 Chicago Railways sold its suburban lines to the County Traction Company. At midnight on that date the track connection between the Broadway line, still under CRYs, and the Evanston line was cut at Clark and Howard. Through passengers had to walk across a 30-foot gap in the track from the Evanston cars, now in local Evanston service only under County Traction, to the Broadway cars, still under Chicago Railways.

      Because of a franchise requirement of one of the underlying companies,, free transfers from Evanston to Broadway cars were issued starting December 31, 1910. County Traction was split into two companies on August 5, 1913: Evanston Traction and Chicago & West Towns Railway Co. Evanston Traction became (the Evanston Railways Company and in 1936) Evanston Bus Company.

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  7. I enjoyed seeing this post and the reference to my father, Jack Bailey, owner of Ashland Car Works. My father was a professional photographer and rail was his hobby and passion. It’s wonderful to see these photos and remember happy times “chasing trains” and trolleys with my dad. I learned at an early age how to navigate train tracks and railroad yards safely and am still compelled to make note of every train and trolley I see.

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