To show you just how bad Chicago’s postwar housing shortage was, some people purchased surplus streetcar bodies for use as temporary homes. The caption on this press photo reads, “OVER-AGE STREET CAR BECOMES FAMILY’S HOME. CHICAGO- Mrs. Edith Sands prepares dinner on the small stove in the over-age streetcar where she and her husband, Arthur, and their five-month-old son, Jimmy, have just moved. The trolley car, which has seen nearly 50 years of service on Chicago streets, was purchased by the Sands at a recent public sale and propped up on a 5-acre site near Chicago’s southern edge. The car is lighted by gasoline lamps.” (April 16, 1946)
In our post Lost and Found: Chicago Streetcar #1137 (June 5, 2015), we wrote about how one of these old streetcars, once used for housing, was recently discovered in Wisconsin. It has since been moved to a museum where it will hopefully be preserved.