An early (turn of the century) view of passengers boarding an Illinois Central Suburban train before the line was converted from steam to electric in 1926. I am not certain of the location, but it may be in Hyde Park.
Today, we are ringing in 2023 with a bevy of classic traction images from many far-flung places for your enjoyment.
Later this month, the Trolley Dodger blog will begin its ninth year. This year, we expect to make our 300th post, and will reach one million page views. When we began this journey, these things hardly seemed possible, but here we are, in large part thanks to you, our readers.
January is traditionally the month when we ask our readers for donations to keep this site going. If you enjoy what you see here, we hope you will consider making a contribution via the link at the end of this post. The expenses we incur, in order to bring you the finest and most interesting traction pictures, are considerable and ongoing. Our research costs a lot, but you see the results here and in our four Arcadia Publishing books, which we hope make a modest contribution to society. If you have contributed to our efforts, we are most appreciative, and if you have not, we hope you will consider it.
We are pleased to report that our latest book The North Shore Line is now 100% complete and has gone to press. The publication date is February 20, 2023, and we are now taking pre-orders. You will find more information about that at the end of this post (and our Online Store). To date, we have received orders for 102 copies.
Our friend Kenneth Gear now has a Facebook group for the Railroad Record Club. If you enjoy listening to audio recordings of classic railroad trains, whether steam, electric, or diesel, you might consider joining.
FYI, the Hoosier Traction Facebook Group celebrates electric transit in Indiana and the Midwest. It also supports the activities of the annual Hoosier Traction Meet in Dayton, OH (although not affiliated with the North American Transit Historical Society, which organizes that event).
Indiana Railroad lightweight high-speed car 71 is at the Indianapolis Terminal on August 11, 1940.
Indiana Railroad high-speed car 58 (described as a “parlor car”) is at the Indianapolis Terminal yards on August 11, 1940.
Philadelphia streetcar 8026 is at Church Road in Glenside, PA on February 22, 1941, operating on Route 6.
CTA/CSL 7001 and 4001 at South Shops, circa 1958. This was scanned from a red border Kodachrome slide, and by early 1958, those mounts were replaced by more modern ones. In the last days of Chicago streetcars, there were some PCCs in dead storage due to accidents or mechanical issues. The red car at right is a trailer in the 8000-series. The body of 4001 is now at the Illinois Railway Museum, but 7001 was scrapped in 1959.
North shore Line 721 is at the back end of a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip that is making a photo stop at the Zion station.
North Shore Line freight loco 451. Don’s Rail Photos notes, “451 was built in 1907 by Alco, #44387, and General Electric, #2697. It was retired in February 1948 and sold for scrap in March 1949.”
Ravinia Park was built by the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric, predecessor of the North Shore Line. Here is a view of the original music pavilion.
There was once an A branch on the MBTA Green Line in Boston– the Watertown line, which shared some trackage with the B branch to Boston College. PCC streetcars were replaced by buses on June 20, 1969, and this photo by Robert A. Newbegin was taken that same month. Various reasons have been cited for the change, including an equipment shortage. But this view in the Newton Corner neighborhood shows another issue– the inbound PCC, shown crossing over a highway, is going against the flow of one way traffic. Still, this trackage remained in place until 1994, for non-revenue streetcar access to Watertown Yard.
Kansas City Public Service PCC 535 on the Dodson line. The type of slide mount for this red border Kodachrome dates it to circa 1955-57. Car 535 was built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1947, and Kansas City abandoned streetcars in 1957. They have since opened modern streetcar lines.
Illinois Terminal car 415 at the Illinois Electric Railway Museum in North Chicago on February 21, 1960.
The view looking west along Van Bure Street under the Loop “L” on July 24, 1957. The “L” went further west from here until 1955, when a new connection was built through the old Wells Street Terminal a short distance north of here. The Insurance Exchange building is at right.
Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (aka Red Arrow) car 63 has turned north at Llanerch Junction on May 30, 1964. It was most likely operating on the Ardmore line, which was converted to bus on December 30, 1966. Kenneth Achtert adds, “PSTC #63 is indeed on the Ardmore Division (having just turned off of West Chester Pike) probably on a fantrip, as May 30, 1964, was a Saturday (and Memorial Day weekend).”
SEPTA (Red Arrow) double-ended car 19 at the 69th Street Terminal storage yard on August 9, 1971. It was built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1949, and although it looks like a PCC car, it is not considered one, as it has standard motor components.
A North Shore Line Electroliner heads southbound at North Chicago Junction on January 12, 1963, just over a week prior to abandonment.
Chicago Aurora and Elgin freight loco 2002 at Wheaton on August 6, 1939. Scanned from the original negative. (LaMar M. Kelley Photo)
Chicago Aurora and Elgin car 130 (ex-North shore Line) on April 13, 1943. (Malcolm D. McCarter Photo)
Chicago Aurora and Elgin 600 (ex-Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis) and line car 5, on a Central Electric Railfans’ Association fantrip.
This time card for the Batavia branch of the Aurora, Eglin and Chicago (predecessor of the CA&E) dates to 1905, when the interurban began running trains to downtown Chicago over the Metropolitan West side “L”.
Chicago Aurora and Elgin steel cars 412 and 416 are at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park on July 23, 1955. After CA&E cut back service to here in 1953, riders could make a cross-platform change to ride the CTA Garfield Park “L” downtown, after paying another fare.
Chicago Aurora and Elgin 416 at the DesPlaines Avenue Terminal in Forest Park on July 23, 1955. This is the view from the opposite direction as the last photo. There were two sets of platforms. The CA&E dropped off passengers at one platform, then traveled a short distance to pick others up at the other platform. CTA trains looped via a wooden trestle that went over the CA&E just west of here. This arrangement continued until the CA&E abruptly abandoned passenger service in the middle of the day on July 3, 1957. The CTA reconfigured the terminal and yard area in 1959, in conjunction with construction of the nearby expressway.
Lehigh Valley Transit
During the first half of the 20th century, Lehigh Valley Transit operated an interurban line known as teh Liberty Bell route between Allentown, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. 42 miles of the route were on LVT trackage, with the remaining 13 miles going into Philadelphia via shared trackage on the Philadelphia and Western.
The line ran through a lot of farmland and open areas, with numerous stops in small towns along the way. Several of the station buildings still exist.
The Liberty Bell line is considered one of the classic American interurbans, and had somewhat of a Midwestern character despite being located in Pennsylvania. Like many other interurbans, it fell into a decline due to the Great Depression and the rise of the automobile, but rather than pack it in, LVT decided to modernize in 1938. Several lightweight high speed cars were purchased second hand and helped keep the line going for more than a dozen additional years.
Traffic was good during World War II, but went into an irreversible decline after the war. With new highways siphoning off traffic, the interurban had no future and was abandoned in 1951. Even the replacement bus service did not last.
Here are some classic views of LVT interurbans and city streetcars. Nearly all were scanned from original negatives or slides.
A Lehigh Valley Transit lightweight high-speed car is southbound on the Philadelphia and Western, crossing over Matson Ford Road, approaching Conshohocken Road station in January 1947. (David H. Cope Photo)
A Liberty Bell Limited train leaving Allentown, PA. The interurban ran to Philadelphia until 1949, partially via the Philadelphia and Western. For the last two years, service was cut back to Norristown until the 1951 abandonment.
Some Lehigh Valley Transit freight motors are at the Philadelphia and Western’s Norristown Terminal on a foggy day. The P&W connected with the Liberty Bell interurban route that continued to Allentown until 1951.
LVT 1023 (at left) has just passed another car on the streets of Norristown. The Pennsylvania license plate on the auto would indicate we are in an odd-numbered year (1947, 1949, or 1951). Kenneth Achtert: “#1023 is on Marshall siding with the Reading Railroad Elm Street yard to the right.”
LVT 1030 at the Allentown depot.
LVT 1023 at the Allentown depot.
Lehigh Valley Transit’s Liberty Bell interurban was abandoned in September 1951, but the company still had various streetcar lines in the Allentown and Bethlehem area that continued. Here, we see LVT 357, operating on a stretch of Gillmore Street line private right of way known as the “Race Track.” This picture was taken on October 26, 1952, the last day of streetcar service on the South Bethlehem Division (and there is a notice of the service change on the telephone pole at right). The last LVT streetcar ran in 1953.
LVT 963 passes a Liberty Bell car at the Allentown depot, while passengers board for the trip to Philadelphia.
An LVT Liberty Bell car is on a passing siding in Norristown, adjacent to a Reading Railroad yard for its electrified commuter rail service to Philadelphia. While the Liberty Bell line is long gone, commuter rail service to Norristown continues under SEPTA. Kenneth Achtert adds, “on Marshall siding NB with (Reading Railroad) Elm Street yard to the right.”
LVT city streetcar 908, signed for Fullerton. Don’s Rail Photos: “908 was built by Brill Car Co in February 1917, #20206. It was rebuilt.”
LVT 917, signed for the South Bethlehem route. Don’s Rail Photos: “917 was built by Brill Car Co in February 1917, #20206. It was rebuilt.”
A southbound LVT Liberty Bell car on 8th Street crosses Walnut Street in Allentown.
LVT Liberty Bell car 1005. Don’s Rail Photos: “1005 was built by Cincinnati Car in June 1930, #3050, as C&LE 123. It was sold to LVT as 1005 in 1938 and scrapped in 1952.”
LVT city streetcar 924. It was built by Brill, around the time 1917-1919.
LVT city streetcar 927, signed for Albright. Don’s Rail Photos: “927 was built by Brill Car Co in February 1919, #20706. It was rebuilt.”
LVT city streetcars 908 (at right), and possibly 413 at left.
LVT city streetcar 908, signed for Albright.
This is an amazing photograph. LVT 1001 is northbound in Norristown, passing the Rambo House Hotel. I assume this was a short distance from where the Liberty Bell met the Philadelphia and Western line. There is a circa 1950-51 Ford parked at right. The car sign just says Express instead of Philadelphia Express, as LVT cut back passenger service to Norristown in 1949. Their fleet of second-hand high speed cars was wearing out, in part due to having to climb hills in Pennsylvania, instead of the flat Midwest prairies they were designed to traverse. The car at left may have a 1951 Pennsylvania license plate, indicating this picture may have been taken shortly before the abandonment of rail service.
This picture was taken at the same location, and same time, as the previous image. We are in Norristown on Swede St. with Airy St. in the background, not far from the point where the LVT Liberty Bell line met the Philadelphia and Western. LVT 1002 is an outbound Allentown Limited. Kenneth Achtert: “#1002 is not yet headed to Allentown, but is backing up on Swede St. about to turn onto Airy St. (note that the front-end pole is up). These single-ended cars would unload at the Norristown Terminal (after through operation was halted) then would back up the 3-4 blocks on Swede and Airy Streets to Rink Loop, back around the loop, then back to the Terminal (now facing north) for the trip to Allentown.”
LVT 1021 is operating as a northbound Allentown Limited. Most of the Liberty Bell route was single tracked, with passing sidings. This is Acorn Siding, located by Normandy Farms in Blue Bell, PA.
The photographer took this picture while riding in a southbound Liberty Bell train on Markley Street in Norristown. Most of this was single track and we are on a passing siding. The northbound car approaching us could be 1021, and the picture probably dates to 1949-51, as the sign on the approaching car does not say Philadelphia. The Reading Company’s Elm Street commuter train station is off to the right.
This LVT Philadelphia Limited car is at Nace Siding, which Wikipedia says was “in open country just north of Souderton and the Souderton carbarn.”
Another picture at Nace Siding. The car is LVT 1008.
This LVT car is signed as a Norristown Local, which dates the picture to circa 1949-51. Not sure of the exact house number location on Airy Street in Norristown, but it has just crossed Cherry Street.
A rear end view of LVT 1030 on Airy Street in Norristown, about to turn onto Swede Street towards the Philadelphia and Western station. As this car originally came from the Indiana Railroad, it was slightly different than the other lightweight high-speed cars, which started out as Cincinnati and Lake Erie “Red Devils.” The IR cars were designed for multiple-unit operation, while the C&LE cars were not. Therefore, car 1030 had a more squared off back end. The C&LE cars were more rounded.
Another shot of LVT 908, signed for Fullerton.
Original Slides For Sale
My friend Jeff Wien passed away nearly two years ago, and I inherited his extensive slide collection, which takes up a lot of space. His interests were very wide-ranging, far more so than mine. One of my resolutions for 2023 is to start going through this collection systematically and decide what to keep, and add to my own collection. Simply leaving all these slides in boxes does not do anyone any good.
It is a fact of life that you can’t keep everything and you can’t take it with you. Since the Trolley Dodger blog has ongoing expenses, and my book projects cost real money, I have decided to sell some of these slides to help defray expenses and de-clutter. Here are the first 30 slides I have listed on eBay. The process of going through these will take several years. I can still post the scanned images to the blog, as I have done below.
Most of the slides below were taken by the late James J. Buckley (1918-1994), who was an excellent photographer.
We continue to purchase prints, slides, and negatives for what we consider our core collection, which we hope will eventually end up at a proper institution that can make good use of it. Those things that do not fit into our core collection can be sold, and the proceeds will help in our overall efforts.
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 1974 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CRI&P 652-610-654 and 14 cars on train 5, intercity service to Rock Island, IL Location: Chicago IL Date: May 4, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley This is slide EBA030 in our internal filing system. From the Wikipedia: By the time Amtrak was formed in 1971, the once-proud Rock Island was down to just two intercity trains, the Chicago-Peoria Peoria Rocket and the Chicago-Rock Island Quad Cities Rocket, both of which now operated entirely within the borders of Illinois. However, the Rock Island opted against joining Amtrak, in part because the government assessed the Amtrak entrance fee based upon passenger miles operated in 1970. After concluding that the cost of joining would be greater than remaining in the passenger business, the railroad decided to “perform a public service for the state of Illinois” and continue intercity passenger operations. To help manage the service, the Rock Island hired National Association of Railroad Passengers founder Anthony Haswell as managing director of passenger services. The last two trains plied the Rock Island’s Illinois Division as the track quality declined from 1971 through 1977. The transit times, once a speedy 2½ hours in the 1950s, had lengthened to a 4½ hour run by 1975. The State of Illinois continued to subsidize the service to keep it running. The track program of 1978 helped with main-line timekeeping, although the Rock Island’s management decreed that the two trains were not to delay freight traffic on the route. By this time, both once-proud trains were down to just two coaches, powered by EMD E8 locomotives entering their second decade of service. With the trains frequently running with as many paying passengers as coaches in the train, Illinois withdrew its subsidy, and the two trains made their final runs on December 31, 1978. Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 6 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak Conrail Train Valpo Local 1971 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CR 5780-5603 plus 3 commuter train to Valparaiso, IN Location: Chicago IL Date: May 14, 1977 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Calumet, also commonly called the Valpo Local, was a 43.6-mile (70.2 km) passenger train route operated by Amtrak between Chicago and Valparaiso, Indiana. Despite Amtrak’s mandate to provide only intercity service, the Calumet was a commuter train. Transferred from Conrail in 1979, the full route was shared with Amtrak’s Broadway Limited until 1990; the Calumet was discontinued the next year. Link to eBay Listing
Bolton Tram 66 Original 1985 35mm Kodachrome Slide UK Subject: Bolton Tram 66 Location: Fleetwood (on Blackpool Tramway, UK) Date: July 14, 1985 Photographer: James J. Buckley From The Bolton News: The Bolton 66 tramcar was built in 1901 as an open top eight-wheel double deck bogie tram by the Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works in Preston. Bolton 66, the only tram in Blackpool Transport’s Heritage Tramcar fleet which does not originate in Blackpool, is well over one hundred years old and is still in good running order but that has not always been the case. At the beginning of the 1960’s, Alan Ralphs and Bolton-born Derek Shepherd took the decision to attempt to restore the Bolton tramcar. After more than 40 years serving the people of Bolton, the tramcar spent twenty years as a semi derelict bodyshell on a farm on the moors above Bolton. However, with lots of enthusiasm, a group led by the duo, professional electrical engineer Derek Shepherd and supported by Alan Ralphs, spent many hours to completely restore the tram to a new condition taking them 18 years to complete. In June 1981 the tram was moved to Blackpool and started to operate on the seafront, where it has remained for the last 41 years, due to Covid the 40th anniversary was postponed until this year. Link to eBay Listing
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad 1971 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CRI&P 664 and 6 cars, commuter train to Blue Island Location: 47th Street, Chicago IL Date: September 8, 1971 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: Chicago commuter service The Rock Island also operated an extensive commuter train service in the Chicago area. The primary route ran from LaSalle Street Station to Joliet along the main line, and a spur line, known as the “Suburban Line” to Blue Island. The main-line trains supplanted the long-distance services that did not stop at the numerous stations on that route. The Suburban Line served the Beverly Hills area of Chicago as a branch leaving the main line at Gresham and heading due west, paralleling the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad passenger line before turning south. The Suburban Line made stops every four blocks along the way before rejoining the main line at Western Avenue Junction in Blue Island. From the 1920s on, the suburban services were operated using Pacific-type 4-6-2 locomotives and specially designed light-heavyweight coaches that with their late 1920s build dates became known as the “Capone” cars. The suburban service became well known in the diesel era, as the steam power was replaced, first with new EMD FP7s and ALCO RS-3s, with two Fairbanks-Morse units added later. In 1949, Pullman-built 2700-series cars arrived as the first air-conditioned commuter cars on the line. In the 1960s, the Rock Island tried to upgrade the suburban service with newer equipment at lower cost. Second-hand Aerotrains, while less than successful in intercity service, were purchased to provide further air-conditioned accommodations that had proven popular with the 2700 series cars. When the Milwaukee Road purchased new Budd Company stainless-steel, bilevel cars in 1961, the Rock Island elected to add to a subsequent order and took delivery of its first bilevel equipment in 1964. Power for these new cars was provided by orphaned passenger units: three EMD F7s, an EMD E6, and the two EMD AB6s. The engines were rebuilt with head end power to provide heat, air conditioning, and lighting for the new cars. In 1970, another order, this time for Pullman-built bilevel cars arrived to further supplement the fleet. To provide the power for these cars, several former Union Pacific EMD E8 and EMD E9 diesels were also rebuilt with head end power and added to the commuter pool. The outdoor passenger concourse and platforms of LaSalle Street Station as built and operated by Metra. The trains shown are commuter runs to Blue Island and Joliet, Illinois. The commuter service was not exempt from the general decline of the Rock Island through the 1970s. Over time, deferred maintenance took its toll on both track and rolling stock. On the Rock Island, the Capone cars were entering their sixth decade of service and the nearly 30-year-old 2700s suffered from severe corrosion due to the steel used in their construction. LaSalle Street Station, the service’s downtown terminal, suffered from neglect and urban decay with the slab roof of the train shed literally falling apart, requiring its removal. By this time, the Rock Island could not afford to replace the clearly worn-out equipment. In 1976, the entire Chicago commuter rail system began to receive financial support from the state of Illinois through the Regional Transportation Authority. Operating funds were disbursed to all commuter operators, and the Rock Island was to be provided with new equipment to replace the tired 2700 series and Capone cars. New Budd bilevels that were near copies of the 1961 Milwaukee Road cars arrived in 1978. New EMD F40PH units arrived in late 1977 and, in summer, 1978, briefly could be seen hauling Capone cars. The Rock Island’s commuter F and E units were relegated to freight service or the scrapyard. With the 1980 end of the Rock Island, the RTA purchased the suburban territory and remaining Rock Island commuter equipment from the estate, while the Chicago and North Western Railway took over operations for a year before the RTA began operating it directly in 1981. LaSalle Street Station was torn down and replaced with the Chicago Stock Exchange building, with a smaller commuter station located one block south of the old station. The RTA gradually rebuilt the track and added more new equipment to the service, leaving the property in better shape than it was in the Rock Island’s heyday, albeit with less track. The Rock Island District, as the Rock Island’s suburban service is now known, now operates as part of Metra, the Chicago commuter rail agency. Our resident South Side expert M.E. adds, “Your (or maybe the Wikipedia) text says “The Suburban Line served the Beverly Hills area of Chicago as a branch leaving the main line at Gresham and heading due west, paralleling the Baltimore and Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad passenger line before turning south.” The wording “paralleling the B&OCT RR passenger line” is not precise. On a sheet of paper, maybe the CRI&P and the B&OCT ran parallel, but in reality, they shared the ground-level trackage for about a mile. The CRI&P’s first station on the Suburban Line (after leaving the Main Line) was at 89th and Loomis (1400 W.). It was (and still is) called Brainerd. One block of Loomis, between 89th and 90th Sts., became a business district. Just as the commuter lines to the north and west saw the development of business districts around commuter train stations, the CRI&P Suburban Line brought about business districts at Brainerd, 95th St., 99th St., 103rd St., and 111th St. At the western end of that shared mile, about a block west of Ashland Ave. (1600 W.), the B&OCT turned north while the CRI&P turned south. At the eastern end of the shared mile, a few blocks west of Vincennes (which at that point was about 1000 W.), the B&OCT kept going east while the CRI&P Suburban Line ascended to the Main Line and turned north. Way back (I’m talking about 1950 and earlier), the Halsted St. streetcar line went south on Vincennes, eventually ending at 111th and Sacramento (3000 W.) where it served a row of cemeteries along 111th. Southbound along Vincennes, at 89th St., having just gone under the CRI&P overhead Suburban Line junction with the Main Line, the streetcar line diverged from the street itself onto its own private right-of-way adjacent to the CRI&P Main Line. So 89th and Vincennes was at one time a nice place to watch railroad and streetcar activity.” Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak Turboliner RTG 1978 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RTG 6715, train 334 Location: Chicago, IL on route to Milwaukee Date: April 15, 1978 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
mtrak RDC Train 1974 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RDCs 31-30-10, Train 370 Location: Cicero, IL (between Dubuque and Chicago) Date: June 24, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 7 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Santa Teresa Tram, or Tramway (Portuguese: Bonde de Santa Teresa, IPA: [bõˈdʒi dʒi ˈsɐ̃tɐ teˈɾezɐ]), is a historic tram line in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It connects the city centre with the primarily residential, inner-city neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, in the hills immediately southwest of downtown. It is mainly maintained as a tourist attraction and is nowadays considered a heritage tramway system, having been designated a national historic monument in 1985. The line has a very unusual gauge: 1,100 mm (3 ft 7+5⁄16 in). The main line is 6.0 kilometres (3.7 miles) long. Having run continuously since its opening in 1877 (except for a 2011–15 suspension), it is one of the oldest street railway lines in the world and having been electrically powered since 1896, it is the oldest electric railway in all of Latin America. For many years it was also the only remaining metropolitan tram system in Brazil. The only other original tram systems in the country to have survived past 1971 are the Campos do Jordão interurban tram/light rail line, which continues to operate today, and the Itatinga line (near Bertioga), a rural and non-public tram line which had ceased operation as a tramway by 2017. All other cities closed their systems by 1971 (Santos being the last), but since that time, three towns, Belém, Campinas and Santos, have reinstated trams as heritage services. Rio de Janeiro opened a modern light rail/tram system in 2016. Link to eBay Listing
Pittsburgh PAT PCC 1751 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Pittsburgh PAT PCC 1751 Location: Broadway near Neeld, Beechview, 42/38 route Date: May 21, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Link
Santos Tramways São Paulo Brazil Original 1965 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Serviço Municipal de Transportes Coletivos car 216 Location: Santos Date: March 12, 1965 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak Turboliner RTG 1974 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RTG 63-95-94-93-62 Location: Bloomington IL (on Chicago-St. Louis route) Date: November 2, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Amtrak took over much of the nation’s rail passenger service in 1971, and the Turboliners were an attempt to modernize. Ultimately, they proved unsuccessful for a variety of reasons, and were withdrawn from service in 1981. Some were rebuilt and were used in the Northeast Corridor from 1988-1994. Link to eBay Listing
Milwaukee Road Electrification E71 1970 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Milwaukee Road E71 Location: East end of Butte, MT yard Date: October 2, 1970 Photographer: Unknown The Milwaukee Road operated an extensive system of electric freight in its Pacific Extension in the northwestern United States between 1914 and 1974. Link to eBay Listing
Southern Pacific 4449 Steam Loco “Daylight” 1991 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: SP 4449 Location: Benecia Date: May 17, 1991 Photographer: Unknown From the Wikipedia: Southern Pacific 4449, also known as the Daylight, is the only surviving example of Southern Pacific Railroad’s “GS-4” class of 4-8-4 “Northern” type steam locomotives and one of only two GS-class locomotives surviving, the other being “GS-6” 4460 at the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri. GS is an abbreviation of “General Service” or “Golden State,” a nickname for California (where the locomotive was operated in regular service). The locomotive was built by Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio for the Southern Pacific in May 1941; it received the red-and-orange “Daylight” paint scheme for the passenger trains of the same name which it hauled for most of its service career. No. 4449 was retired from revenue service in 1956 and put into storage. In 1958, the Southern Pacific donated the locomotive to the City of Portland, Oregon. The City then put the locomotive on static display in Oaks Amusement Park, where it remained until 1974. After this, No. 4449 was then restored to operation for use in the American Freedom Train, which toured the 48 contiguous United States as part of the nation’s 1976 Bicentennial celebration. The locomotive has operated in excursion service throughout that area since 1984. The locomotive’s operations are based at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland, Oregon where it is maintained by a group of volunteers named the Friends of SP 4449. In 1983, a poll of Trains magazine readers selected 4449 as being the most popular locomotive in the United States. Link to eBay Listing
Southern Pacific 4449 Steam Loco “Daylight” 1984 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: SP 4449 Location: Unknown Date: May 8, 1984 Photographer: Unknown Link to eBay Listing
Illinois Central City of New Orleans 1966 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: IC 4020-4015 Location: Chicago IL Date: July 10, 1966 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The City of New Orleans is an Amtrak passenger train which operates on an overnight schedule between Chicago and New Orleans. The train is a successor to the Illinois Central Railroad’s Panama Limited. The original City of New Orleans began in 1947 as part of the Illinois Central Railroad, and was the longest daylight run in the United States. The daylight train under that name ran through 1971, when it was moved to an overnight schedule as the Panama Limited. The present name was brought back in 1981, still on an overnight schedule. The train is the subject of the bittersweet 1971 song “City of New Orleans”, written by Steve Goodman. The train operates along a route that has been served in one form or another for over a century. The Panama Limited originally ran from 1911 to 1971, though the IC ran Chicago-New Orleans trains since the turn of the century. Additional corridor service is provided between Chicago and Carbondale, Illinois–the northern leg of the route–by the Illini and Saluki. Link to eBay Listing
Sao Paulo Brazil CMTC Tram 1807 ex-NYC 1965 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CMTC 807 (ex-Third Avenue Railway System, NYC) Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil Date: March 11, 1965 Photographer: James J. Buckley From http://www.tramz.com: Additions in later years included 75 center-door cars, called centex in São Paulo, acquired second-hand in 1947 from the Third Avenue Transit System in New York. Third Avenue Railway had built them for conduit operation in 1938; trolley poles were added in São Paulo, doors were removed on one side and they were numbered 1701-1849. These “Huffliners” ran twice as long in São Paulo as in New York. In 1947 the São Paulo tramway system had 689 trams: 252 single-truck open motors, 28 single-truck open trailers, 153 double-truck open motors, In 1960 CMTC announced that it would rid the city completely of trams by 1968. The Santa Amaro route, which ran mostly on private right-of-way, would be converted to rapid transit. Several short routes were abandoned in the early 1960s: Barra Funda, Vila Prudente, Brésser, Bosque, Jardim Paulista. After 1963 open trams ran only on the Belém line – it had no turning loop, so required double-end cars. July and August 1966 saw the abandonment of most of the major tram routes in the city: Lapa, Penha, Belém, Pinheiros, Perdizes, Angélica, São Judas Tadeu. In January 1967 the end came to the others: Ipiranga, Fábrica, Casa Verde and Alto da Vila Maria. Only the Santo Amaro line remained. Its inner terminus was cut back to Vila Mariana and henceforth São Paulo, like Rio de Janeiro, had only one standard-gauge trolley line running in an obscure area at the edge of town. On 27 March 1968, with thousands of weeping paulistas lining the route, a cortège of 12 camarões made a final roundtrip to Santo Amaro and ended 96 years of tram service in the city. Link to eBay Listing
Toronto Streetcar TTC ALRV 4201 1988 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: TTC ALRV 4201 Location: Lake Shore and Symons, Etibicoke, Ontario Date: May 30, 1988 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Illinois Central City of New Orleans 1966 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: IC 4039-4104-4031-4021 Location: Chicago IL Date: July 10, 1966 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Open Tram 4 Rio de Janeiro Brazil Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 4 Location: Carioca, Rio de Janeiro Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Baltimore and Ohio Capitol Limited 1967 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: B&O 1419-2415/8 Location: Capitol Limited Train 6 departing Chicago Date: September 16, 1967 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Capitol Limited was an American passenger train run by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, originally between New York City and Grand Central Station in Chicago, Illinois, via Union Station, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Pittsburgh. For almost 48 years, it was the B&O’s flagship passenger train, noted for personalized service and innovation. At the time of its discontinuation on May 1, 1971, when Amtrak took over most rail passenger service in the U.S., the Capitol Limited operated between Washington and Chicago. Link to eBay Listing
Santos Tramways São Paulo Brazil Original 1965 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Serviço Municipal de Transportes Coletivos cars 90-223 Location: Santos Date: March 12, 1965 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 18 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Santa Teresa Tram Rio de Janeiro Original 1974 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: CTCG 17 Location: Carioca (R10) Date: March 17, 1974 Photographer: James J. Buckley From the Wikipedia: The Santa Teresa Tram, or Tramway (Portuguese: Bonde de Santa Teresa, IPA: [bõˈdʒi dʒi ˈsɐ̃tɐ teˈɾezɐ]), is a historic tram line in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It connects the city centre with the primarily residential, inner-city neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, in the hills immediately southwest of downtown. It is mainly maintained as a tourist attraction and is nowadays considered a heritage tramway system, having been designated a national historic monument in 1985. The line has a very unusual gauge: 1,100 mm (3 ft 7+5⁄16 in). The main line is 6.0 kilometres (3.7 miles) long. Having run continuously since its opening in 1877 (except for a 2011–15 suspension), it is one of the oldest street railway lines in the world and having been electrically powered since 1896, it is the oldest electric railway in all of Latin America. For many years it was also the only remaining metropolitan tram system in Brazil. The only other original tram systems in the country to have survived past 1971 are the Campos do Jordão interurban tram/light rail line, which continues to operate today, and the Itatinga line (near Bertioga), a rural and non-public tram line which had ceased operation as a tramway by 2017. All other cities closed their systems by 1971 (Santos being the last), but since that time, three towns, Belém, Campinas and Santos, have reinstated trams as heritage services. Rio de Janeiro opened a modern light rail/tram system in 2016. Link to eBay Listing
Shaker Heights Rapid Transit PCC 41 Original 1968 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: SHRT PCC 41 Location: 55th Street, Cleveland OH Date: May 25, 1968 Photographer: James J. Buckley From Don’s Rail Photos: “41 was built by St. Louis Car (Company) in 1946, #1655, as SLPS (St. Louis Public Service) 1766. It was sold as SHRT 41 in 1959 and converted to MU (multiple unit) operation after purchase. It was sold to Buckeye Lake Trolley in 1984.” Link to eBay Listing
Blackpool Tramway 40 Original 1985 35mm Kodachrome Slide UK Subject: Blackpool Tramway 40 Location: Fleetwood UK Date: July 14, 1985 Photographer: James J. Buckley Blackpool Tramway 40 was built in 1926 and retired in 1963. It has since been part of the collection at the Crich Tramway Village museum. Here, it is shown operating briefly once again on the Blackpool Tramway in 1985. Link to eBay Listing
Glasgow Tram 1297 Original 1985 35mm Kodachrome Slide UK Subject: Glasgow Tram 1297 Location: Fleetwood (on Blackpool Tramway, UK) Date: July 14, 1985 Photographer: James J. Buckley Glasgow Tram 1297 was built in 1948 and retired in 1962. It is part of the collection at the Crich Tramway Village museum. Here, it is shown operating on the Blackpool Tramway briefly in 1985. Link to eBay Listing
Great Northern Railway Red River 1954 Original 35mm Red Border Kodachrome Slide Subject: GNR 12 Location: Departing Minneapolis station for St. Paul Date: Fall 1954 Photographer: Unknown From the Wikipedia: The Red River was a passenger train operated by Great Northern Railway between Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Saint Paul, Minnesota (operating between 1950 and 1968). History Great Northern Railway’s third new train set of 1950 was a new schedule named the Red River. The five-car streamliner built by American Car and Foundry Company began service June 25, 1950, operating a daily round trip 324 miles (521 km) each way between Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The train went southbound in the morning returning northbound in the evening. The cars for the Red River streamliner were quite different than those built for the International (another 1950 introduction) in that the Red River’s cars had extra insulation and the coaches were equipped with Baker Heaters as there was no steam heat available at the Grand Forks depot where the cars stood overnight. The locomotive was sent to the roundhouse each evening for any running repairs and service so the solution was the installation of the Baker Heaters in the cars. Link to eBay Listing
Amtrak RDC Train 1975 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: Amtrak RDCs 30-32-15, Train 372 Blackhawk Location: Crawford (Chicago bound, between Dubuque and Chicago) Date: September 14, 1975 Photographer: James J. Buckley Link to eBay Listing
Milwaukee and Suburban Transport 1975 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: M&ST 1466 Location: Wells-River (posed by the old Milwaukee Electric power plant) Date: June 29, 1975 Photographer: Jeff Wien Link to eBay Listing
Yakima Valley Transit Trolley 1975 Original 35mm Kodachrome Slide Subject: YVT 1776/1976 Location: 44th-Nob Hill, Yakima Date: June 1975 Photographer: Jeff Wien Link to eBay Listing
Our Latest Book, Now Available for Pre-Order:
The North Shore Line
Publication Date: February 20, 2023
FYI, my new Arcadia Publishing book The North Shore Line is now finished and has gone to press. My publisher decided to expand it to 160 pages, instead of the usual 128. That’s a 25% increase, without any change to the $23.99 price. I am quite pleased with how this turned out.
From the back cover:
As late as 1963, it was possible to board high-speed electric trains on Chicago’s famous Loop “L” that ran 90 miles north to Milwaukee. This was the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad, commonly known as the North Shore Line. It rose from humble origins in the 1890s as a local streetcar line in Waukegan to eventually become America’s fastest interurban under the visionary management of Midwest utilities tycoon Samuel Insull. The North Shore Line, under Insull, became a worthy competitor to the established steam railroads. Hobbled by the Great Depression, the road fought back in 1941 with two streamlined, air-conditioned, articulated trains called Electroliners, which included dining service. It regained its popularity during World War II, when gasoline and tires were rationed, but eventually, it fell victim to highways and the automobile. The North Shore Line had intercity rail, commuter rail, electric freight, city streetcars, and even buses. It has been gone for nearly 60 years, but it will always remain the Road of Service.
Each copy purchased here will be signed by the author, and you will also receive a bonus North Shore Line map. Books will ship by USPS Media Mail as soon as we receive them, on or before February 20, 2023.
Chapters: 01. Beginnings 02. The Milwaukee Division 03. The Shore Line Route 04. The Skokie Valley Route 05. The Mundelein Branch 06. On the “L” 07. City Streetcars 08. Trolley Freight 09. The Long Goodbye 10. The Legacy
Title The North Shore Line
Images of America
Author David Sadowski
Publisher Arcadia Publishing (SC), 2023
ISBN 1467108960, 978-1467108966
Length 160 pages
The price of $23.99 includes shipping within the United States.
For Shipping to US Addresses:
New Compact Disc, Now Available:
The Last Chicago Streetcars 1958
# of Discs – 1
Until now, it seemed as though audio recordings of Chicago streetcars were practically non-existent. For whatever reason, the late William A. Steventon does not appear to have made any for his Railroad Record Club, even though he did make other recordings in the Chicago area in 1956.
Now, audio recordings of the last runs of Chicago streetcars have been found, in the collections of the late Jeffrey L. Wien (who was one of the riders on that last car). We do not know who made these recordings, but this must have been done using a portable reel-to-reel machine.
These important recordings will finally fill a gap in transit history. The last Chicago Transit Authority streetcar finished its run in the early hours of June 21, 1958. Now you can experience these events just as Chicagoans did.
As a bonus, we have included Keeping Pace, a 1939 Chicago Surface Lines employee training program. This was digitally transferred from an original 16” transcription disc. These recordings were unheard for 80 years.
Total time – 74:38
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This picture of the old Met bridge over the Chicago River is undated, but probably dates to circa 1952-55 based on the type of red border Kodachrome mount it is in. But it is certainly after the the other picture in this post, taken at much the same location, since the building at rear, or part of it, was in the process of being torn down. This was not related to expressway construction, since the “L” at this point was north of there. Once the Congress rapid transit line opened in 1958, this section of “L” was taken out of service and by the early 1960s it had been torn down.
Cooler weather has moved into the Chicago area, and along with it, we have a Fall Harvest of classic rail images for you today, including many by three of the greatest railfan photographers of the 1950s– Clark Frazier, Truman Hefner, and William C. Hoffman.
Enjoy! -David Sadowski
This video features streetcars and elevated trains in Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York City, mostly from the early 1950s– and originally shot on high quality 16mm film:
CSL 4001 at South Shops, with 7001 in front of it, probably during the 1950s, when these two experimental cars were being used for storage.
CTA PCC 4371, built by Pullman, is on State Street heading south from Randolph, with the old State-Lake Theater in the background. The film “Lovely To Look At” was released on July 4, 1952, which is probably around when this picture was taken.
North Shore Line 759 heads up a two-car train heading southbound at Harrison Street, leaving street running in favor of private right-of-way in Milwaukee on June 16, 1962. (Richard H. Young Photo)
A two-car CTA Kenwood shuttle train at Indiana Avenue, probably some time around 1949. I assume there must have been stairs leading up to the tower.
A close-up of the previous image.
CTA 6130-6129 are “at speed” near Jarvis “L” station on the north side, operating under wire on the southbound express track as a mid-day Evanston “Shopper’s Special” on December 11, 1955. The picture is slightly blurred because Kodachrome back then was ASA 10 (until the introduction of Kodachrome II in 1961). The unique signage on the train indicates which stations this express train stopped at.
Chicago, Aurora & Elgin wood car 28 is at the head of a train in this picture I assume was taken in Wheaton, between 1952-55 (based on the slide mount).
Red Arrow Strafford car 164 is on the high-speed line to Norristown in the early 1950s, perhaps near 69th Street Terminal. Kenneth Achtert adds: “Your picture of Strafford car #164, if the early 1950s date is accurate, was most likely not on a Norristown line trip, but is arriving at 69th St. Terminal likely coming from Strafford. Strafford service was not abandoned until 1956 and was what gave the 160-series cars their common name. The bullet cars could have been called Norristown cars, but they already had an even better name.”
Red Arrow double-ended car 20, which looks like a PCC but technically isn’t, is running outbound on the Ardmore branch in the early 1950s. Not sure what all the track work is about, although the West Chester branch itself was abandoned in favor of buses in 1954, so that West Chester Pike could be widened. I assume this is the intersection of West Chester Pike and Darby Road in Havertown, PA. The Ardmore trolley was replaced by buses at the end of 1966. Both trolley lines here are now SEPTA bus routes. Mark A. Jones adds: “Regarding the Red Arrow trackage on West Chester Pike west of the Ardmore turn-off, it continued in use after the West Chester line became a bus as the Llanerch car barn (which housed the Red Arrow trolleys at the time) was located Darby Rd. and West Chester Pike west of the Ardmore cut-off. That’s my memory of that.”
Red Arrow double-ended St. Louis car 15, built circa 1949, is coming off the Ardmore line towards the 69th Street Terminal in the early 1950s. The West Chester branch might still have been in operation then, as there is a car in the distance on West Chester Pike.
Red Arrow Brilliner 9 is signed for the Media route in the early 1950s.
Red Arrow Brilliner 6 is signed for the Media route in the early 1950s.
On August 3, 1950, an eastbound Garfield Park “L” train approaches Western Avenue station. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
Deck roofed “L” cars, including 2908, are in Laramie Yard on July 2, 1950. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
An eastbound train of wooden “L” cars (including 3210), with trolley poles up, heads east on the ground-level portion of the Lake Street “L” in Oak Park on October 12, 1953. I believe the location is a few blocks east of Marion Street, where the street (South Boulevard) narrows.
The subway entrance on State Street between Madison and Monroe, as it looked on December 5, 1954. PCCs were still operating on State at that time. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
The view looking south from the 35th Street “L” station on August 23, 1963. A new center island station had opened here in 1961, taking up space formerly occupied by the center express track, which had been unused after 1949. A fire destroyed the new station in October 1962, and temporary facilities were used until the station was rebuilt in 1965. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
An 8-car train of CTA 4000s, still in the old tan color, approaches 35th Street on November 6, 1950. In this somewhat underxposed slide, you can still make out the long walkway at right, which connected to a stairway at the former 33rd Street “L” station, only used as an auxiliary entrance and exit for 35th after 1949. This walkway was closed on September 25, 1961 and removed thereafter. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
The view looking west from the transfer bridge at the CTA station at 40th and Indiana Avenue on July 7, 1953. A southbound train of 6000s heads into the station. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
This slide, taken on Sunday, March 6, 1955, gives a good view of the direction sign on the transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana station. Our resident South Side expert M. E. adds, “Two-car trains were rare on the north/south main line. The destination sign explains why just two cars: It is an “all-stop” sign reading “Howard Street”. Most days of the week, main line service was either “A” or “B”. The only time the CTA ran just two cars on the main line as all-stop trains was on Sunday mornings.” (William C. Hoffman Photo)
The westbound view from the transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana on July 2, 1963 shows CTA 6047 at the rear of a northbound train, fitted with an experimental ventilation system. This was not shot on Kodachrome, which explains the somewhat funky color shift on this slide. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
The view west from the overhead transfer bridge at 40th and Indiana on July 7, 1953, looking west. We see a northbound train of 4000s, an approaching southbound train of 6000s, a Stock Yards shuttle train, and some additional Stock Yards cars being stored on the former express track, unused since 1949. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
Looking west from the passenger overpass at Indiana Avenue on July 3, 1950, we see an 8-car train of steel cars, and a Stock Yards shuttle train. In the distance, that may be some additional Stock Yards cars being stored on the otherwise unused center track. (William C. Hoffman Photo) Our resident South Side expert M. E. writes: “Your caption needs correction. What you claim to be a Stock Yards shuttle is not on the Stock Yards tracks, which ran directly west from the switch building at the end of the platform. Instead, your “Stock Yards” train is on the main line heading east/south. Apparently the CTA still ran old cars on the main line at that time, although I don’t remember that. Another, more remote, possibility is that this short train is dead-heading east (without passengers) toward the Kenwood line. But in the next photo, you see no track connection from the main line to the Kenwood line. The only way dead-headed cars destined for Kenwood could end up on the Kenwood line would have been to turn south on the main line to 43rd St. and use switches to go from the southbound main line to the northbound main line to the former northbound main line track, which joined the Kenwood shuttle track back at Indiana Ave. — and which (in reverse) provided the only way to move Kenwood cars off the Kenwood tracks.” We were only repeating the information that Mr. Hoffman wrote on the original slide mount, which, of course, could be wrong.
Two “new” and two “old” 6000s enter the CTA station at 40th and Indiana on June 6, 1954. The Kenwood shuttle continued to operate for another three years after this. We are facing east. (William C. Hoffman Photo)
SF Muni 170 on the N Line, entering the Sunset Tunnel in 1957. (Clark Frazier Photo)
SF Muni 130 on Ocean Avenue by Elkton Shops on September 16, 1957. According to the Market Street Railway web site: “Car No. 130 was among the the last ‘Iron Monsters’ to leave passenger service, in 1958. Muni shop foreman Charlie Smallwood saved it from the scrap heap by hiding it in the back of Geneva carhouse while its mates met their fates. He then talked his bosses into making it a ‘wrecker’. Stripped bare and painted yellow, it spent the next 25 years towing its replacements–PCC streetcars–back to the barn when they broke down. It was fully restored by Muni craft workers in 1983 for the Historic Trolley Festival, including original seats, which Charlie had kept all those years in his basement…just in case!” (Clark Frazier Photo)
Key System A Train 130 near Yerba Buena Island on the Bay Bridge on April 18, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Pittsburgh 1499 on Route 34/21 on Ladoga Street near Ingram in 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Pittsburgh 1486 and 1485 rest at Ingram carhouse in 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)
SF Muni “Iron Monster” 162 at La Playa (48th), approaching the N Line terminus on December 16, 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)
The SF Muni Geary car house in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Dresden 264 007 on Line 4 at Dresdner Schloss on June 3, 1978. At the time, Dresden was located in East Germany. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Key System 167 is an A Train east of Yerba Buena Island on the Bay Bridge on April 18, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)
SF Muni “Iron Monster” 178 on a fantrip on the J Line by SF Muni “Iron Monster” 178 on a fantrip on the J Line by Dolores Park in 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)Park in 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)
SF Muni “Iron Monster” 114 stops for passengers on the B Line in 1956. (Clark Frazier Photo)
DC Transit 1553 at the Route 20 Plow Pit on February 7, 1959. This was a spot where overhead wire ended (by law) and streetcars changed over to collecting electricity through an underground conduit. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Boston MTA 3276 entering Reservoir Yard on June 5, 1959. (Clark Frazier Photo)
Boston MTA 3216 on Mass Avenue in North Cambridge on August 29, 1958. (Clark Frazier Photo)