Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Twelve

CSL 6149, an Odd 17 car built by CSL in 1919, is on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway), which ran from 1912 until October 7, 1946. The bicycle at right is very likely the photographer's. Ed Frank rode his bike all over the city instead of taking the streetcar, so he could save money to buy film. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6149, an Odd 17 car built by CSL in 1919, is on through route 1 (Cottage Grove-Broadway), which ran from 1912 until October 7, 1946. The bicycle at right is very likely the photographer’s. Ed Frank rode his bike all over the city instead of taking the streetcar, so he could save money to buy film. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Today’s post features the final batch of Chicago Surface Lines photos from the George Trapp collection. To find earlier posts in this series, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page.

As always, if you can help us with locations and other tidbits of information about what you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can update the captions and share the information with our readers. You can comment on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

We are very grateful for the generosity of George Trapp in sharing these great classic images with us. We also wish to thank the original photographers who took these pictures.

The good news is that George Trapp is going to share his extensive collection of Chicago rapid transit photos with us. Watch this space.

-David Sadowski


CSL 1457. Don's Rail Photos: "1457 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4505. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA68 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on December 17, 1958." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1457. Don’s Rail Photos: “1457 was built by CUT in 1900 as CUT 4505. It was rebuilt as 1457 in 1911 and became CSL 1457 in 1914. It was rebuilt as (a) salt car and renumbered AA68 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on December 17, 1958.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL/CTA Calt Car AA17. Don's Rail Photos: "AA17, salt car, was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4523. It was rebuilt as 1475 in 1911 and became CSL 1475 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA17 on October 1, 1941. It was retired on October 30, 1951." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL/CTA Calt Car AA17. Don’s Rail Photos: “AA17, salt car, was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4523. It was rebuilt as 1475 in 1911 and became CSL 1475 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car in 1930 and renumbered AA17 on October 1, 1941. It was retired on October 30, 1951.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2605, a Robertson Rebuild car. Don's Rail Photos: "2605 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was stored at Devon Barn in 1948 and scrapped there in 1954." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2605, a Robertson Rebuild car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2605 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1901. It was stored at Devon Barn in 1948 and scrapped there in 1954.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

An early photo of CSL 1494 in charter service. This was called a "Bowling Alley" car due to the sideways seating. Don's Rail Photos: "1494 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4543. It was rebuilt as 1494 n 1911 and became CSL 1494 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA83 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on October 7, 1954."

An early photo of CSL 1494 in charter service. This was called a “Bowling Alley” car due to the sideways seating. Don’s Rail Photos: “1494 was built by CUTCo in 1900 as CUT 4543. It was rebuilt as 1494 n 1911 and became CSL 1494 in 1914. It was rebuilt as salt car and renumbered AA83 on April 15, 1948. It was retired on October 7, 1954.”

CSL Pullman 362 on the trestle over the Illinois Central at Roosevelt Road, heading to the Museum Loop.

CSL Pullman 362 on the trestle over the Illinois Central at Roosevelt Road, heading to the Museum Loop.

A 1910 builder's photo of Chicago Railways Pullman 751. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A 1910 builder’s photo of Chicago Railways Pullman 751. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A close-up of the Chicago Railways logo.

A close-up of the Chicago Railways logo.

CSL Pullman 870 is at Devon and Western. One of our keen-eyed readers notes, "I believe that this photo was actually taken in the Summer of 1948, rather than 1946 as stated in your caption. The reason that I say that is because the ACF-Brill bus seen at the curb on the left hand side of the photo was most likely operating on route 36A which was a shuttle on Devon from Kedzie to Broadway and Ardmore Loop. It was started on 12/15/1947 when route 36 - Broadway-State was cutback to Devon-Ravenswood when PCCs were instituted. PCCs were introduced on Western Avenue on August 1, 1948 which explains why Small Pullmans are shown running on Western Avenue in the photo. The car is heading west on Devon. In the distance, you can see the slight rise to Ridge Avenue near Misericordia." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Pullman 870 is at Devon and Western. One of our keen-eyed readers notes, “I believe that this photo was actually taken in the Summer of 1948, rather than 1946 as stated in your caption. The reason that I say that is because the ACF-Brill bus seen at the curb on the left hand side of the photo was most likely operating on route 36A which was a shuttle on Devon from Kedzie to Broadway and Ardmore Loop. It was started on 12/15/1947 when route 36 – Broadway-State was cutback to Devon-Ravenswood when PCCs were instituted. PCCs were introduced on Western Avenue on August 1, 1948 which explains why Small Pullmans are shown running on Western Avenue in the photo. The car is heading west on Devon. In the distance, you can see the slight rise to Ridge Avenue near Misericordia.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 903 at the same location as the last photo, probably taken at the same time. Another factor, weighing in favor of a 1948 date, is the CTA recruitment poster on the front of the car. In its early days, the agency had quite a labor shortage. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 903 at the same location as the last photo, probably taken at the same time. Another factor, weighing in favor of a 1948 date, is the CTA recruitment poster on the front of the car. In its early days, the agency had quite a labor shortage. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Although not identical, here is a similar sign on another Western Avenue streetcar, in a photo taken on May 22, 1948. That is probably not much different than when the previous two pictures were taken. The CTA had a lot of different signs like this, and many were variations on the same theme. To see the original picture, go to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015).

Although not identical, here is a similar sign on another Western Avenue streetcar, in a photo taken on May 22, 1948. That is probably not much different than when the previous two pictures were taken. The CTA had a lot of different signs like this, and many were variations on the same theme. To see the original picture, go to our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015).

CSL Small St. Louis 1412. Andre Kristopans says it is at Noble Station (car house). Don's Rail Photos: "These cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1903 and 1906 for Chicago Union Traction Co. They are similar to the Robertson design without the small windows. Cars of this series were converted to one man operation in later years and have a wide horizontal stripe on the front to denote this. Two were used for an experimental articulated train. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers." The 1374, which has been restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is part of this same series. Here is what www.chicagorailfan.com says about Noble Station: NOBLE 1901 N. Hermitage Ave. (at Cortland Ave.) Opened before 1908 Capacity in 1911: 18 cars inside/60 cars outside Capacity in 1943: 17 cars inside/103 cars outside Closed August 31, 1947 Building demolished (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Small St. Louis 1412. Andre Kristopans says it is at Noble Station (car house). Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1903 and 1906 for Chicago Union Traction Co. They are similar to the Robertson design without the small windows. Cars of this series were converted to one man operation in later years and have a wide horizontal stripe on the front to denote this. Two were used for an experimental articulated train. A number of these cars were converted to sand and salt service and as flangers.” The 1374, which has been restored to operating condition at the Illinois Railway Museum, is part of this same series. Here is what http://www.chicagorailfan.com says about Noble Station:
NOBLE
1901 N. Hermitage Ave. (at Cortland Ave.)
Opened before 1908
Capacity in 1911: 18 cars inside/60 cars outside
Capacity in 1943: 17 cars inside/103 cars outside
Closed August 31, 1947
Building demolished
(Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1353, shown on the 14th-16th Street route, was part of this same series. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1353, shown on the 14th-16th Street route, was part of this same series. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1422, also a Small St. Louis car, signed for 14-Canal-Fulton.

CSL 1422, also a Small St. Louis car, signed for 14-Canal-Fulton.

CSL 1348, again part of the same series as the "Matchbox" at IRM.

CSL 1348, again part of the same series as the “Matchbox” at IRM.

CSL 1427. Frank Hicks: "Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL." It was retired on April 30, 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1427. Frank Hicks: “Cars 1427 and 1428 weren’t Bowling Alleys; they were part of a series of five cars, 1424-1428, that were built in 1903 by Brill and were very similar overall to the Matchboxes. The car ends and St Louis 47 trucks match the St Louis-built Matchboxes but the side windows are different. I’m not sure what the backstory with this series is, as it’s unusual that Brill would build cars with St Louis trucks. These cars were numbered below the Matchboxes on CUT but above them on CSL.” It was retired on April 30, 1937. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1428 was retired on May 10, 1937. See the caption for the previous picture for a description of this series. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1428 was retired on May 10, 1937. See the caption for the previous picture for a description of this series. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 2816 was a Calumet Electric Railway car. Don's Rail Photos: "2816 was built by Brill Car Co in 1902, #12109, as Calumet Electric Ry 110. It became Calumet & Street Chicago Ry 801 in 1908 and rebuilt from single end to double end in 1910. It was renumbered 2816 in 1913. It became CSL 2816 in 1914 and scrapped in 1946."

CSL 2816 was a Calumet Electric Railway car. Don’s Rail Photos: “2816 was built by Brill Car Co in 1902, #12109, as Calumet Electric Ry 110. It became Calumet & Street Chicago Ry 801 in 1908 and rebuilt from single end to double end in 1910. It was renumbered 2816 in 1913. It became CSL 2816 in 1914 and scrapped in 1946.”

CSL 1584 was a Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Don's Rail Photos: "These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier." It's odd that the car body would appear so light. It would have been dark green originally, then red starting in the early 1920s. Even if orthochromatic film had been used, this would have rendered the red darker than usual, not lighter. Perhaps it is just a "trick of the light."

CSL 1584 was a Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Don’s Rail Photos: “These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier.” It’s odd that the car body would appear so light. It would have been dark green originally, then red starting in the early 1920s. Even if orthochromatic film had been used, this would have rendered the red darker than usual, not lighter. Perhaps it is just a “trick of the light.”

CSL 1592 was another Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Andre Kristopans says 1592 is "on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1592 was another Chicago Railways car, built in 1912. Andre Kristopans says 1592 is “on Division just west of California, by Humboldt Park.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 5704 was a Nearside or Muzzleloader car. Don's Rail Photos:" 5704 was built by Brill Car Co. in 1912, #18322. It was rebuilt as one man/two man service in 1933."

CSL 5704 was a Nearside or Muzzleloader car. Don’s Rail Photos: “5704 was built by Brill Car Co. in 1912, #18322. It was rebuilt as one man/two man service in 1933.”

CSL 5983 at Broadway and Wilson. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 5983 at Broadway and Wilson. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 3091, signed for Elston, was called an "Odd 17" car, although there were actually 19. It was built by CSL in 1919.

CSL 3091, signed for Elston, was called an “Odd 17” car, although there were actually 19. It was built by CSL in 1919.

CSL 6152, an Odd 17 car, on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. This picture was taken at the same location as another we previously posted, which George Trapp identified as Devon and Glenwood (1400 W). The car is heading westbound. You can find that photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten (May 6, 2016). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6152, an Odd 17 car, on through route 1, Cottage Grove-Broadway. This picture was taken at the same location as another we previously posted, which George Trapp identified as Devon and Glenwood (1400 W). The car is heading westbound. You can find that photo in our post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten (May 6, 2016). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The two buildings in the previous picture are still there today.

The two buildings in the previous picture are still there today.

CSL 6153, another Odd 17 car, circa 1933-34. Our regular reader M. E. has identified the location as being Devon, just west of Western. He adds, "route 1 ran to Devon and Kedzie starting in 1932." So, this car is heading east on Devon, which explains why it is signed for Lake Park and 55th. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6153, another Odd 17 car, circa 1933-34. Our regular reader M. E. has identified the location as being Devon, just west of Western. He adds, “route 1 ran to Devon and Kedzie starting in 1932.” So, this car is heading east on Devon, which explains why it is signed for Lake Park and 55th. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The same location today.

The same location today.

CSL 6148, another Odd 17 car, is sporting an NRA (National Recovery Administration) sticker, which dates it to 1933-1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6148, another Odd 17 car, is sporting an NRA (National Recovery Administration) sticker, which dates it to 1933-1935. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3092 was known as a "Sewing Machine" or Safety car. Don's Rail Photos: "3092 was built by CSL in 1921. It was scrapped in 1946." The lower part of this car, which is probably red, may appear darker due to the use of orthochromatic film. This may show the car as new. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3092 was known as a “Sewing Machine” or Safety car. Don’s Rail Photos: “3092 was built by CSL in 1921. It was scrapped in 1946.” The lower part of this car, which is probably red, may appear darker due to the use of orthochromatic film. This may show the car as new. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

We featured previously featured Birney cars in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016). Birneys were not very successful in large cities such as Chicago, but had a long life in some smaller cities like Ft. Collins, Colorado. Don's Rail Photos does not list information on CSL 2000, but like the other Birneys he mentions, it was "built by Brill Car Co in October 1920, #21211. It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in March 1937." Since it looks in pretty good shape in this photo, this photo probably dates to 1932 or earlier. Andre Kristopans: "2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!"

We featured previously featured Birney cars in Our 150th Post (August 6, 2016). Birneys were not very successful in large cities such as Chicago, but had a long life in some smaller cities like Ft. Collins, Colorado. Don’s Rail Photos does not list information on CSL 2000, but like the other Birneys he mentions, it was “built by Brill Car Co in October 1920, #21211. It was retired in 1932 and scrapped in March 1937.” Since it looks in pretty good shape in this photo, this photo probably dates to 1932 or earlier. Andre Kristopans: “2000 also at Noble carhouse – note car signed for the north end of the 46-Noble route!”

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Clark and Devon. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). Not sure what those sheets are doing hanging in the windows. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). Not sure what those sheets are doing hanging in the windows. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Another view of CSL 3109 at Devon station (car house). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

An Evanston Railways car on Dempster Street, with the "L" in the background. We are looking west from the corner of Dempster and Chicago. Evanston Railways pictures are as scarce as hen's teeth. The "L" was elevated between 1908 and 1910. This picture was taken sometime between 1913, when ER got these cars, and 1935, when streetcars were replaced by buses.

An Evanston Railways car on Dempster Street, with the “L” in the background. We are looking west from the corner of Dempster and Chicago. Evanston Railways pictures are as scarce as hen’s teeth. The “L” was elevated between 1908 and 1910. This picture was taken sometime between 1913, when ER got these cars, and 1935, when streetcars were replaced by buses.

The same location today.

The same location today.


Recent Additions

An improved scan of this photo has been added to our post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 2-28-2016:

In 1957, CTA PCC 7271 and 7215 pass on Clark Street, just north of North Avenue. The old Plaza Hotel, located at 59 W. North Avenue, is in the background. A Hasty Tasty restaurant was located in the building, with a Pixley and Ehler's across the street. These were "greasy spoon" chains that were known for offering cheap eats. Local mobsters were known to hang out at the Plaza. The Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, would be just to the left, out of view in this picture. The Moody Bible Institute would be out of view on the right. (Russel Kriete Photo)

In 1957, CTA PCC 7271 and 7215 pass on Clark Street, just north of North Avenue. The old Plaza Hotel, located at 59 W. North Avenue, is in the background. A Hasty Tasty restaurant was located in the building, with a Pixley and Ehler’s across the street. These were “greasy spoon” chains that were known for offering cheap eats. Local mobsters were known to hang out at the Plaza. The Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum, would be just to the left, out of view in this picture. The Moody Bible Institute would be out of view on the right. (Russel Kriete Photo)

In this close-up, that looks like 7215 at right. Photographer Russel A. Kreite (1923-2015), of Downers Grove, Illinois, was a member of the Photographic Society of America and had many of his photos published in books and magazines.

In this close-up, that looks like 7215 at right. Photographer Russel A. Kreite (1923-2015), of Downers Grove, Illinois, was a member of the Photographic Society of America and had many of his photos published in books and magazines.


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Remembering Bradley Criss

Bradley Criss on March 3, 2012 at the end of the St. Charles Car Line at Carrollton and Claiborne Avenues in New Orleans. (Jeff Wien Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

Bradley Criss on March 3, 2012 at the end of the St. Charles Car Line at Carrollton and Claiborne Avenues in New Orleans. (Jeff Wien Photo, Wien-Criss Archive)

As many of you may know, I was part of the creative team that produced CERA Bulletin 146*, along with Jeff Wien and Bradley Criss. For that book, I wrote a tribute to Jeff, who is 14 years older than I am and has long been a friend and a mentor to me in the railfan field.

Now, just one year after the book’s publication, I find myself unexpectedly penning a tribute to Bradley. Late last night I received the following note from Jeff:

It is with a sense of deep regret that I inform you of the death of BRADLEY CRISS on June 29, 2016 at 2:00am. Bradley died peacefully in hospice care at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital where he had been hospitalized for a month’s time fighting off infections and other problems.

Bradley was a highly talented young man who will be missed by all of us.

Bradley’s passing was a great shock to everyone who knew him.  He was just 53 years old, and as he was the junior member of the B-146 troika, I had just naturally assumed that he would outlive the both of us.

That is just too young an age for someone as smart, funny, opinionated, and talented as Bradley to die. Let me tell you the story of how the book came about, and how crucial a part Bradley played in its creation.

B-146 was, somewhat improbably, the first CERA publication entirely devoted to Chicago streetcars since a roster had been put out in 1941. There were a variety of reasons why this was so, including the publication of Alan R. Lind‘s excellent book Chicago Surface Lines: An Illustrated History in 1974, the controversial demise of Windy City trolleys, and the immensity of the subject.

During my first term on the CERA board in the early 1990s, I suggested something like this, but the time was not yet ripe and nothing came of it.

About 10 years ago, Jeff and Bradley produced the Chicago Streetcar Memories DVD. Jeff provided the content, and Bradley did a terrific and very professional job putting it together. He had fantastic skills in video production, as anyone who has seen the North Shore Line program that Jeff and Bradley did a few years ago will attest.** The videos they made together are definitely the best of their type. If you have not seen them, they are highly recommended and should not be missed.

In particular, their North Shore Line video brings that storied interurban to life in a way that I would not have thought possible.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Jeff and Bradley had originally planned a CERA book to accompany the Chicago Streetcar Memories DVD. Some work was done then, including parts of the text that would later appear in B-146, but somehow it went onto the back burner in favor of other projects.

During my second stint at CERA a few years ago, I brought up the subject of a Chicago book again, and learned not only that there were tremendous resources available, but that a “head start” had already been made by Bradley and Jeff. The time was right this time, and the project received an enthusiastic green light.

Jeff had the knowledge and had collected a lot of information over the years. I rode a Chicago streetcar once in 1958 as a three-year-old, but Jeff was already a very active fan by that time, documenting the waning days of the PCCs with his hand-held 8mm movie camera.

Over the years, his own photographic collection, together with additional material such as the late Bill Hoffman’s movies, became what is now the Wien-Criss archive. This served, along with the PCC photos that were generously shared by Art Peterson from the Krambles-Peterson archive, as the cornerstone for our book.

Jeff knew his subject inside and out, and had lots of material, and it was my job to help him organize it and flesh it out with additional images. I was sort of a “hunter-gatherer” of Chicago PCC material, a habit that has continued to this day here on the Trolley Dodger blog.

Improvements in technology over the years made a book like this possible.  There is no way it could have been made in the 1970s, 80s, or 90s.  And in that regard, Bradley Criss was our computer technology “maven.”

Bradley’s role was much more than just being Photo Editor. The entire design and layout of the book was his work, and I believe it is one of the most attractive railfan books ever published.

It certainly has the best color photo reproduction of any such book I have seen. And again, this was Bradley’s work. He not only had to painstakingly match the colors of the various cars with the other photos, but had to remove thousands and thousands of blemishes from these photographs via Photoshop. Bradley wrote something at the end of the book about this, but in my humble opinion he greatly minimized the actual difficulty.

The ultimate goal, of course, was to make things look as they originally did in real life, to make up for 60 years of fading and hard knocks that our original source materials had in some cases suffered.

In this, Bradley had the highest possible standards for the work. He would not let it be published until it was absolutely perfect.

If you could see the “before” vs. the “after” of some of these pictures, you wouldn’t believe it.  Of course, when you see the book now, you don’t see all the hard work that went into it.  You can appreciate it as the seamless whole that it is.

It did not do him any favors when we decided that there was so much great material, that we ought to make it a double length book. This took an already impossible task, and multiplied it times two.  As a Chicago PCC book, it really is the “Big Enchilada.”

Eventually, under the crushing weight of such a project, he had to ask for additional help with the daunting task of “spot removal.” Some of the images we used had as many as a thousand such imperfections that had to be fixed one at a time in Photoshop, looking at a very small part of each scene under 200% magnification or more.

Along with Jeff, John Nicholson, and Diana Koester, I did some of this work myself. After spending eight hours a day on spot removal, I could barely see straight. But to take nothing away from the contributions made by other people, Bradley did most of it himself.

There were many things that could have gone wrong and derailed this book. The combination of very high standards and the sheer number of images that were used, created a daunting task, and it was only by pulling together as a team and persevering that we scaled this Mt. Everest of a book and planted our flag on the summit. All this work took longer than anyone could have anticipated at the outset.

Bradley not only had to make the pictures look good; he had to make the entire book look good, and it had to “flow” for the reader, and he had to squeeze a tremendous amount of material into a limited number of pages.  But when you read the book, to quote The Wizard of Oz, you “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Even if I had written a tribute such as this to him for the book, there is no way he would have wanted it printed. He was, to use a restaurant analogy, a “back of the house” sort of guy, who jealously guarded his privacy. His work was integral to making the book a reality, and helped shape it in many ways, but he was not the type of person who would stand at the front of the line and accept praise from the people who have the book and appreciate it. It wasn’t easy for me to even persuade him to sign someone’s copy.

However, in the one year since the book came out, it has been warmly and enthusiastically received. It has also sold a lot of copies, and I am sure that it will eventually sell out and join the long list of other collectible CERA publications. If you do not yet have a copy yourself, I urge you to consider it while new copies are still to be had. There will come a time when the situation will be different.

When we were working on the book, I thought of it as Jeff’s legacy to the world, which of course it is. I had no way of knowing then that it would also become, all too soon, an important part of Bradley’s legacy as well.

This is to take nothing away from the many people who contributed to the book in one way or another. I thank all of them, and am also very grateful to CERA for publishing it.

But on this day, as we mourn the passing of Bradley Criss, I am especially appreciative of what he accomplished, in spite of health issues that he had even at that time. Who knows what he could have achieved in the future.

Bradley was someone who did not suffer fools gladly. But I am glad that I could call him a friend, fortunate to have known him, and even more fortunate to have worked with him on the definitive Chicago PCC book, which may very well gain in stature as the years go by.

I will miss him greatly, miss hearing him laugh, and miss his jokes. I regret that we will never be able to share another deep dish pizza at Gulliver’s on the north side of Chicago, as it was his favorite. Now that he is gone, there is a gap in our lives that cannot be filled.  I loved him like a brother.

So I thank him for everything he did, and I apologize to him for making him, for this one moment, a “front of the house” guy.  I am happy that at least he lived to see the fruits of his labor.

My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends, and everyone who knew him.

-David Sadowski

You can read CERA’s tribute here.

Here is Bradley’s Chicago Tribune obituary.

Bradley’s obituary from the Illinois Valley News Tribune is here.

*Full title: Chicago Streetcar Pictorial: The PCC Car Era, 1936-1958, available from CERA and their dealers.  Trolley Dodger Press is not affiliated with Central Electric Railfans’ Association.

**The North Shore Line video is not commercially available at present, but is occasionally shown at January CERA meetings. Chicago Streetcar Memories is included with B-146 and can also be purchased separately here from Chicago Transport Memories (again, not affiliated with us).


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 144th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 173,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Ten

CSL 1744 and 830 at Western and Howard. The sign on the diner advertises a "small fry lunch," perhaps for children, unless they had a tiny griddle. Another sign at rear promotes the Howard business district. George Trapp: "The Small Fry Restaurant was a full restaurant that lasted into the 1960's under that name. I believe it was renamed the Small Chalet sometime in the late 1960's."

CSL 1744 and 830 at Western and Howard. The sign on the diner advertises a “small fry lunch,” perhaps for children, unless they had a tiny griddle. Another sign at rear promotes the Howard business district. George Trapp: “The Small Fry Restaurant was a full restaurant that lasted into the 1960’s under that name. I believe it was renamed the Small Chalet sometime in the late 1960’s.”

7555 N. Western today. The Small Fry/Chalet has been replaced by a Wintrust Bank.

7555 N. Western today. The Small Fry/Chalet has been replaced by a Wintrust Bank.

For our latest post, we offer another ample selection of Chicago Surface Lines photos from the George Trapp collection. To find earlier posts in this series, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page.

Sometimes, the photos organize themselves into “themes,” and today’s batch features a lot of Broadway-State cars on the northern part of that route. Don’s Rail Photos has an excellent page with additional information on this type of car here.

Don Ross says:

When the various Chicago street railways were consolidated as Chicago Surface Lines, there were still vestiges of prior ownership which is why this group of cars is divided into various number groups. The CSL shops and other manufacturers turned out a number of cars for the various divisions including this group in 1923. There were also some smaller 10 window cars which are covered on another page. Some of the cars were converted to one man service in later years as indicated by the horizontal white stripe on the front dash.

Technically speaking, CSL was a unified operating entity made up of several underlying companies,  the Chicago City Railway, Chicago Railways Company, Calumet and South Chicago Railway, and the Southern Street Railway.  Of the four, the first two companies were by far the largest.  All continued to exist, at least on paper, until the Chicago Transit Authority bought out the various bond holders on October 1, 1947, after which they were liquidated.

As always, if you can help us with locations and other tidbits of information about what you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know so we can update the captions and share the information with our readers. You can comment on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

We are very grateful for the generosity of George Trapp in sharing these great classic images with us. We also wish to thank the original photographers who took these pictures, most notably the late Edward Frank, Jr. and Joe Diaz, who tirelessly roamed the streets of Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s to document what was then the largest streetcar system in the world.

-David Sadowski


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 136th post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 154,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.


CSL 3367 and 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3367 and 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3111 at Devon Station. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3111, signed for Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: "Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars."

CSL 3111, signed for Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: “Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars.”

CSL 3118, signed for Devon, in the mid-1930s. George Trapp: "Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars."

CSL 3118, signed for Devon, in the mid-1930s. George Trapp: “Cars 3111 and 3118 are westbound and eastbound respectfully at Devon and Glenwood (1400 west ) sometime prior to July 10, 1932 when the Devon shuttle was replaced by the extension of the Broadway and Through Route 1 cars to Devon-Kedzie. Both are 45 class small safety cars.”

CSL 3191 in the 1940s. The old Cine Theater, at rear, was located at 2516 W. Devon. According to Cinema Treasures, "The Rapp & Rapp-designed Cine was opened in 1937 in the neighborhood of West Rogers Park, on Devon Avenue at Maplewood Avenue. The Cine closed in 1953 and was converted into a clothing store. The former theater has housed an Indian restaurant for many years." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3191 in the 1940s. The old Cine Theater, at rear, was located at 2516 W. Devon. According to Cinema Treasures, “The Rapp & Rapp-designed Cine was opened in 1937 in the neighborhood of West Rogers Park, on Devon Avenue at Maplewood Avenue. The Cine closed in 1953 and was converted into a clothing store. The former theater has housed an Indian restaurant for many years.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 near the Cine Theater, at about 2560 W. Devon. Don's Rail Photos says, "1750 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 near the Cine Theater, at about 2560 W. Devon. Don’s Rail Photos says, “1750 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Devon and Maplewood today.

Devon and Maplewood today.

There is a nearly identical picture of CSL 1775 in our earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Four (November 27, 2015), which we reproduce below. However, careful examination shows that they are two different photos taken at nearly the same time. They were so similar that I even tried using photo stitching software to see if they could be the same. The program said there is no overlap. Notice how the front trolley pole is in a slightly different position than in the other photo, which must have been taken seconds before this one. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

There is a nearly identical picture of CSL 1775 in our earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Four (November 27, 2015), which we reproduce below. However, careful examination shows that they are two different photos taken at nearly the same time. They were so similar that I even tried using photo stitching software to see if they could be the same. The program said there is no overlap. Notice how the front trolley pole is in a slightly different position than in the other photo, which must have been taken seconds before this one. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1775 during WWII, promoting the Navy, is signed for Broadway. At right there is one of those supervisor's shantys that used to dot the Chicago landscape. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: "CSL #1775 turning from Clark onto Devon."

CSL 1775 during WWII, promoting the Navy, is signed for Broadway. At right there is one of those supervisor’s shantys that used to dot the Chicago landscape. (Railway Negative Exchange Photo) George Trapp: “CSL #1775 turning from Clark onto Devon.”

CSL 1784 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. That's a 1938-40 Cadillac at right. This William L. Mitchell design did much to catapult Cadillac to the forefront of the luxury car market. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1784 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. That’s a 1938-40 Cadillac at right. This William L. Mitchell design did much to catapult Cadillac to the forefront of the luxury car market. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1741 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1741 at Devon and Western in the 1940s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750. Perhaps the Sinclair gas station and the gas tank can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson says it's Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: "Side shot of 1750 is at Devon and Kedzie, gas holder with red and white checkerboard located a couple of blocks North of Devon."

CSL 1750. Perhaps the Sinclair gas station and the gas tank can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson says it’s Devon and Kedzie. George Trapp: “Side shot of 1750 is at Devon and Kedzie, gas holder with red and white checkerboard located a couple of blocks North of Devon.”

CSL 1725 on the Broadway-State route. Perhaps the buildings at left can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson identifies this as Devon just west of Ridge. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "CSL 1725 is westbound on Devon at Damen, Angel Guardian Orphanage is located on South Side of Devon. Old St. Henry's Church is in background at Ridge Blvd."

CSL 1725 on the Broadway-State route. Perhaps the buildings at left can help identify the location. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) Rex Nelson identifies this as Devon just west of Ridge. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 1725 is westbound on Devon at Damen, Angel Guardian Orphanage is located on South Side of Devon. Old St. Henry’s Church is in background at Ridge Blvd.”

CSL 1725. Same location information as above. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1725. Same location information as above. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Devon west of Ridge today. You can recognize the same church building as in the 1940s pictures, even though the orphanage just to the west of the cemetery has been replaced by Misericordia, another Catholic institution (out of this picture).

Devon west of Ridge today. You can recognize the same church building as in the 1940s pictures, even though the orphanage just to the west of the cemetery has been replaced by Misericordia, another Catholic institution (out of this picture).

A Brill builder's photo of CSL 3119. Don's Rail Photos says, "3119 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This was part of a series known as the 169 or Broadway-State cars. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

A Brill builder’s photo of CSL 3119. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3119 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was part of a series known as the 169 or Broadway-State cars. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

The as-new interior of CSL 3119 at the Brill plant in 1922. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

The as-new interior of CSL 3119 at the Brill plant in 1922. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania Photo)

George Trapp: "Car 3120 and others of it's class are actually in the Clark-Arthur loop, materials stockpiled for rebuilding of Devon Depot which was being rebuilt at the time." Half of Devon Station burned down in a 1922 fire. (Fred Borchert Photo, printed by Edward Frank, Jr.)

George Trapp: “Car 3120 and others of it’s class are actually in the Clark-Arthur loop, materials stockpiled for rebuilding of Devon Depot which was being rebuilt at the time.” Half of Devon Station burned down in a 1922 fire. (Fred Borchert Photo, printed by Edward Frank, Jr.)

CSL 3124 being delivered. Don's Rail Photos says, "3124 was built by Brill Car Co. in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3124 being delivered. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3124 was built by Brill Car Co. in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3137 at Clark and Devon. (William C. Janssen Collection)

CSL 3137 at Clark and Devon. (William C. Janssen Collection)

An early photo of CSL 3161. Don's Rail Photos says, "3161 was built by Cummings Car Co in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This may be a builder's photo at the Cummings plant.

An early photo of CSL 3161. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3161 was built by Cummings Car Co in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This may be a builder’s photo at the Cummings plant.

CSL 3161 as new at the McGuire-Cummings plant in 1923. This same builder also made Chicago and West Towns car 141, now restored to running condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 3161 as new at the McGuire-Cummings plant in 1923. This same builder also made Chicago and West Towns car 141, now restored to running condition at the Illinois Railway Museum. (Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

You might wonder if both poles are up in this 1930s picture of CSL 3178. But there is another car behind this one. I would assume this picture was taken on Clark Street near Lincoln Park, and 3178 is operating as a Broadway car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "Car 3178 on Broadway line not Broadway-State in the early 1930's before two lines combined in August of 1937."

You might wonder if both poles are up in this 1930s picture of CSL 3178. But there is another car behind this one. I would assume this picture was taken on Clark Street near Lincoln Park, and 3178 is operating as a Broadway car. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “Car 3178 on Broadway line not Broadway-State in the early 1930’s before two lines combined in August of 1937.”

CSL 6158 and followers at Devon and Kedzie. Don's Rail Photos says, "6158 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This was another Broadway-State car. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 6158 and followers at Devon and Kedzie. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6158 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was another Broadway-State car. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 1745 at Devon and Sacramento. As another "169" or Broadway-State car, Don's Rail Photos adds, "1745 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This photo predates the rebuilding since a one-man car of this type would have a white stripe on the front. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1745 at Devon and Sacramento. As another “169” or Broadway-State car, Don’s Rail Photos adds, “1745 was built by CSL in 1923. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This photo predates the rebuilding since a one-man car of this type would have a white stripe on the front. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 at Devon and Kedzie, north end of the long Broadway-State route. As you can see, the area here was not yet built up. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1750 at Devon and Kedzie, north end of the long Broadway-State route. As you can see, the area here was not yet built up. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1745, presumably near Devon and Kedzie. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1745, presumably near Devon and Kedzie. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 1725 on the Clark-Wentworth route. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "CSL 1725 is at Vincennes and 79th with coupler reattached at one end for possible use of trailers during World War II, which never took place."

CSL 1725 on the Clark-Wentworth route. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 1725 is at Vincennes and 79th with coupler reattached at one end for possible use of trailers during World War II, which never took place.”

CSL 3201 is northbound at State on the Broadway route. That's Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: "CSL 3201 is on State not Wabash sometime between 7/10/32 and 8/19/37. Car is one of two experimental MU cars built by CSL in 1924 with the 23 class cars. Cars ran mainly on Broadway after their first year." Broadway-State cars ran on Wabash from 1939 to 1949, when the State Street bridge was being rebuilt.

CSL 3201 is northbound at State on the Broadway route. That’s Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building at rear. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) George Trapp: “CSL 3201 is on State not Wabash sometime between 7/10/32 and 8/19/37. Car is one of two experimental MU cars built by CSL in 1924 with the 23 class cars. Cars ran mainly on Broadway after their first year.” Broadway-State cars ran on Wabash from 1939 to 1949, when the State Street bridge was being rebuilt.

George Trapp: "CSL 2859, built in 1924 by CSL for the Calumet & South Chicago to replace a wrecked car." This is typed as a "169" or Broadway-State car.

George Trapp: “CSL 2859, built in 1924 by CSL for the Calumet & South Chicago to replace a wrecked car.” This is typed as a “169” or Broadway-State car.

CSL 3246 and 3247 operating in tandem in the 1920s. Andre Kristopans has pointed out that two cars would have used but a single trolley pole in order to avoid having the second car run afoul of switches. The location is given as Maypole and Springfield. (CSL Photo)

CSL 3246 and 3247 operating in tandem in the 1920s. Andre Kristopans has pointed out that two cars would have used but a single trolley pole in order to avoid having the second car run afoul of switches. The location is given as Maypole and Springfield. (CSL Photo)

CSL 6222 signed for Devon and Kedzie. One of our readers says this car is going westbound on Chicago Avenue at Clark.

CSL 6222 signed for Devon and Kedzie. One of our readers says this car is going westbound on Chicago Avenue at Clark.

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Nine

We can be very thankful that enterprising photographers took great pictures like this one. Practically everything we see here is gone now. This picture shows the end of the Normal Park "L" on 69th Street between Parnell and Normal, at about 526 West. CSL 6226 and 6236 are running on the 67-69-71 route. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) As you can see, the Normal Park "L" was built with the intention of extending it south of 69th, but this did not happen. This short and lightly used branch was abandoned in 1954, and "L" service did not go south of 63rd again until the opening of the Dan Ryan line in 1969. This picture looks to have been taken sometime around 1940. Starting in 1949, CTA began to operate the Normal Park branch as a shuttle operation using one or two wood cars. Eventually, the intermediate stations were gutted and conductors collected fares at those stations on the train. By 1954, ridership was so slight that no replacement service was needed.

We can be very thankful that enterprising photographers took great pictures like this one. Practically everything we see here is gone now. This picture shows the end of the Normal Park “L” on 69th Street between Parnell and Normal, at about 526 West. CSL 6226 and 6236 are running on the 67-69-71 route. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo) As you can see, the Normal Park “L” was built with the intention of extending it south of 69th, but this did not happen. This short and lightly used branch was abandoned in 1954, and “L” service did not go south of 63rd again until the opening of the Dan Ryan line in 1969. This picture looks to have been taken sometime around 1940. Starting in 1949, CTA began to operate the Normal Park branch as a shuttle operation using one or two wood cars. Eventually, the intermediate stations were gutted and conductors collected fares at those stations on the train. By 1954, ridership was so slight that no replacement service was needed.

Here's how 526 W. 69th Street looks today.

Here’s how 526 W. 69th Street looks today.

Here is another sampling of classic Chicago Surface Lines photos from the collections of George Trapp, who has generously shared them with us. If you would like to see other pictures in this series, please use the search window at the top of this page. Watch this space for more CSL pictures in the near future.

As always, if you know some useful tidbit of information about these images and would like to share them with us, you can either leave a comment on this post, or contact us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

PS- We hope you will join us in wishing Jeff Wien, co-author of CERA Bulletin 146, a happy 75th birthday.


Easter Parade in Toronto

Our previous post Trolley Dodger Mailbag, 3-27-2016 showed pictures of Toronto Peter Witt car 2766 being readied for the Easter parade. Here are some videos showing five generations of Toronto streetcars in that parade:


Chicago or Philadelphia?

luzernedepot1913

This 1913 picture was recently sold on eBay, identified as being Chicago. Having our doubts, we asked the members of the Philadelphia Transit discussion group on Yahoo to weigh in with their opinions. Several people identified it as being the west apron of Luzerne Depot.

Michael T. Greene wrote:

It’s Luzerne Depot in Philadelphia. BTW, this isn’t the first time that I’ve seen a Philadelphia photo mislabeled as a Chicago photo. In 2003, there was a photo from the Bob Redden Archives that showed a touring London RT bus in what was billed as “Chicago”…until I noticed a Mack C-41-GT in a 1500-series, signed for a line lettered “C”. In addition, there were streetlights I never knew existed in Chicago, but did see use on Broad Street in Philadelphia. It turned out that the photo was Broad Street, between South Penn Square and Chestnut.

Doing further research, I determined that the photo was taken March 25, 1952, and the London bus was part of a nationwide tour to promote the UK as a tourist destination. Another photo was shown of the RT passing an old-ish building that looked suspiciously similar to Broad Street Station…it was Broad Street Station, taken the same day as the first photo. (We are talking the Bob Redden Archives, so either version of “taken” might apply here.) Now, if we had a skyline shot, we’d be able to determine awfully fast…most US cities have a “signature” tall building where you can tell what city a picture was taken.

Interestingly, since J. G. Brill was located in Philadelphia, many Chicago streetcars were built there, and today’s post includes a few pictures of CSL streetcars at the factory in Philly. Luzerne Depot was used from 1913 to 1997.


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 131st post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 143,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.


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In order to continue giving you the kinds of historic railroad images that you have come to expect from The Trolley Dodger, we need your help and support. It costs money to maintain this website, and to do the sort of historic research that is our specialty. Your financial contributions help make this possible and are greatly appreciated.


CSL Sedan 3342 is southbound on Clark just north of North Avenue, probably in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Sedan 3342 is southbound on Clark just north of North Avenue, probably in the 1930s. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3341 at South Shops on October 23, 1938. This was the day of a famous Surface Lines fantrip, instrumental in recruiting a lot of new members for Central Electric Railfans' Association, which was just getting on its feet. You can read more about that here (just disregard the error message that might come up). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3341 at South Shops on October 23, 1938. This was the day of a famous Surface Lines fantrip, instrumental in recruiting a lot of new members for Central Electric Railfans’ Association, which was just getting on its feet. You can read more about that here (just disregard the error message that might come up). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The back end of CSL 3341 at Devon Station (car barn). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

The back end of CSL 3341 at Devon Station (car barn). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL Pullman 149 and Sedan 6280 at Devon Station (car barn) in the 1930s. 6280 was built by CSL in 1929. This building was built by the Chicago Union Traction Co. in 1900. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Pullman 149 and Sedan 6280 at Devon Station (car barn) in the 1930s. 6280 was built by CSL in 1929. This building was built by the Chicago Union Traction Co. in 1900. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3327 is southbound, most likely on route 22 Clark-Wentworth, in this 1930s scene. It's possible this may be north Clark Street just south of Birchwood, where there is a curve. That is just a few blocks south of Howard, which was the end of the line. There is a building at Clark and Howard that resembles the one at right. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3327 is southbound, most likely on route 22 Clark-Wentworth, in this 1930s scene. It’s possible this may be north Clark Street just south of Birchwood, where there is a curve. That is just a few blocks south of Howard, which was the end of the line. There is a building at Clark and Howard that resembles the one at right. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

The building at Clark and Howard as it looks today. We are facing north.

The building at Clark and Howard as it looks today. We are facing north.

CSL Sedan 3323 is southbound on Clark at Sheffield. The rather odd building at right is still there. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL Sedan 3323 is southbound on Clark at Sheffield. The rather odd building at right is still there. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Clark and Sheffield today.

Clark and Sheffield today.

A closer up view of that triangular-shaped building. In this photo, it is being renovated. These type of structures were often hamburger stands back in the 1930s.

A closer up view of that triangular-shaped building. In this photo, it is being renovated. These type of structures were often hamburger stands back in the 1930s.

CSL 3322 on route 22 - Clark-Wentworth. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 3322 on route 22 – Clark-Wentworth. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 3322, heading southbound on Clark at Lincoln. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3322, heading southbound on Clark at Lincoln. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Clark and Lincoln today.

Clark and Lincoln today.

CSL 3303 on the 59-61st Street route. Andre Kristopans: "3303 on 59/61 is just east of Western. These days CSX’s big intermodal terminal is overhead where the S2 is." (Joe L. Diaz Photo) 3303 was part of a series known as Multiple Unit cars. According to Don's Rail Photos, "These cars were built by CSL and have the same body style as the 1923 12-window cars, but were built with maximum traction trucks. A number were converted to one man operation as indicated by the white stripe on the ends. 3203 was built by CSL in 1924. It was rebuilt (for) one man service in 1932."

CSL 3303 on the 59-61st Street route. Andre Kristopans: “3303 on 59/61 is just east of Western. These days CSX’s big intermodal terminal is overhead where the S2 is.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo) 3303 was part of a series known as Multiple Unit cars. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “These cars were built by CSL and have the same body style as the 1923 12-window cars, but were built with maximum traction trucks. A number were converted to one man operation as indicated by the white stripe on the ends. 3203 was built by CSL in 1924. It was rebuilt (for) one man service in 1932.”

59th Street just east of Western Avenue today.

59th Street just east of Western Avenue today.

CTA 3321 at Chicago's lakefront in the early 1950s. Andre Kristopans: "3321 is on 67th just west of Oglesby. LSD in background."

CTA 3321 at Chicago’s lakefront in the early 1950s. Andre Kristopans: “3321 is on 67th just west of Oglesby. LSD in background.”

CSL 32XX in a rather contrasty picture. Andre Kristopans: "The 3200 with unknown exact number is EB on Montrose at Lincoln. Welles Park in background."

CSL 32XX in a rather contrasty picture. Andre Kristopans: “The 3200 with unknown exact number is EB on Montrose at Lincoln. Welles Park in background.”

According to Andre Kristopans, CSL 3304 is "EB on Montrose at Elston."

According to Andre Kristopans, CSL 3304 is “EB on Montrose at Elston.”

CTA 6233 on the 67-69-71 route. May Motor Sales had two locations, and this one is 501 E. 69th Street. If so, this is where the Chicago Skyway runs today. (Joe L. Diaz Collection) Andre Kristopans: "6233 is westbound, so indeed this is Keefe/Anthony/69th right were the Skyway now is."

CTA 6233 on the 67-69-71 route. May Motor Sales had two locations, and this one is 501 E. 69th Street. If so, this is where the Chicago Skyway runs today. (Joe L. Diaz Collection) Andre Kristopans: “6233 is westbound, so indeed this is Keefe/Anthony/69th right were the Skyway now is.”

The same location today, where the Chicago Skyway now runs. We are looking east at about 501 W. 69th.

The same location today, where the Chicago Skyway now runs. We are looking east at about 501 W. 69th.

CSL 3311 in a McGuire-Cummings builder's photo, taken at Paris, Illinois. Don's Rail Photos says, "3311 was built by Cummings Car Co in 1926. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932."

CSL 3311 in a McGuire-Cummings builder’s photo, taken at Paris, Illinois. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3311 was built by Cummings Car Co in 1926. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932.”

Another builder's photo of CSL 3311.

Another builder’s photo of CSL 3311.

CSL 3306 is heading west on route 73 - Armitage, and is about ready to turn south on Racine. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo) We ran a photo taken around the corner from here in our earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015). Andre Kristopans adds, "note that north of Armitage Racine had southbound track only all the way from Webster – that had not seen any regular service since the teens but was retained for emergency use."

CSL 3306 is heading west on route 73 – Armitage, and is about ready to turn south on Racine. (Ed Frank, Jr. Photo) We ran a photo taken around the corner from here in our earlier post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Three (November 21, 2015). Andre Kristopans adds, “note that north of Armitage Racine had southbound track only all the way from Webster – that had not seen any regular service since the teens but was retained for emergency use.”

CSL Multiple Unit cars 6272 and 6270, apparently being operated that way sometime between 1923, when they were built, and 1932, the date they were converted to one-man operation. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL Multiple Unit cars 6272 and 6270, apparently being operated that way sometime between 1923, when they were built, and 1932, the date they were converted to one-man operation. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3320 and 3314 connected for multiple unit operation, most likely in the 1920s. The need for MU disappeared after the 1929 stock market crash. Andre Kristopans adds, "while they are signed for Grand, most likely they are at South Shops."

CSL 3320 and 3314 connected for multiple unit operation, most likely in the 1920s. The need for MU disappeared after the 1929 stock market crash. Andre Kristopans adds, “while they are signed for Grand, most likely they are at South Shops.”

I'm not sure why CSL 3288 is hanging over the edge in this photo, or what building is being constructed behind it. Andre Kristopans: "3288 was built by St Louis Car. It is obviously brand new, so it can be assumed to be at St. Louis’s plant. It would appear the plant is being expanded."

I’m not sure why CSL 3288 is hanging over the edge in this photo, or what building is being constructed behind it. Andre Kristopans: “3288 was built by St Louis Car. It is obviously brand new, so it can be assumed to be at St. Louis’s plant. It would appear the plant is being expanded.”

CSL 6247 at South Shops, signed for Halsted-Archer-Clark. This was another Multiple Unit type car. Don's Rail Photos says, "6247 was built by Brill Car Co in 1926, #22417. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932. It was returned as two man service in 1948 and back to one man in 1949." (Chicago Surface Lines Photo)

CSL 6247 at South Shops, signed for Halsted-Archer-Clark. This was another Multiple Unit type car. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6247 was built by Brill Car Co in 1926, #22417. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932. It was returned as two man service in 1948 and back to one man in 1949.” (Chicago Surface Lines Photo)

Another CSL picture showing 6247 at South Shops.

Another CSL picture showing 6247 at South Shops.

The as-built interior of CSL 3279. Don's Rail Photos says, "3279 was built by Brill Car Co in 1926 #22417. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932. It was returned as two man serive in 1948 and back as one man in 1949." (J. G. Brill Photo, Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection)

The as-built interior of CSL 3279. Don’s Rail Photos says, “3279 was built by Brill Car Co in 1926 #22417. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932. It was returned as two man serive in 1948 and back as one man in 1949.” (J. G. Brill Photo, Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection)

Another 1926 builder's photo of 3279 at the Brill plant in Philadelphia. (J. G. Brill Photo, Historical Society of Philadelphia Collection)

Another 1926 builder’s photo of 3279 at the Brill plant in Philadelphia. (J. G. Brill Photo, Historical Society of Philadelphia Collection)

CSL 6222 at Clark and Chicago. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection) Another Multiple Unit type car, Don's Rail Photos says, "6222 was built by Lightweight Noiseless Streetcar Co in 1924. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932."

CSL 6222 at Clark and Chicago. (George Krambles Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection) Another Multiple Unit type car, Don’s Rail Photos says, “6222 was built by Lightweight Noiseless Streetcar Co in 1924. It was rebuilt as one man service in 1932.”

Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Seven

CSL Sedan 6317 at 10559 South Ewing. That bus at right is on the 103rd Street route. That's the old Eastside Theater behind the streetcar. According to Cinema Treasures, "The Eastside Theater opened in 1922, at Ewing Avenue between 105th Street and 106th Street, in the East Side neighborhood of Chicago, not far from the Illinois-Indiana border. The Eastside Theater closed in 1951. Today, a bank is located on the site of the Eastside Theater, in a building dating from the late-1970’s." (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL Sedan 6317 at 10559 South Ewing. That bus at right is on the 103rd Street route. That’s the old Eastside Theater behind the streetcar. According to Cinema Treasures, “The Eastside Theater opened in 1922, at Ewing Avenue between 105th Street and 106th Street, in the East Side neighborhood of Chicago, not far from the Illinois-Indiana border. The Eastside Theater closed in 1951. Today, a bank is located on the site of the Eastside Theater, in a building dating from the late-1970’s.” (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

The same location today.

The same location today.

Here is another generous helping of classic Chicago streetcar photos from the latter part of the CSL era as well as the early days of its successor, the Chicago Transit Authority.

As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

FYI, there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space. To see previous posts, use the search window on this page.

-David Sadowski


Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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This is our 123rd post, and we are gradually creating a body of work and an online resource for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere. To date, we have received over 129,000 page views, for which we are very grateful.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a donation there as well.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.


New From Trolley Dodger Press:

P1060517

American Streetcar R.P.O.s: 1893-1929

Mainline Railway Post Offices were in use in the United States from 1862 to 1978 (with the final year being operated by boat instead of on rails), but for a much briefer era, cable cars and streetcars were also used for mail handling in the following 15 cities*:

Baltimore
Boston
Brooklyn
Chicago
Cincinnati
Cleveland
New Bedford, Massachusetts
New York City
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Rochester, New York
St. Louis
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington, D.C.


*As noted by some of our readers, this list does not include interurban RPOs.

Our latest E-book American Streetcar R.P.O.s collects 12 books on this subject (over 1000 pages in all) onto a DVD data disc that can be read on any computer using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free software. All have been out of print for decades and are hard to find. In addition, there is an introductory essay by David Sadowski.

The rolling stock, routes, operations, and cancellation markings of the various American street railway post office systems are covered in detail. The era of the streetcar R.P.O. was relatively brief, covering 1893 to 1929, but it represented an improvement in mail handling over what came before, and it moved a lot of mail. In many places, it was possible to deposit a letter into a mail slot on a streetcar or cable car and have it delivered across town within a short number of hours.

These operations present a very interesting history, but are not well-known to railfans. We feel they deserve greater scrutiny, and therefore we are donating $1 from each sale of this item to the Mobile Post Office Society, in support of their efforts.

# of Discs – 1
Price: $19.95


CSL 702, shown here in 1951, was built by the Pressed Steel Car Company in 1909. The photo caption describes this as being the last car left in the 701-750 series. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) Andre Kristopans: "750 is at South Shops, on what would be 78th St just east of Vincennes."

CSL 702, shown here in 1951, was built by the Pressed Steel Car Company in 1909. The photo caption describes this as being the last car left in the 701-750 series. (C. Edward Hedstrom Photo) Andre Kristopans: “750 is at South Shops, on what would be 78th St just east of Vincennes.”

Westbound car 3109 crosses the 18th Street bridge. This CSL Safety Car, also known as a Sewing Machine(?), was built by CSL in 1922. It was scrapped in 1948. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Westbound car 3109 crosses the 18th Street bridge. This CSL Safety Car, also known as a Sewing Machine(?), was built by CSL in 1922. It was scrapped in 1948. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

Blue Island car 3111 on the 18th Street line, at about 1738 West. (Joe L. Diaz Collection) Andre Kristopans: "3111 is on 18th Street WB, just west of Halsted where 18th had a major jog to the south. Leavitt/Blue Island was the west end of the 18th line."

Blue Island car 3111 on the 18th Street line, at about 1738 West. (Joe L. Diaz Collection) Andre Kristopans: “3111 is on 18th Street WB, just west of Halsted where 18th had a major jog to the south. Leavitt/Blue Island was the west end of the 18th line.”

CSL Sedan 6281 at South Shops,probably when new (1929). (Chicago Surface Lines Photo)

CSL Sedan 6281 at South Shops,probably when new (1929). (Chicago Surface Lines Photo)

CSL 6237 at 51st and State. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 6237 at 51st and State. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

51st and State today. The school in the background is now called the Crispus Attucks Community Academy.

51st and State today. The school in the background is now called the Crispus Attucks Community Academy.

CSL 1533, signed for 16th and Kenton, on September 27, 1947, just a few days before the CTA takeover.

CSL 1533, signed for 16th and Kenton, on September 27, 1947, just a few days before the CTA takeover.

CSL 6139 on the 35th Street route on April 27, 1951. This was one of the "Odd 17" cars (actually 19) in the two series 3090-3091 and 6138-6154. According to Don's Rail Photos, "6139 was built by American Car Co in February 1918, (job) #1079."

CSL 6139 on the 35th Street route on April 27, 1951. This was one of the “Odd 17” cars (actually 19) in the two series 3090-3091 and 6138-6154. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “6139 was built by American Car Co in February 1918, (job) #1079.”

CSL 5068 on the Wallace-Racine route, circa 1948-49, near the Santa Fe Hotel. This was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. According to Don's Rail Photos, "5001 thru 5200 were built by Brill in 1905, #14318, for the Chicago City Ry. where they carried the same numbers. They were rebuilt in 1908 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars." George Foelschow: "I believe car 5068 is on Polk Street just west of State Street downtown, on the Wallace-Racine line. The Santa Fe was a modestly-appointed hotel in the South Loop and the restaurant carries a “10” on its awning. I don’t believe South Side Brills ever saw Webster Street on the North Side."

CSL 5068 on the Wallace-Racine route, circa 1948-49, near the Santa Fe Hotel. This was a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “5001 thru 5200 were built by Brill in 1905, #14318, for the Chicago City Ry. where they carried the same numbers. They were rebuilt in 1908 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars.” George Foelschow: “I believe car 5068 is on Polk Street just west of State Street downtown, on the Wallace-Racine line. The Santa Fe was a modestly-appointed hotel in the South Loop and the restaurant carries a “10” on its awning. I don’t believe South Side Brills ever saw Webster Street on the North Side.”

CTA 1599 at Van Buren and Damen on September 24, 1949. This car was built by Chicago Railways in 1912. Don's Rail Photos says, "These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier." We are looking to the east, and the Paulina "L" is visible at rear. During construction of the Congress expressway, half of Van Buren in this area was used for ground-level rapid transit service between 1953 and 1958.

CTA 1599 at Van Buren and Damen on September 24, 1949. This car was built by Chicago Railways in 1912. Don’s Rail Photos says, “These cars were improved versions of the Pullmans of a couple years earlier.” We are looking to the east, and the Paulina “L” is visible at rear. During construction of the Congress expressway, half of Van Buren in this area was used for ground-level rapid transit service between 1953 and 1958.

Van Buren and Damen today.

Van Buren and Damen today.

CTA Pullman 199, signed for Baltimore and 93rd.

CTA Pullman 199, signed for Baltimore and 93rd.

CSL 6021 at Archer and Pitney Court on September 6, 1947. To paraphrase Don's Rail Photos, It was "built by Brill Car Co in July 1914, (job) #19450. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1945 and restored as two-man in 1946."

CSL 6021 at Archer and Pitney Court on September 6, 1947. To paraphrase Don’s Rail Photos, It was “built by Brill Car Co in July 1914, (job) #19450. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1945 and restored as two-man in 1946.”

CTA 6070 on the California shuttle on December 31, 1948. Andre Kristopans: "6070 is at California and Belmont SB. The building to the left still stands, the old “Immel State Bank”, now a banquet hall."

CTA 6070 on the California shuttle on December 31, 1948. Andre Kristopans: “6070 is at California and Belmont SB. The building to the left still stands, the old “Immel State Bank”, now a banquet hall.”

California and Belmont today. We are looking north.

California and Belmont today. We are looking north.

CTA 5565 on September 10, 1949. This was known as a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. M. E. writes, "Methinks this photo is at Root St. (4130 South) and Halsted. Under that assumption, the view faces north, the L is the Stock Yards L, and the streetcar is on the 44 Wallace-Racine line, heading from westbound on Root to southbound on Halsted."

CTA 5565 on September 10, 1949. This was known as a Brill-American-Kuhlman car. M. E. writes, “Methinks this photo is at Root St. (4130 South) and Halsted. Under that assumption, the view faces north, the L is the Stock Yards L, and the streetcar is on the 44 Wallace-Racine line, heading from westbound on Root to southbound on Halsted.”

CTA 3105 at Leavitt and Cermak on April 9, 1948. This is another Safety Car, aka a "Sewing Machine."

CTA 3105 at Leavitt and Cermak on April 9, 1948. This is another Safety Car, aka a “Sewing Machine.”

Leavitt and Cermak today.

Leavitt and Cermak today.

CSL 1382. To paraphrase Don's Rail Photos, "1382 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906 as CUT 4911. It became CSL 1382 in 1914."

CSL 1382. To paraphrase Don’s Rail Photos, “1382 was built by St Louis Car Co in 1906 as CUT 4911. It became CSL 1382 in 1914.”

CSL 6162 on the Broadway-State line. Don's Rail Photos says, "6162 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949." This was part of a group known as "169" or Broadway-State cars.

CSL 6162 on the Broadway-State line. Don’s Rail Photos says, “6162 was built by Brill Car Co in December 1922, #21686. It was rebuilt as one-man in 1949.” This was part of a group known as “169” or Broadway-State cars.

1537 and 1559 on the Taylor Street shuttle, after the mid-section of this line had been abandoned. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

1537 and 1559 on the Taylor Street shuttle, after the mid-section of this line had been abandoned. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 2514 crossing the Rock Island at Givins station. According to www.chicagorailfan.com, the "earlier station was located on the north side of 111th St. west of Laflin Ave., on the east side of the tracks. A later station was constructed south of 111th St. on the west side of Marshfield Ave., on the east side of the tracks, discontinued in 1984. Construction of Interstate Highway 57 may have affected the station location." This was part of a series called "Robertson" Rebuild Cars, built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Andre Kristopans adds, "RI Givins station at the end was a small (maybe 10×20) cinder block structure south of 111th. It hung around for many years after no more trains stopped there until being demolished circa 2000."

CSL 2514 crossing the Rock Island at Givins station. According to http://www.chicagorailfan.com, the “earlier station was located on the north side of 111th St. west of Laflin Ave., on the east side of the tracks. A later station was constructed south of 111th St. on the west side of Marshfield Ave., on the east side of the tracks, discontinued in 1984. Construction of Interstate Highway 57 may have affected the station location.” This was part of a series called “Robertson” Rebuild Cars, built in 1901 by St. Louis Car Company. (Joe L. Diaz Photo) Andre Kristopans adds, “RI Givins station at the end was a small (maybe 10×20) cinder block structure south of 111th. It hung around for many years after no more trains stopped there until being demolished circa 2000.”

Where the Rock Island crosses 111th today, just west of I-57.

Where the Rock Island crosses 111th today, just west of I-57.

CSL 5649 at Division and Western. This was another Brill-American-Kuhlman car. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 5649 at Division and Western. This was another Brill-American-Kuhlman car. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3189 at Cottage Grove and 38th. This was known as a "Sun Parlor" car and was built by CSL in 1923.

CSL 3189 at Cottage Grove and 38th. This was known as a “Sun Parlor” car and was built by CSL in 1923.

CTA Pressed Steel car 730. It was built in 1909 to the same specs as the Pullmans.

CTA Pressed Steel car 730. It was built in 1909 to the same specs as the Pullmans.

CSL's Navy tribute car during World War II. (Seth Bramson Collection)

CSL’s Navy tribute car during World War II. (Seth Bramson Collection)

CSL's War Bond car during World War II. This picture was probably taken around 1942 on State Street while the streetcar tracks were being redone as part of the subway construction project.

CSL’s War Bond car during World War II. This picture was probably taken around 1942 on State Street while the streetcar tracks were being redone as part of the subway construction project.

CSL 922, probably circa 1915. This was known as a "Little" Pullman and was built in 1910. (Seth Bramson Collection) Andre Kristopans: "922 – very early shot indeed. Note car is still in all green, not red and cream. Also note a date that looks like “3-22-15”? date painted on panel under front door. I imagine this is a paint date. Also note car has no side route signs. It is sitting at West Shops."

CSL 922, probably circa 1915. This was known as a “Little” Pullman and was built in 1910. (Seth Bramson Collection) Andre Kristopans: “922 – very early shot indeed. Note car is still in all green, not red and cream. Also note a date that looks like “3-22-15”? date painted on panel under front door. I imagine this is a paint date. Also note car has no side route signs. It is sitting at West Shops.”

CSL Pullman 677 on the outer end of Milwaukee Avenue on March 4, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection) Andre Kristopans: "677 – Most likely on Milwaukee north of Central where many cars turned back. Originally turnback point was Gale St, right where Jefferson Park terminal now is, but later was moved to Central."

CSL Pullman 677 on the outer end of Milwaukee Avenue on March 4, 1946. (John F. Bromley Collection) Andre Kristopans: “677 – Most likely on Milwaukee north of Central where many cars turned back. Originally turnback point was Gale St, right where Jefferson Park terminal now is, but later was moved to Central.”

CSL Pullman 696 at the Museum Loop in Grant Park in April 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL Pullman 696 at the Museum Loop in Grant Park in April 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL Pullman 431 on Cicero Avenue, February 22, 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL Pullman 431 on Cicero Avenue, February 22, 1940. (John F. Bromley Collection)

The CSL Sedans

CSL 3375 northbound on Clark just south of Wacker Drive in 1934. In fact, that's a 1934 Ford, possibly a V-8, at left. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3375 northbound on Clark just south of Wacker Drive in 1934. In fact, that’s a 1934 Ford, possibly a V-8, at left. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

Thanks to the generosity of George Trapp, here is a Christmas Eve helping of classic Chicago Surface Lines streetcar photos from his wonderful collection. (To see additional photos he has already shared with us, just type “George Trapp” into the search window at the top of this page. Several other posts will come up.)

Today we feature the 100 “Sedans” (aka Peter Witts) that ran in Chicago from 1929 to 1952.

As always, if you can help identify locations, or have interesting facts or reminiscences to add, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. You can leave comments on this post, or write us directly at:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com

FYI there will be additional posts in this series coming up in the near future, so watch this space.

The Peter Witts in Chicago

A Peter Witt streetcar (also known here as a “Sedan”), a very popular car type, was introduced in many North American cities around 1915 to 1930. Peter Witt himself (1869-1948) was a commissioner of the Cleveland Railway Company, and developed the design of these cars there.

The advantage of the Witts was to reduce dwell time at stops. Passengers boarded at the front of these two-man cars and exited at the center door after paying on their way out. Peter Witt received U. S. Patent 1,180,900 for this improvement in streetcar design.

Witt cars were popular in large cities like Cleveland and Toronto. They are still in use in Milan, Italy.

As Railroad Model Craftsman magazine noted:

The Chicago Surface Lines Peter Witt cars were known locally as “Sedans” and were 49′ long. These 100 cars were numbered 3322-3381 and 6280-6319. They had three folding doors at the front and three sliding doors, separated by a window for the conductor’s station, at the center. The front-end dash was rounded.

The Chicago order was split between Cummings, Brill, and CSL as follows:

3322-3341, 6280-6293 – CSL (34 cars)

3342-3361, 6294-6306 – Brill (33 cars)

3362-3381, 6307-6319 – Cummings Car (33 cars)

I’m not sure whether all three batches had the same trucks and motors. A list of Brill work orders indicates theirs had Brill 76E2 trucks.

It wasn’t that unusual back then for transit operators to build some of their own cars. Starting in 1929, CSL was a very active participant in the Electric Railway Presidents’ Conference Committee, whose work developed the standardized PCC car, which soon dominated the industry.

The PCC patents were assigned to the Transit Research Corporation, whose stock was owned by the various transit operators who took part in the program. CSL apparently owned the largest amount of stock, which in turn was owned by the Chicago Transit Authority starting in 1947. Eventually Walter J. McCarter, first general manager of CTA, became the head of TRC, which I think has since been disbanded.

The Witts were speedy and attractive cars with leather seats, certainly the most modern things CSL had prior to the two experimental units and the PCCs. When considered with these, Chicago had a total of 785 modern cars.

The Sedans were mainly used on the busy Clark-Wentworth line. After the 83 prewar PCCs came on the scene in 1936-37, they also helped fill out schedules on Madison. After World War II, they eventually made their way to Cottage Grove before being retired in 1952.

They certainly could have been used longer than 23 years. Toronto had 350 Witts, built between 1921 and 1923, and the last of these was retired in 1965– more than 40 years of service.

To this day, Toronto still has one Peter Witt (#2766) on the property in operable condition, and it is brought out for special occasions.

Once the Chicago Transit Authority took over the surface and rapid transit lines in 1947, the mantra became, “get rid of all the old red streetcars.” And since the Witts were not PCCs, they got lumped into that category as well. Some were slated for conversion to one-man around 1951, but I am not certain whether any were operated in this way prior to retirement. I have seen photos showing how the door configuration on at least one car was so changed.

All 100 Sedans were scrapped in 1952. None were saved for museums, which is a real shame. Unfortunately, the Sedans were scrapped just before a museum movement started here. The Illinois Electric Railway Museum was founded in 1953, and their first purchase was Indiana Railroad car 65. The first Chicago streetcar acquired by the museum was red Pullman 144.

Likewise, the preservation efforts of the Electric Railway Historical Society did not begin until a few years later. Ultimately, ERHS saved several Chicago trolleys, all of which made their way to IRM in 1973. Additional cars were saved by CTA and made their way to IRM and the Fox River Trolley Museum in the mid-1980s.

J. G. Brill was the preeminent American streetcar manufacturer before the PCC era. While they were involved in the development of the PCC, and built experimental car 7001 for Chicago in 1934, they made a fateful decision not to pay royalties on the PCC patents, and their attempts to compete with the PCC were largely a failure. Fewer than 50 “Brilliners” (their competing model) were built, the last in 1941.

Around 1930, Brill promoted another type of standardized car called a Master Unit. However, as built, I don’t believe any two orders of Master Units were exactly the same.

There is some dispute as to whether Baltimore’s Peter Witts also qualify as Master Units. However, what defines a Witt is the manner of fare collection, and not the overall style of the car or its mechanical equipment.

As the same magazine referenced above explains:

Peter Witt was the very efficient city clerk in the administration of Cleveland, OH mayor Tom Johnson in the 1900s. In 1912, subsequent mayor Newton Baker appointed him as Street Railway Commissioner. Witt became concerned with the inefficiencies of fare collection in streetcars. Many systems still relied on the old horse car era scheme of having the conductor squeeze through the crowded car to collect fares from newly boarded passengers. After 1905, many systems adopted the “pay-as-you-enter” (PAYE) car design, with the conductor stationed at a fixed location on the rear platform to collect fares as passengers boarded and moved forward to find seats in the car interior. On busy lines, this resulted in delays while enough new passengers paid their fares to allow the last waiting passenger to find room on the rear platform so the doors could be closed and the conductor could give a two-bell signal for the motorman to proceed.

Peter Witt’s innovation was the “pay-as-you-pass” fare collection system, using a front entrance and center exit streetcar configuration. The section of the car forward of the center doors had longitudinal “bowling alley” seats to allow abundant space for newly boarded standees. The conductor was stationed just ahead of the center exit doors, and collected fares while the car was in motion either as patrons prepared to exit the car, or as they moved aft to find more comfortable seating in the rear section of the car. This greatly expedited the loading process at busy stops, and improved efficiency. The first Cleveland cars modified to Witt’s design entered service in December 1914, and were an immediate success, resulting in orders for new cars built to this design in Cleveland and in many other cities. The Peter Witt type of car remained very popular until the advent of the PCC streetcar in the 1930’s. The standard PCC used the same proven front entrance-center exit configuration, and many two-man PCCs used the Peter Witt fare collection scheme.

Before the PCC, most streetcar systems ordered unique cars specified to meet local needs and traditions. While many cities used Peter Witt type streetcars, the cars were not of the same design from city to city…

In doing the research for this review, one question remains unanswered: were the Baltimore Peter Witts Master Units? The Seashore Trolley Museum website describes the Baltimore #6144 in their collection as a “Brill Master Unit Peter Witt”. In “PCC – The Car That Fought Back”, Carlson and Schneider describe the 90 Indianapolis cars as Master Units. The Brill Master Unit was intended to be a flexible design based on standardized components, including single or double-ended single or double truck cars. The Master Unit product line also included a double truck front entrance-center exit design shown in an artist’s illustration in a Brill advertisement in the February 9, 1929 Electric Railway Journal. On the other hand Debra Brill in her History of the J.G. Brill Company states that only 78 Master Units were constructed (20 for Lima Peru, 20 for Brazil, 20 for Lynchburg, 13 for Youngstown, 3 for Yakima, 1 for Louisville, and 1 single trucker for TARS in New York). Ms. Brill does not count the 32 similar cars for Wilmington ordered before the official introduction of the Master Unit, or the single car built for a cancelled Lynchburg order and used by Brill for testing. She recognizes that the TARS and Louisville cars were the only ones that fully conformed to Brill’s Master Unit design.

Likewise, the definition of what constitutes a PCC streetcar is also a bit fluid, as detailed by noted transit historian Dr. Harold E. Cox in this article.

Several models of the Chicago Peter Witts have been produced by various firms, including the excellent St. Petersburg Tram Collection.

Each year, the holiday season creates a warm and generous feeling towards other people, and this year is no exception. Now that we are truly at our “Witt’s End,” we hope that you will enjoy these photographic gifts in the spirit in which they are intended.

Happy Holidays!

-David Sadowski


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    Help Support The Trolley Dodger

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Updates

Our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store, has been updated with the addition of about 12 minutes of public domain color video showing Chicago PCCs in action. These films were mainly taken on route 36 – Broadway, with a date of October 9, 1956. However, some portions of the film may have been shot earlier, since there are a couple of prewar cars seen. These were last used on route 49 – Western on June 17, 1956.

This video portion can be viewed on any computer using media player software.

PS- Several additional photos have been added to our previous post Chicago Surface Lines Photos, Part Five (December 11th).


Fred J. Borchert

Fred J. Borchert (1889-1951), some of whose work appears on this blog, was an early railfan photographer in Chicago. His work predated other early fans such as Edward Frank, Jr. (1911-1992). There are Ed Frank pictures here from as early as 1934, but Borchert’s work goes back even further than that.

I haven’t been able to find much information on Borchert, but I do know that during WWI, he drove a taxicab, and later, worked for the US Post Office. Ed Frank must have acquired at least some of Borchert’s negatives after his death, since he made prints. If anyone can provide further information on either of these gentlemen, I would appreciate it. I did at least meet Ed Frank since he used to sell his black-and-white photos at CERA meetings many years ago.


CSL Sedan 6315 is southbound on Clark at Wells on January 21, 1945. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL Sedan 6315 is southbound on Clark at Wells on January 21, 1945. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 6309 is southbound on Cottage Grove at Cermak on August 1, 1950. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 6309 is southbound on Cottage Grove at Cermak on August 1, 1950. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6307 and crew at the Clark-Devon loop. (Krambles-Peterson Archive) One of our readers writes, "Where was this photo taken? It says Clark-Devon Loop. That was the designation for the Clark-Arthur Loop, but this photo does not appear to be taken there. The reason that I say that is because of all of the tracks in the foreground. Too many to be Clark-Arthur Loop. My guess is that it really was taken at the back of the 77th Street Station (west end of the barn) because the tracks are set in paving blocks and appear to be curved for entering the bays of the barn. The street was called "Wentworth Avenue" even though it was not a dedicated street to the public."

CSL 6307 and crew at the Clark-Devon loop. (Krambles-Peterson Archive) One of our readers writes, “Where was this photo taken? It says Clark-Devon Loop. That was the designation for the Clark-Arthur Loop, but this photo does not appear to be taken there. The reason that I say that is because of all of the tracks in the foreground. Too many to be Clark-Arthur Loop. My guess is that it really was taken at the back of the 77th Street Station (west end of the barn) because the tracks are set in paving blocks and appear to be curved for entering the bays of the barn. The street was called “Wentworth Avenue” even though it was not a dedicated street to the public.”

CSL 6308 southbound on Clark at Armitage. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6308 southbound on Clark at Armitage. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 6297 at Vincennes and 78th.

CSL 6297 at Vincennes and 78th.

CSL 6296 on Vincennes at 79th. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6296 on Vincennes at 79th. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6295 at Vincennes and 80th. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 6295 at Vincennes and 80th. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 6301, southbound on Clark Street north of Randolph. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6301, southbound on Clark Street north of Randolph. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6307.

CSL 6307.

From the numbers on this photo, I'd say it shows one of the CSL Sedan frames at the J. G. Brill factory in 1929.

From the numbers on this photo, I’d say it shows one of the CSL Sedan frames at the J. G. Brill factory in 1929.

The interior of CSL 6294 as new, in a 1929 photo at the J. G. Brill plant. Brill built 33 of the 100 "Sedans," aka Peter Witts.

The interior of CSL 6294 as new, in a 1929 photo at the J. G. Brill plant. Brill built 33 of the 100 “Sedans,” aka Peter Witts.

Presumably another interior photo of 6294. These cars had leather seats. The "bucket" seats remind me a bit of those on Indiana Railroad lightweight high-speed interurban car 65, built two years after this car.

Presumably another interior photo of 6294. These cars had leather seats. The “bucket” seats remind me a bit of those on Indiana Railroad lightweight high-speed interurban car 65, built two years after this car.

CSL 6305 shiny and new at the Brill plant in Philadelphia. (J. G. Brill Photo, Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection)

CSL 6305 shiny and new at the Brill plant in Philadelphia. (J. G. Brill Photo, Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection)

As delivered, the 33 Sedans made for Chicago by J. G. Brill came with 76E2 trucks. However, that was job #22768, which does not match the number in this photo. The Brill list of work orders I consulted does not have a job #22770 on it.

As delivered, the 33 Sedans made for Chicago by J. G. Brill came with 76E2 trucks. However, that was job #22768, which does not match the number in this photo. The Brill list of work orders I consulted does not have a job #22770 on it.

CSL 6294, built for the Chicago City Railway, at the Brill plant in 1929. Surface Lines was an "umbrella" that presented a unified transit operator to the public, but it was actually made up of constituent companies. Of the 33 Brill Sedans, 20 were purchased by Chicago Railways and 13 by the Chicago City Railway. This balkanized arrangement continued until the Chicago Transit Authority took over in 1947.

CSL 6294, built for the Chicago City Railway, at the Brill plant in 1929. Surface Lines was an “umbrella” that presented a unified transit operator to the public, but it was actually made up of constituent companies. Of the 33 Brill Sedans, 20 were purchased by Chicago Railways and 13 by the Chicago City Railway. This balkanized arrangement continued until the Chicago Transit Authority took over in 1947.

CSL 6280 southbound at Clark and Southport. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 6280 southbound at Clark and Southport. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CTA 3381 at Cottage Grove and 111th, near the south end of route 4, on February 2, 1952. The landmark Hotel Florence is in the background, in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 3381 at Cottage Grove and 111th, near the south end of route 4, on February 2, 1952. The landmark Hotel Florence is in the background, in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 3381 at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of route 4, on April 2, 1952. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CTA 3381 at Cottage Grove and 115th, south end of route 4, on April 2, 1952. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3377 is southbound on Clark north of Huron in the 1936 scene. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3377 is southbound on Clark north of Huron in the 1936 scene. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

A southbound Sedan has just passed CSL car 5250 on Clark just south of Wacker Drive in 1935. According to Don's Rail Photos, "1st 5201 thru 5250 were built by Brill-American Car Co in 1906, #15365, for CCRy as 5201 thru 5250, but it was shipped to United Railroads of San Francisco due to the earthquake. 2nd 5201 thru 5250 were built by Brill-American Car Co in 1906, #15365, to replace the orignal order. They were rebuilt in 1909 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars."

A southbound Sedan has just passed CSL car 5250 on Clark just south of Wacker Drive in 1935. According to Don’s Rail Photos, “1st 5201 thru 5250 were built by Brill-American Car Co in 1906, #15365, for CCRy as 5201 thru 5250, but it was shipped to United Railroads of San Francisco due to the earthquake. 2nd 5201 thru 5250 were built by Brill-American Car Co in 1906, #15365, to replace the orignal order. They were rebuilt in 1909 to bring them up to the standard of the later cars.”

CSL 3375 at Kedzie Station on February 14, 1946. Besides Clark-Wentworth, the Sedans helped fill out schedules on Madison, since the 83 prewar PCCs were not enough for the route, which probably needed about 100 cars at the time. The speedy Witts were able to keep up with the PCCs. (Robert W. Gibson Photo)

CSL 3375 at Kedzie Station on February 14, 1946. Besides Clark-Wentworth, the Sedans helped fill out schedules on Madison, since the 83 prewar PCCs were not enough for the route, which probably needed about 100 cars at the time. The speedy Witts were able to keep up with the PCCs. (Robert W. Gibson Photo)

CSL 3371. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3371. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

Clark Street north of LaSalle circa 1930. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward J. Frank Collection)

Clark Street north of LaSalle circa 1930. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward J. Frank Collection)

CSL 5209 and 3367 pass on Clark just north of Madison in 1935. That is the famous Clark Theatre in the background, later made famous in the song "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 5209 and 3367 pass on Clark just north of Madison in 1935. That is the famous Clark Theatre in the background, later made famous in the song “Werewolves of London” by Warren Zevon. (Edward Frank, Jr. Photo)

CSL 3365 in the "open air" portion of Devon car barn, which was damaged in a 1922 fire. They never did put a roof back on. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3365 in the “open air” portion of Devon car barn, which was damaged in a 1922 fire. They never did put a roof back on. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3367 on Clark at Armitage. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3367 on Clark at Armitage. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3356 at the Devon car barn (station). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3356 at the Devon car barn (station). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

One of our readers writes, "The reason that this is Wentworth & 65th rather than Devon and Ravenswood is for two reasons. The first is because the railroad viaduct in the background is at an angle as it passed over the street which was the Rock Island RR, probably looks the same today although now Metra. Also, the curb on the west side of the street is raised, whereas Devon is flat at Ravenswood with no raised curbs."

Here we have a real difference of opinion. On the back of this photo, it says that CSL 3354 is at Wentworth and 65th. We have another opinion that says it’s Devon and Ravenswood. (Krambles-Peterson Archive)
One of our readers writes, “The reason that this is Wentworth & 65th rather than Devon and Ravenswood is for two reasons. The first is because the railroad viaduct in the background is at an angle as it passed over the street which was the Rock Island RR, probably looks the same today although now Metra. Also, the curb on the west side of the street is raised, whereas Devon is flat at Ravenswood with no raised curbs.”

Wentworth and 65th today. As you can see, this matches the view in the previous picture.

Wentworth and 65th today. As you can see, this matches the view in the previous picture.

A southbound Sedan at Clark and Rogers. (George Krambles Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A southbound Sedan at Clark and Rogers. (George Krambles Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3342 at the Clark-Arthur loop, looking east from the second floor of Devon Station. (Chicago Surface Lines Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive) We posted a very similar (but not identical) photo here: https://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/11/03/chicago-surface-lines-photos-part-one/

CSL 3342 at the Clark-Arthur loop, looking east from the second floor of Devon Station. (Chicago Surface Lines Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive) We posted a very similar (but not identical) photo here: https://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/11/03/chicago-surface-lines-photos-part-one/

CSL 3337 at Devon Station (car barn). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3337 at Devon Station (car barn). (Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 3349 at Vincennes and 80th. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

CSL 3349 at Vincennes and 80th. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Looking north from Clark and Van Buren circa 1930. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Looking north from Clark and Van Buren circa 1930. (Fred J. Borchert Photo, Edward Frank, Jr. Collection)

Bill Robb writes:

Toronto had 350 Peter Witt cars and 225 similar trailers. The motor cars had even numbers and the trailers had odd numbers.

Attached is a Ray F Corley TTC document on the Peter Witt design.

But Philadelphia had a larger fleet. Philadelphia also had 535 Peter Witt cars purchased in three orders during the 1920s, which were locally known as Eighty Hundreds. The last PTC 8000s ran in December 1957. More on the Philadelphia orders:

https://archive.org/stream/electricrailwayj612mcgrrich#page/433/mode/1up

https://archive.org/stream/electricrailwayj61mcgrrich#page/1073/mode/1up

More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Six

CSL 7003 lets passengers off in front of the old Chicago & North Western Station on Madison just west of the Loop. The late 1930s Packard at left helps date the picture.

CSL 7003 lets passengers off in front of the old Chicago & North Western Station on Madison just west of the Loop. The late 1930s Packard at left helps date the picture.

The Trolley Dodger at 100

We have reached a milestone with this, our 100th post. When we began this venture in January of this year, I would never have dreamed it possible, to have come so far in so little time. But here we are.

The challenge then was to get people to take a look, even though there wasn’t yet much to look at. Little by little, we have gradually built up an archive of work that people can refer to. Many times, when I am researching a subject on the Internet, a lot of the “hits” that come up with are simply posts from this blog.

At first, we thought there was a need for something like this, a place where photos, information, reminiscences, and original research in transit history could be shared with people who have similar interests. We just didn’t know how many people would be interested in it.

There is a tendency in some quarters to think of this as a hobby in decline, that will simply shrivel up and fade away in future years. Nothing, I think, could be further from the truth. There are, I believe, a lot of folks who are interested, but you have to know how to reach them and how to engage them.

This we have done. We are well on our way to achieving 100,000 page views by the middle of December, and The Trolley Dodger has been visited by more than 28,000 individuals to date. Over time, the number of visitors and page views is increasing.

That would not be possible if this was really a hobby in an irreversible decline.

The good thing is we are not doing this alone. If we have had some success already, it is mainly due to all the various people who have helped us out and have shared things with us and others. Even in less than a year, the names of all who have helped are too numerous to mention individually here. It would be a very long list.

It is a rule of life that no one person ever has all the facts. I have made plenty of mistakes, and I apologize for that, but my errors are usually quickly corrected by an ever-larger army of keen-eyed, fact-checking readers.

I frankly admit that many of my readers know more about these subjects than I do. If you find yourself in the position of knowing more, we would love to hear from you. Lend us a hand.

I like to think of The Trolley Dodger as a collaborative effort. Your help and participation makes it all possible.

There will always be room for improvement here, and may our reach always exceed our grasp. As for the future, we have many exciting things in the pipeline. I don’t know just what our second 100 posts will bring, but of one thing I am certain.

We hope it will be something worthwhile. Something of lasting value. We will do our best, and with your help, we cannot fail.

Thanks.

-David Sadowski

More Chicago PCC Photos – Part Six

For our 100th post, here are lots of classic photos of Chicago PCC streetcars, all of them new to this blog.

Some show prewar Chicago PCCs in experimental paint schemes. These were tried out by the Chicago Surface Lines in 1945-46 before settling on the well-known combination of Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swamp Holly Orange for the 600 postwar cars that were on then on order.

In similar fashion, the door arrangement used on the postwar PCCs had first been tried out (before the war intervened) on CSL car 4051, and we have pictures of that car as well to go along with others we have previously featured.

All of the pictures in today’s post are being added to our E-book Chicago’s PCC Streetcars: The Rest of the Story, available through our Online Store.

If you have already purchased our E-book, and wish to get an updated copy with the additional information, this can be done at little or no cost to you. We always intended that it would be improved over time and offer an upgrade service to our purchasers on an ongoing basis.

We also wish to thank the great photographers who took these pictures originally. We have provided attribution for each photo, if we have the information.

As always, clicking on each photo with your mouse should bring up a larger version of the picture in your browser. You may be able to magnify this if you then see a “+” on your screen.

Finally, if you have any interesting tidbits of information to share about the photos you see here, don’t hesitate to let us know, either by making a comment on this post, or by dropping us a line to:

thetrolleydodger@gmail.com


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Help Support The Trolley Dodger

In addition to 100 posts, we have put out two electronic book collections, with a third on the way. We are also well on our way towards our goal of reissuing the entire output of the long-gone Railroad Record Club on compact discs for a new generation of railfans. So far, we have issued 25 different CD collections of vintage material, covering both electric railroads and steam. Nearly all of these collections include two LPs on a single disc. A few are multiple CDs.

All this has been done in less than a year, for the benefit of all railfans, everywhere.

You can help us continue our original transit research by checking out the fine products in our Online Store. You can make a donation there as well.

As we have said before, “If you buy here, we will be here.”

We thank you for your support.


CSL 4081 and another PCC are northbound on Clark at Wacker Drive, June 13, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Collection) On the back of the photo it says the second car is 7174, but George Trapp counters, "The St. Louis built car cannot be 7174 based on the date, car 7174 being delivered 2/25/48. Note the car has a CSL logo and also has its rear marker and stop lights mounted on tubes, a spotting feature of the first 90 St. Louis Post War PCC's. It looks to me like the car is either 7071 or 7074."

CSL 4081 and another PCC are northbound on Clark at Wacker Drive, June 13, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Collection) On the back of the photo it says the second car is 7174, but George Trapp counters, “The St. Louis built car cannot be 7174 based on the date, car 7174 being delivered 2/25/48. Note the car has a CSL logo and also has its rear marker and stop lights mounted on tubes, a spotting feature of the first 90 St. Louis Post War PCC’s. It looks to me like the car is either 7071 or 7074.”

CSL 4118 southbound on Clark at Wacker, June 13, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Collection)

CSL 4118 southbound on Clark at Wacker, June 13, 1947. (J. William Vigrass Collection)

Clark and Wacker today, looking north.

Clark and Wacker today, looking north.

Although signed for Clark-Wentworth, CSL 4160 is eastbound on Madison at Central Park in this 1947 CSL photo, with the Garfield Park fieldhouse in the background. The newly delivered car was brought here to pose for staged photos.

Although signed for Clark-Wentworth, CSL 4160 is eastbound on Madison at Central Park in this 1947 CSL photo, with the Garfield Park fieldhouse in the background. The newly delivered car was brought here to pose for staged photos.

CTA 4218 at State and 95th on April 4, 1948 (route 36 - Broadway-State). (John F. Bromley Collection)

CTA 4218 at State and 95th on April 4, 1948 (route 36 – Broadway-State). (John F. Bromley Collection)

CSL prewar cars 4042 and 7029, in "tiger stripes," are at the loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett, western terminal of the 63rd Street line.

CSL prewar cars 4042 and 7029, in “tiger stripes,” are at the loop at 63rd Place and Narragansett, western terminal of the 63rd Street line.

CSL 4050 in experimental Coronado Tan, with 4047 behind it, at the Madison-Austin loop on November 2, 1946. (Harold A. Smith Photo)

CSL 4050 in experimental Coronado Tan, with 4047 behind it, at the Madison-Austin loop on November 2, 1946. (Harold A. Smith Photo)

CSL 4028 is eastbound on Madison at Dearborn in Chicago's Loop, having already changed the sign for the trip west . O'Connor and Goldberg shoe stores were once a fixture throughout the Chicago area, with 15 locations. (Ohio Brass Company Photo)

CSL 4028 is eastbound on Madison at Dearborn in Chicago’s Loop, having already changed the sign for the trip west . O’Connor and Goldberg shoe stores were once a fixture throughout the Chicago area, with 15 locations. (Ohio Brass Company Photo)

4020, in experimental colors, is eastbound on Madison Street between Parkside and Central circa 1946. (Robert W. Gibson Photo)

4020, in experimental colors, is eastbound on Madison Street between Parkside and Central circa 1946. (Robert W. Gibson Photo)

CTA 4208 on a shoofly at Halsted and Congress circa 1950-51, during the early stages of construction on the Congress Expressway. Two of the four Metropolitan "L" tracks were removed in this area, since they were in the expressway footprint. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

CTA 4208 on a shoofly at Halsted and Congress circa 1950-51, during the early stages of construction on the Congress Expressway. Two of the four Metropolitan “L” tracks were removed in this area, since they were in the expressway footprint. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

CTA Pullman PCC 4173 on the long Broadway-State route. The building at rear advertises the Werner Brothers - Kennelly moving and storage firm, owned by Martin H. Kennelly, Chicago's mayor from 1947-55. This picture was taken in January 1951.

CTA Pullman PCC 4173 on the long Broadway-State route. The building at rear advertises the Werner Brothers – Kennelly moving and storage firm, owned by Martin H. Kennelly, Chicago’s mayor from 1947-55. This picture was taken in January 1951.

7024 at Madison and Austin on July 16, 1938. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

7024 at Madison and Austin on July 16, 1938. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

CSL 4090 and follower at 81st and Halsted, south end of the Clark-Wentworth line, circa 1947.

CSL 4090 and follower at 81st and Halsted, south end of the Clark-Wentworth line, circa 1947.

CSL 4043, despite the sign, is eastbound on Madison near LaSalle on May 12, 1945. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 4043, despite the sign, is eastbound on Madison near LaSalle on May 12, 1945. (Thomas H. Desnoyers Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

A more recent view of Madison near LaSalle. We are looking west. Bus rapid transit stops are under construction.

A more recent view of Madison near LaSalle. We are looking west. Bus rapid transit stops are under construction.

CSL 4033 and 7002 on 78th Street by South Shops on October 23, 1938, during a fantrip. Although sponsored by the Chicago Surface Lines, this trip helped recruit many members to the fledgling Central Electric Railfans' Association. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

CSL 4033 and 7002 on 78th Street by South Shops on October 23, 1938, during a fantrip. Although sponsored by the Chicago Surface Lines, this trip helped recruit many members to the fledgling Central Electric Railfans’ Association. (M. D. McCarter Collection)

CSL 4039 at Madison and Austin on June 30, 1946. (Barney Neuburger Collection, Courtesy of John F. Bromley)

CSL 4039 at Madison and Austin on June 30, 1946. (Barney Neuburger Collection, Courtesy of John F. Bromley)

CSL 4022 and 4018, with varying stripes, at Kedzie and Van Buren in December 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4022 and 4018, with varying stripes, at Kedzie and Van Buren in December 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

7002 and 7006 show the first and second generation CSL paint schemes. The "tiger stripes" were added in 1945 to warn motorists that these streetcars were wider than the older red ones.

7002 and 7006 show the first and second generation CSL paint schemes. The “tiger stripes” were added in 1945 to warn motorists that these streetcars were wider than the older red ones.

From left to rigth, at Ashland and 69th Station, we have prewar PCC 4032, Pullman 813, postwar St. Louis Car Company PCC 7259 and an unidentified prewar car.

From left to rigth, at Ashland and 69th Station, we have prewar PCC 4032, Pullman 813, postwar St. Louis Car Company PCC 7259 and an unidentified prewar car.

CTA 4009 is on route 4 - Cottage Grove, circa 1952-55. Patrick writes, "Photo 981 is in the 6700 block of (south) Cottage Grove, looking north. The one story Michael Dunn building still exists, as does the biggest building (now a self storage facility). This is across the street from Oak Woods Cemetery."

CTA 4009 is on route 4 – Cottage Grove, circa 1952-55. Patrick writes, “Photo 981 is in the 6700 block of (south) Cottage Grove, looking north. The one story Michael Dunn building still exists, as does the biggest building (now a self storage facility). This is across the street from Oak Woods Cemetery.”

The 6700 block of South Cottage Grove today.

The 6700 block of South Cottage Grove today.

CSL 7014 is westbound on the wider, outer end of Madison Street in this 1940s view. The auto at left is a type referred to as a "business coupe," a two-door car with a small back seat and a large trunk-- the type of car favored by salesmen of the 1940s. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 7014 is westbound on the wider, outer end of Madison Street in this 1940s view. The auto at left is a type referred to as a “business coupe,” a two-door car with a small back seat and a large trunk– the type of car favored by salesmen of the 1940s. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4027 at 64th and Stony Island, east end of the 63rd Street line. Again, at left, we have a 1940s business coupe. This Joe L. Diaz photo was taken at the same time as some others we previously posted here: https://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/10/12/more-chicago-pcc-photos-part-four/

CSL 4027 at 64th and Stony Island, east end of the 63rd Street line. Again, at left, we have a 1940s business coupe. This Joe L. Diaz photo was taken at the same time as some others we previously posted here:
https://thetrolleydodger.com/2015/10/12/more-chicago-pcc-photos-part-four/

CSL 4051 at the Madison and Austin loop on February 22, 1942. This car had previously been modified with an experimental door arrangement later used on the 600 postwar Chicago PCCs. By the time this picture was taken, it had been partially returned to its original configuration. As John Bromley notes, "The car is not yet fully restored after the rear entrance experiment. It’s missing one front door and is thus in a hybrid state." (James J. Buckley Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 4051 at the Madison and Austin loop on February 22, 1942. This car had previously been modified with an experimental door arrangement later used on the 600 postwar Chicago PCCs. By the time this picture was taken, it had been partially returned to its original configuration. As John Bromley notes, “The car is not yet fully restored after the rear entrance experiment. It’s missing one front door and is thus in a hybrid state.” (James J. Buckley Photo, Krambles-Peterson Archive)

CSL 4051 at Kedzie and Van Buren, during the 1940-41 experiment with a modified door arrangement. (CSL Photo)

CSL 4051 at Kedzie and Van Buren, during the 1940-41 experiment with a modified door arrangement. (CSL Photo)

CSL 4020 and 4049 at Madison and Austin on November 7, 1945, showing off contrasting paint schemes (4020's is experimental). These experiments eventually led to the adoption of the well-known combination of Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swamp Holly Orange. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4020 and 4049 at Madison and Austin on November 7, 1945, showing off contrasting paint schemes (4020’s is experimental). These experiments eventually led to the adoption of the well-known combination of Mercury Green, Croydon Cream, and Swamp Holly Orange. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4050 in experimental paint (Coronado Tan), most likely in late 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4050 in experimental paint (Coronado Tan), most likely in late 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4035, in experimental colors, at Madison and Austin, probably in late 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4035, in experimental colors, at Madison and Austin, probably in late 1945. (Joe L. Diaz Photo)

CSL 4036 on Madison Street. (CSL Photo)

CSL 4036 on Madison Street. (CSL Photo)

PCC 7026 at West Shops, temporarily fitted with experimental roof-mounted forced air ventilation, of a type that was used in Boston, but did not find favor in Chicago. (CSL Photo) Chuck Amstein adds, "The large building behind the shop building is the back of the Paradise Theatre, 231 N. Crawford/Pulaski. It was one of the last big movie palaces built in Chicago (1928) and one of the first to be torn down (1956)."

PCC 7026 at West Shops, temporarily fitted with experimental roof-mounted forced air ventilation, of a type that was used in Boston, but did not find favor in Chicago. (CSL Photo) Chuck Amstein adds, “The large building behind the shop building is the back of the Paradise Theatre, 231 N. Crawford/Pulaski. It was one of the last big movie palaces built in Chicago (1928) and one of the first to be torn down (1956).”

A side view of the 1934 Brill-built experimental pre-PCC 7001, with doors open.

A side view of the 1934 Brill-built experimental pre-PCC 7001, with doors open.

A side view of the 1934 Brill-built experimental pre-PCC 7001, with doors closed.

A side view of the 1934 Brill-built experimental pre-PCC 7001, with doors closed.

A rare 1947 picture showing 7001 at Rockwell Depot, signed as an Instruction Car. It had been retired from regular service in 1944 and was turned into a shed in 1948.

A rare 1947 picture showing 7001 at Rockwell Depot, signed as an Instruction Car. It had been retired from regular service in 1944 and was turned into a shed in 1948.

A close-up of the 7001 during its instruction car days. On the front of the car, it says, "Please enter and leave by center door." A picture of the car's interior during this period, from the Hicks Car Works blog, shows why: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CibxtjFSWwY/T37_s3ADAxI/AAAAAAAABXc/A3Aief1Y1iA/s1600/kpa7001-classroom3-48.JPG

A close-up of the 7001 during its instruction car days. On the front of the car, it says, “Please enter and leave by center door.” A picture of the car’s interior during this period, from the Hicks Car Works blog, shows why:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CibxtjFSWwY/T37_s3ADAxI/AAAAAAAABXc/A3Aief1Y1iA/s1600/kpa7001-classroom3-48.JPG

Chicago & West Towns Railways car 130 is at the east end of the Madison line on March 31, 1946, while a Chicago Surface Lines prewar PCC sits nearby at the Madison-Austin loop. This is the borderline between Chicago and suburban Oak Park. (Don Ross Photo)

Chicago & West Towns Railways car 130 is at the east end of the Madison line on March 31, 1946, while a Chicago Surface Lines prewar PCC sits nearby at the Madison-Austin loop. This is the borderline between Chicago and suburban Oak Park. (Don Ross Photo)

CSL 7034 eastbound at Madison and Hamlin in July 1937. The tall building at rear is still there. (CSL Photo) Marty Robinson adds, "The tall building is the Midwest Hotel, which housed the studio of WNIB in the attic. I was a program host there in 1957."

CSL 7034 eastbound at Madison and Hamlin in July 1937. The tall building at rear is still there. (CSL Photo) Marty Robinson adds, “The tall building is the Midwest Hotel, which housed the studio of WNIB in the attic. I was a program host there in 1957.”