Friday, November 26, 2010

Rare historic photograph. Downtown Chicago Illinois circa 1908.

My lovely wife Cheryl spotted this photograph in public recently, and snapped a photo of it for Me with her cell phne. That was very nice! Thanks honey.

This is a very "Rare" historic photo taken in downtown Chicago Illinois during the early 1900's era.

The little 4 wheeled electric stretcar in the foreground with the Elston Avenue route sign and the roof mounted headlight, is typical of the streetcars that began electric streetcar operations in Chicago back in 1896. The large double trucked electric streetcar to the left of the photo, closely resembles preserved Chicago Surface Lines 1908 built Pulman Standard Car Comapny cars # 144 and non operable # 460 at The Illinois Railway Museum locted in Union Illinois.

According to this photo....not much has changed traffic wise here in Chicago during the last 100 years. It is still the same congested MESS today in downtown Chicago.

Prior to 1914, there were actually several transit companies providing streetcar service in Chicago. Some of the company names included The Chicago City Railway Company, West Chicago Street Railway, Chicago Railways, and The Hammond, Whiting And East Chicago Street Railway.

The Chicago Surface Lines Company was created in 1914, largely due to a public outcry for municipal ownership of the competing transit companies providing streetcar service around Chicago, and the eventual amalgamation of them.

The succesor company known today as the Chicago Transit Authority, was created in 1945, but did not begin operations until May of 1947. By that time, the money was raised to purchase the Chicago Surface Lines, and the Chicago Rapid Transit Companies.

Just so You know, there was no such thing as Federal Mass Transit Funding back in Chicago's streetcar era. Chicago's transit systems and others around the nation, barely survived on their profits. Transit workers average around $1.00 a day pay wise during the early 1900's.

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