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Mss:725 1939-1940 B432

Electric Railway Photograph Collection, 1939-1940: A Finding Aid

Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

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Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:725 1939-1940 B432
Repository: Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Electric Railway Photograph Collection
Date(s): 1939-1940
Quantity: 1 linear feet (4 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: This collection consists of blacka nd white photographic prints and negatives that illustrate scenes of electric street railways and interurban lines throughout the United States and the District of Columbia.

Provenance:

Gift of Walter Creese, September 8, 1952.

Processing Information:

Processed: August 2001
By: Maggie Hale, assisted by Naomi Singer

Processsing Note:

The collection was reprocessed during the Historical Collections photographic survey project of 1999 to 2001. The photographs were formerly part of the large PM (Pictures of Manufacturing) file. During reprocessing, the photographs were removed from envelopes and housed in acid-free buffered folders, with no more than eight photographs per folder. The folders were labeled with the company name and a box list was created. Finally, the photographs were filed in acid-free boxes.

Conditions Governing Access:

Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Electric Railway Photograph Collection. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Historical Note:

During the late nineteenth century, electric railway systems developed as a significant method of local public transportation in communities throughout the United States. From the 1890s to the 1930s, electric street railways and trolley car systems flourished in larger American cities and towns. Interurban lines, which provided local transport between towns and in rural areas, were also common in the United States in the early decades of the twentieth century. However, the development of the automobile, combined with road improvements, caused the demise of the electric railway. By 1940, most electric railway companies had either switched to the gasoline-powered bus or were out of business entirely.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists of 576 black and white photographic prints and twenty-four negatives. The photographs illustrate various scenes of seventy-three electric street railways and interurban lines in twenty-six states and the District of Columbia. The photographs typically depict streetcars or trolleys that carried passengers, as well as specialized cars such as sweepers or snow plows. Some images show railway lines and other company equipment. The photographs were taken circa 1939 to 1940, a time when many of the lines were either abandoned or soon to meet their demise. The majority of photographs are stamped with the photographer's name and address: "Robert S. Crockett, 174 8th Ave., N.Y., N.Y." The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the company. A list of the companies arranged by state follows the container list.

Container List


bak00097