NEW  ORLEANS  STREETCAR  ALBUM

H. George Friedman, Jr.

Below is an album of pictures of New Orleans streetcars and interurban operations in the area of the city.  Most of these are not available elsewhere, as far as I know.  They are presented for your viewing pleasure, grouped primarily by streetcar line or location.

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Group 1: Some Early Streetcars (last updated July 8, 2014: added Picture 1-8)
Group 2: West End Line (last updated April 3, 2014: added Picture 2-0)
Group 3: Spanish Fort
Group 4: Magazine Line (last updated May 24, 2014: added Picture 4-7)
Group 5: Arabella Station (last updated April 15, 2014: added Picture 5-1.5)
Group 6: Freret Line
Group 7: Jackson Line
Group 8: Napoleon Line
Group 9: South Claiborne Line (last updated May 24, 2014: added Picture 9-13)
Group 10: St. Charles - Tulane Belts (last updated May 24 and 28, 2014: added Pictures 10-1.2, 10-1.4, 10-12, 10-13, 10-14 and 10-16; June 2, 2014: updated Picture 10-14)
Group 10.5: Poland Station (group added March 28, 2014)
Group 11: St. Claude Line and the 1000-Class Cars (last updated June 1, 2014: added Pictures 11-7.3 and 11-7.6)
Group 11.5: Gentilly Line (last updated July 29, 2014: added Picture 11.5-1.5)
Group 12: Desire Line (last updated March 7, 2014: added Picture 12-5.9)
Group 13: The Orleans-Kenner Traction Co. (last updated June 25, 2014: added Picture 13-5)
Group 14: The 1915 Hurricane (last updated September 6, 2013: added Pictures 14-4 through 14-8)
Group 15: The 1929 Strike (last updated January 25, 2014: added Picture 15-2)
Group 16: Streetcars Misnamed Desire, and Other Misnames (last updated December 14, 2013: added Picture 16-1.7)
Group 17: Work Cars (last updated May 18, 2013: added Picture 17-5)
Group 18: Sewerage & Water Board (last updated September 11, 2013: added Picture 18-1)
Group 19: Bogalusa, LA: Gaylord Paper Mill
Group 19.3: St. Tammany & New Orleans Rys. & Ferry Co. (last edited September 12, 2013: added Pictures 19.3-1 through 19.3-5 and 19.3-7 through 19.3-10)
Group 19.5: Southwestern Traction & Power Co. (laast updated January 24, 2014: added Pictures 19.5-1.3, 19.5-1.5, and 19.5-1.7)
Group 19.7: Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Co. (group and pictures added Sept. 25, 2013; Picture 19.7-9 added Sept. 30, 2013)
Group 20: Badges, Buttons, and Pins (last updated April 5, 2013: divided group, added Buttons)
Group 20A: Badges (last updated November 1, 2013: added Pictures 20A-1.3 and 20A-1.6)
Group 20B: Buttons (last updated April 5, 2013: added Pictures 20B-1 thtough 20B-4)
Group 20C: Pins
Group 21: Tickets, Tokens, and Transfers
Group 21A: Tickets (last updated March 13 & 14, 2014: added Pictures 21A-8.5, 21A-11.3, 21A-11.6, 21A-13, 21A-13.7, and 21A-15)
Group 21B: Tokens
Group 21C: Transfers (last updated March 8, 2014: added Pictures 21C-15.3 and 21C-15.6)
Group 22: Stocks and Bonds
Group 23: The Amalgamated Transit Union (last updated December 9, 2013: added Picture 23-7)
Links to Other New Orleans Picture Sites (last updated November 2, 2013: deleted non-working links)
References, credits, and copyright notice


Group 1: Some Early Streetcars


In all the pictures in this article, click on the picture for an enlargement.
Picture 1-0.
StCharlesSt-LeeCircle-stereo01a.jpg
Horsecars of the St. Charles Street RR approach Lee Circle from Canal Street along the company's namesake street.  The right hand track, leading to Canal St. from Lee Circle, belongs to the Crescent City RR Coliseum line. — S. T. Blessing
Picture 1-1.
LeeCircle02b.jpg
A little six-window electric streetcar, number 332, passes around Lee Circle, perhaps some time between 1896 and 1905.  It is probably on the Annunciation line, on trackage shared at that time with the Coliseum line.  The car number, together with its square windows and its roof line, identifies it as one of the Pullman-built cars 320-336 acquired in 1896 for Annunciation line service.
Picture 1-2.
Car__97-Magazine.jpg
New Orleans City RR car 97 in a car barn, probably either Magazine Shops or Arabella Station.  This was one of the “1894 Brills,” seen on its original Brill 22-E maximum traction double trucks.  This car was part of an order of 50 cars, numbers 66-115, placed with the J. G. Brill Co. in February 1894, for delivery in June and July.  Later, this class of car was changed to a single truck, because the maximum traction trucks were prone to derail in New Orleans.  Note the Magazine route sign and, above the platform hood, a removable wooden sign saying Station Only.  We see quite a range of people: the very serious motorman standing at attention at his controls; the uniformed and non-uniformed company men standing in the doorway and by the side of the car; the sweeper with his broom; and a derbied gentleman with two children sitting inside the car.  One can even make out some of the advertising signs inside the car.
Picture 1-3.
Stereo-Levee-right.jpg
A view of the Mississippi River levee.  The location is not stated, but there seems to be a leftward curve ahead in the river, which would put this picture somewhere near the eastern (downriver) boundary of New Orleans, near Chalmette, looking upriver.  Postcards are known marked “Levee at Chalmette” having very similar pictures.  The presence of a streetcar at the right side of this picture suggests that we are looking at a car on the N. Peters St. trackage approaching the American Sugar Refinery, on the Dauphine line.  (Eventually, this trackage would be part of the St. Claude line.)  The streetcar is an early “Palace” car with an open platform, which dates the picture to between 1901, when the first “Palace” cars arrived in New Orleans, and 1905, by which date all open platform cars had been rebuilt with closed platforms. — Underwood & Underwood
Picture 1-4.
NO+C-NewBasin+Carrollton.jpg
Two New Orleans & Carrollton R.R., Light & Power Co. cars pass on the Carrollton Ave. bridge over the New Basin Canal, about 1901 or 1902.  They are running on the St. Charles and Tulane Belt lines: St. Charles operated a clockwise loop, and Tulane a counter-clockwise loop.  These cars were part of a group of 70 single truck cars, numbers 160-229, built by the American Car Co. for the New Orleans & Carrollton in 1899.  The cars were designed by the engineering firm Ford & Bacon, later Ford, Bacon & Davis (FB&D).  This firm designed the electrification and improvements to several New Orleans streetcar companies, beginning in 1894 with the Orleans RR, the Canal & Claiborne RR, and then the New Orleans & Carrollton.  (The last two companies merged in 1892.)  The work included the specification of an improved electric streetcar, a design which was so successful that it was adopted by the other street railroads in New Orleans, of both track gauges.  Eventually 217 of them ran in the city. — New Orleans & Carrollton R.R., Light & Power Co.
Picture 1-5.
transfer_station.jpg
This picture of a New Orleans City RR transfer station is taken from a “tourist guide” published by that streetcar system in February 1902.  The streetcar is one of the “1894 Brill” class, shown on its original maximum traction double trucks.  The car number appears to be something-11; the notched windows reveal that it must be number 111, as 211 had arched windows.  The car was part of an order of 50 cars, numbers 66-115, placed with the J. G. Brill Co. in February 1894. — New Orleans City RR
Picture 1-6.
NOCRR_202-Magazine.jpg
A somewhat damaged picture of New Orleans City RR car 202, another “1894 Brill” rolling on its original maximum traction trucks, signed for the Magazine line.  The small (“pony”) wheels can clearly be seen to be facing the inside, with the large wheels facing toward the outer ends of the car.  This car was part of an order of 50 cars, numbers 166-215, placed with the J. G. Brill Co. in April 1894.  The crew of the car, conductor and motorman, are at the far left and right, with a policeman the next person on the right, wearing an old fashioned tall helmet.  Don't miss the sign advertising sailing at West End, visible at the upper right. — Collection of Earl Hampton
Picture 1-7.
NOR+L_241-Arabella-1.jpg
Single truck car 241 is seen here at the back door of Arabella Station car barn, about 1917.  The photographer is standing in Constance St.  At the left rear of this picture, we can see part of a Brill semi-convertible car.  Note the large Herr fenders on each end of car 241.  It is riding on a Lord Baltimore truck.  This car appears to be one of the group of FB&D cars numbered 230-244, built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1900-1901 for the standard gauge New Orleans lines, such as the St. Charles-Tulane belt line.  By the time of this picture, the car appears to have been regauged for the wide gauge lines, because Arabella Station was exclusively a wide gauge car barn.  The change in gauge probably took place in 1915, when the 400-series double truck cars arrived in New Orleans and displaced FB&D cars from the St. Charles-Tulane belts.
Pictures 1-8 and 1-8.5.
NOR+L_213-CarrolltonSta.jpg
Single truck cars 213 and 293 are on Jeanette Street at Carrollton Station car barn.  Carrollton Station was originally standard gauge, as it housed the standard gauge St. Charles and Tulane cars.  About 1920, some wide gauge and some double gauge track was laid at Carrollton, because the Southport Shuttle track which ran next to the car barn was wide gauge.  (Carrollton Station was converted to wide gauge when the St. Charles and Tulane belts were converted, in 1929, but dual gauge tracks survived there until quite recently.)

Car 213 was one of the standard gauge FB&D cars 160-229 which the New Orleans & Carrollton acquired in 1899 from American Car Co. of St. Louis.  Originally equipped with open platforms and gates protecting the entrances and exits, the car vestibules were enclosed in 1904 as mandated by Louisiana law.  The cars were eventually changed to wide gauge.  It is not clear which gauge trucks were under the car when this picture was taken.

Car 293 was part of a group of ten wide gauge FB&D cars, numbers 290-299, ordered by New Orleans Railway & Light Co. in 1906 from the American Car Co.  It may be here at Carrollton Barn to serve the Southport Shuttle route; there surely were few wide gauge cars at this car barn.  Note the large Herr fenders on each end of both cars, unfolded in the front (at the left of these pictures) and folded up at the back.  The cars are riding on Lord Baltimore trucks.

NOR+L_293-Carrollton-Jeanette.jpg
Picture 1-9.
NOR+L__76.jpg
Single truck car 76, probably some time in the range 1915-1918.  The car is equipped with Herr fenders (the left one is down), and is riding a Brill 21-E truck.  This car was one of the group of 30 FB&D cars ordered by the St. Charles St. RR in 1901 from the St. Louis Car Co., numbers 51-80.  This picture was apparently taken about 1915 after this car series was rebuilt and before they were renumbered into the low 300s. — Collection of Earl Hampton
Picture 1-10.
NOPSI_394+bus.jpg
Single truck car 394 is passing an early bus, August 20, 1929, on N. Broad St.  The Peter E. Courtin Grain Co. in the background was located at 1409 North Broad St.  Note how the tracks on N. Broad were on the edges of the neutral ground, not in the center.  Car 394 is equipped with a Lord Baltimore truck.  This car was one of the last group of single truck cars ordered by a New Orleans company.  They were built by St. Louis Car Co. in 1910 as numbers 355-404, although cars 400-404 were eventually renumbered as 350-354.  They ran almost exclusively on the Prytania line, and were therefore usually referred to as “Prytania” cars, until they were succeeded there by double truck cars of the 800 class in 1923.  Some cars of the series were retired at that time, with a few retained, mostly for owl car service, into the 1930s.  The bus is at the inner terminal of the Gentilly Road bus line.  It would have started its outbound run by going one more block and making a U-turn. — Teunisson photo, collection of Earl Hampton
Picture 1-11.
NOPSI_363-StBernard.jpg
“Prytania” car 363 is serving the St. Bernard line, a leg of the Broad line.  This group of cars mainly served the Prytania line (hence the name “Prytania” cars), but were sometimes seen on other lines.  800-class cars took over Prytania in 1923, after which some of the cars in this group were retired, though apparently they were not scrapped.  Hennick does not list 363 as one of the group of “Prytania” cars which was retained after 1923, and this picture appears to be from the later 1920s, so it seems that the car was recalled from its initial 1923 retirement.  The St. Bernard line was not returned to service after the 1929 strike (see Group 15).  As a leg of the Broad line, St. Bernard cars ran up N. Broad to St. Peter, in to Dauphine, up to Canal, one block on Canal to Burgundy, down to Dumaine, and back out to N. Broad, then down to St. Bernard.  Tracks on Broad and St. Bernard were in the neutral ground.  This picture could have been taken anywhere along St. Peter, Dauphine, Burgundy, or Dumaine Streets, probably within the Vieux Carré.
Picture 1-12.
CCRR_314-1896.jpg
Car 314 is seen here c. 1897 or 1898 in front of a car barn, probably Magazine Barn, which later became a principal shop for the streetcar system.  The car is lettered for the Crescent City Rail Road Co., and in very small letters, for the New Orleans Traction Co., which in 1892 had taken over the CCRR and the New Orleans City & Lake RR (formerly the New Orleans City RR).  The CCRR name is repeated in the side glass of the clerestory.  The front clerestory glass probably displayed the route name, but it is not visible in this picture.  The windows are arched in the style of those built by the Brill Co.  The people in the photo are unidentified.  The man at the controls, and his companion on the front platform, both dressed in suits, are probably high officers of the company.  Two of the men visible in the car windows are wearing uniforms, and are perhaps the motorman and conductor assigned to the car.  The other men could be dispatchers, foremen, shopmen, etc.  The identity of the children is anyone's guess.  Note the gutter construction, which runs underneath the exposed rail.
Pictures 1-13 and 1-14.
Viewbook11-NRampart.jpg
A view looking downtown (downriver) on N. Rampart St., somewhere between Canal and Esplanade, from a souvenir booklet dated 1906.  The second picture is a closeup detail showing the streetcar, number 103.  This car was one of the 66-115 group ordered by New Orleans Traction Co. in February 1894 from the J. G. Brill Co.  It would have been working the Esplanade Belt or the Dauphine Line. — J. Murray Jordan/F. M. Kirby
Viewbook11-NRampart-1.jpg
Pictures 1-15 and 1-16.
SCSRR_55-Clio.jpg
For many years, the old Clio line ran out its namesake street to Magnolia, which it followed over to Erato and returned.  In 1901, it was extended up Magnolia to Seventh Street, and in 1904 was further extended up Magnolia to Napoleon, then over Napoleon to Freret, which it followed all the way to Broadway.  It also ran in on Broadway to Maple, where it met the Coliseum “Snake” line (so nicknamed because it twisted all over uptown New Orleans).  However, in 1910, the Carondelet line took over the Freret Street trackage, including the leg on Broadway to Maple.  This photo is believed to show Clio car 55 on Broadway at its terminal at Maple Street.  The car is facing the “wrong” way on Broadway; the crew has changed ends, and the car will shortly take the crossover in front of it to the right-hand track as it begins its next run downbound toward Canal Street and the French Quarter.

New Orleans had four streetcars numbered 55, one each owned by the New Orleans & Carrollton, the Orleans RR (ORR), St. Charles St. RR (SCSRR), and N. O. Traction Co.  This one is most likely the car 55 of the ORR or the SCSRR, both of which were similar FB&D cars.  ORR lines were all on the downtown side of the city.  On the other hand, Clio was a SCSRR line, so this car is likely the SCSRR car 55.  That car was one of a group of cars numbered 51-80 acquired in October 1901 from St. Louis Car Co.  As delivered, the cars had open platforms; in 1904, the vestibules were enclosed to the form seen here.  The route sign can be seen both above the front center window, and in the glass of the front clerestory panel.  The colors are reported by Hennick & Charlton to have been red and white.

The second picture is a closeup detail from the first, giving us a better view of car 55 itself. — Michael Mizell-Nelson, “Clio streetcar, early 1900s,” New Orleans Historical, accessed October 8, 2013, http://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/2

SCSRR_55-Clio-1.jpg

Group 2: West End Line

Over the years, several railroads ran from the Mississippi River out to Lake Ponchartrain.  For example, the railroad tracks in the neutral ground of Elysian Fields were originally laid for this purpose.  Among streetcar operations, the most significant early road was the West End line of the New Orleans City RR.  This was originally a steam dummy line, meaning that trains on the West End line consisted of several trailers pulled by a “steam dummy” — a small steam locomotive hidden within a streetcar-like body.  Conventional wisdom of the time held that this type of vehicle would be less likely to scare horses than an ordinary steam locomotive.

Eventually, in 1898, New Orleans Traction Co. (successor to New Orleans City RR) took delivery of a dozen double truck streetcars equipped to replace the steam dummies with electric cars.  Barney & Smith provided cars 500-507, and American Car Co. sent cars 509-512.  (Number 508 was skipped.)  These cars began pulling the trains to West End on July 17, 1898.

Beginning in 1911, New Orleans Railway & Light Co. switched its excursion traffic from West End to Spanish Fort, and that line used the trains (see Group 3), with “Palace” cars pulling single “Coleman” trailers assigned to West End.

In 1935, cars of the 800-900 series were assigned to West End, and trailer operation was dropped.  After this, West End was in effect a longer and limited-stop version of the Canal-Cemeteries line.  West End cars ran the length of Canal Street from the loop at the foot of Canal all the way out to City Park Ave., but between Claiborne and City Park Ave., they stopped only at Galvez, Broad, Jefferson Davis, and Carrollton.  At the outer end of Canal St., West End cars followed City Park Ave. to West End Blvd., then ran all the way out to the lake.  West End Blvd., while theoretically a public street, was mostly private right of way for West End cars.  There were passenger shelters at stops along West End Blvd.

Buses took over from City Park Ave. to the lake on January 15, 1950.


Picture 2-0.
NOPSI_899-WestEnd.jpg
Car 899 on the West End line, probably some time in the 1940s, is paused at the crossing of the New Orleans Terminal (now part of the Norfolk Southern), located about a half mile north of City Park Avenue/Metairie Road.  After the close of the West End line, car 899 was used in the dismantling of the line, after which the car was itself scrapped.
Pictures 2-1, 2-2, and 2-3.
NOPSI_913-WestEnd.jpg
In the top picture, a passenger is walking away after leaving outbound car 913.  A shelter can be seen in the background.  The New Basin Canal is out of sight at the rear of the picture.  The middle picture features outbound car 933 passing a shelter, possibly the same one as in the top picture, with the canal to the left.  Note how the shelter is actually built out over the water of the canal.  The bottom picture shows inbound car 936, with the canal to the right.  Prior to the 1948 closing of Arabella Station, 800-class cars were usually assigned to West End and the other lines operated out of Canal Station.  So these photos of 900s were probably taken between 1948 and 1950.  Incidentally, the New Basin Canal was filled in about 1950 so that the right of way could become part of the Ponchartrain Expressway (I-10).
NOPSI_933-WestEnd.jpg
NOPSI_936-WestEnd.jpg
Pictures 2-4 through 2-7.
NOPSI_933-WestEnd-at_WestEnd.jpg
The outer end of the West End line, probably between 1948 and 1950.  These pictures show the West End terminal near Lake Ponchartrain late in the life of this line.  The top picture features car 933, and shows off the little shelter erected at this spot.  Then we see the sun-dappled sides of cars 900, 926, and 936. — Collection of Earl Hampton (first picture) and of the author (last three pictures)
NOPSI_900-WestEnd.jpg
NOPSI_926-WestEnd.jpg
NOPSI_936-WestEnd-2.jpg

Group 3: Spanish Fort

Beginning March 26, 1911, a branch line was opened from the West End tracks at what became Robert E. Lee Blvd. east to the Spanish Fort area.  Spanish Fort had a long history as an amusement resort before being improved by New Orleans Ry. & Light Co. (successor to New Orleans Traction Co.) between 1909 and 1911.  During the summer season, the Spanish Fort streetcar line used the trains that West End had been using, the 500-class cars pulling up to three trailers, while West End after that time used “Palace” cars pulling single trailers.  The rest of the year, Spanish Fort was a shuttle service operated along Robert E. Lee Blvd. between West End and Spanish Fort.  Buses took over the Spanish Fort run on October 16, 1932.

Spanish Fort was equipped with a Spanish-style station building, an amusement park just behind the station, and sufficient trackage for the trains to be reshuffled and the electric cars to maneuver.  There was a pier extending three-quarters of a mile out into the lake, with tracks out to the end, on which a shuttle car operated during the summer for several years.  There was also a bathhouse part way out along the pier, over the water.  One could walk out to the bathhouse, or take the shuttle car.


Picture 3-1.
SpanishFort05.jpg
The station at Spanish Fort. — C. B. Mason
Picture 3-2.
SpanishFort01.jpg
American Car Co. car 509 pulls its train into the Spanish Fort station. — C. B. Mason
Picture 3-3.
SpanishFort00.jpg
American Car Co. car 511 has reversed direction and is loading passengers at the Spanish Fort station for return to the City.
Picture 3-4.
SpanishFort02.jpg
The amusement park at Spanish Fort, with the station at the right.
Picture 3-5.
SpanishFort03.jpg
The Spanish Fort pier, with the bathhouse built over the lake (in the left background), and the streetcar tracks running out to the end of the pier.
Picture 3-6.
SpanishFort06.jpg
This 1912 view shows the entrance to the bathhouse, part way out along the pier over the water of Lake Ponchartrain, looking back toward the shore.  The actual bathhouse is out of the picture to the right.  The streetcar tracks for the shuttle car can be seen at the left, separated from the pedestrian walkway by a railing. — C. B. Mason/H. J. Harvey
Pictures 3-7 and 3-8.
SpanishFort07.jpg
The reason for the name “Spanish Fort.”  These pictures show what was displayed as the remains of old Fort San Juan, built about 1770 by Baron de Carondelet to protect early New Orleans from attack across the lake. — J. Scordill (upper), C. T. American Art (lower)
SpanishFort04.jpg

Group 4: Magazine Line


Pictures 4-1 through 4-8.
NOPSI_916-Magazine-AudubonPark-1947-06-10.jpg
The Magazine line was primarily a street running line.  The major exception was its uptown terminus, at Audubon Park, where the track was laid at the side of the roadway.  Here are some glimpses of that trackage.  Six of these pictures (the first three and the last three) were taken from the river side of Magazine Street, which is just the other side of the streetcar right of way, by the same unknown photographer on June 10, 1947.  The fourth picture is dated 1938, making it a bit older than the others.  The fifth picture is undated, but was probably taken in the 1940s.  These two were taken from the other side of Magazine Street, looking toward the river, the opposite viewpoint compared to the other five pictures.

The top picture shows car 916 at the Magazine line terminal.  The car has just arrived from the right.

The second picture, from about the same angle, features the motorman standing on the step of car 930, as another car begins its downbound run at the far right.

In the third picture, car 954 and another car await their turns to pull up to the stub track, which is just ahead of 954.  A motorman or conductor is stretching his legs before returning to his car for its next run.

The fourth picture shows car 923, which has pulled into the stub terminal.  Both trolley poles are up as the crew reverses the direction of the car.  The pole at the left, which will be the front of the car when it sets out on its trip downtown, will be pulled down momentarily.  Note the roof and bench of a shelter for waiting passengers, at the far right. — Collection of Leo Sullivan

The fifth picture stars car 926, which has pulled into almost exactly the same position as car 923 in the previous picture.  The motorman is raising the trolley pole to reverse the direction of the car.

In the sixth picture, car 971 has pulled forward from the stub track onto the downbound track, and is beginning its next run downtown.  Two other cars at the left await their turns in the stub track.  A motorman or conductor is seen at the right being unusually casual, with his necktie off.

The seventh picture shows car 922 at the very end of the track, where its crewmen have completed changing ends, and some passengers have boarded for the downbound trip.  At the far left, we have a glimpse of a Broadway trolley coach in its turnaround loop, doors open to board passengers for its next outbound trip.  Three students are strolling down Magazine Street, perhaps on their way to the zoo.

The eighth picture shows car 913 and another car behind it in the stub track, shortly to pull out on their next downbound runs.

The star players in these pictures are all Perley Thomas cars: numbers 913, 916, 922, 923, 926, 930, 954, and 971.  All of these cars survive today except 916.  Car 913 was at the Orange Empire Trolley Museum, and has been moved to San Francisco to join the Municipal Railway's historical collection.  The others are still giving service in New Orleans.

In several of these pictures, we can see that the poles for support of the trolley wires use bracket arms for the downbound wires, but span wires to support the upbound wires.  Probably, the original installation used bracket arms for both streetcar trolley wires.  But in 1930, when the pioneering Broadway trolley coach line was started, twin trolley coach wires were installed above the roadway of Magazine Street to connect the Broadway line to Arabella Station, a little over a mile from Broadway Ave.  In this stretch through Audubon Park, the span wires for the TC overhead were used to support the upbound streetcar overhead as well.  A very close look (for example, at the pictures of cars 916 and 954) reveals a glimpse of the TC wires above the roadway.

After trolley coaches took over operation of the Magazine line, the street was widened in this area to absorb the streetcar right-of-way, and a narrow neutral ground was even created to separate the upbound and downbound roadways.

NOPSI_930-Magazine-AudubonPark+friend-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_954-Magazine-AudubonPark+friend-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_923-Magazine-1938.jpg
NOPSI_926-Magazine.jpg
NOPSI_971-Magazine-AudubonPark+friends-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_922-Magazine+TC-AudubonPark-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_913-Magazine-AudubonPark-1947-06-10.jpg

Group 5: Arabella Station

Arabella Station was one of the three largest and most important car barns operated by New Orleans Public Service Inc. (the others being Canal and Poland Stations).  It was built in the 1880s by the Crescent City RR to house its then-new Coliseum line.  The station was located along Magazine Street between Arabella and Joseph Streets.  There was a large building in the block between Magazine and Constance Streets, with an open car storage yard in the next square block between Constance and Patton Streets.  Arabella housed most of the uptown streetcar lines, until the Magazine line and Arabella with it were converted to trolley coaches and the rails were removed in 1948.  Trolley coaches were replaced with diesel buses between 1963 and 1967.  About 2002, Arabella was closed, and all bus lines were housed at Canal Station.  The closed car barn was renovated for a second career as a Whole Foods store, opening in 2002.  Renovated again after Hurricane Katrina, it was reopened Feb. 1, 2006, and survives in this form today.


Picture 5-1.
ArabellaStation-MagazineSt.jpg
In front of the car barn, there was a third track in Magazine Street, to which all the car barn tracks connected.  This picture appears to show that track under construction, or perhaps under repair.  The streetcar at the right-center of this picture is on that third track. — Collection of Mike Walsdorf
Picture 5-1.5.
NOR+L_320-ArabellaSta.jpg
The motormen and conductors — the platform men — at Arabella Station car barn gethered for a group photo with Brill semi-convertible car 320, signed for the Magazine line, about 1915.  This was one of the group of 25 cars built by Brill subsidiary American Car Co. in 1906.  They were originally numbered 300-325, and were renumbered 450-474 about 1918.
Picture 5-2.
NOPSI_936-Arabella.jpg
Perley Thomas car 936 peeks out the front door of Arabella Station into Magazine Street. — Charles Franck photo, collection of Earl Hampton
Pictures 5-3, 5-4, and 5-4.5.
NOPSI_941-ArabellaSta-1947-06-10.jpg
We are looking at the storage yard behind Arabella Station car barn, June 10, 1947.  The top picture features Perley Thomas car 941 and the middle picture car 943, while the bottom picture is centered on car 932.  For many years, the 900s were housed at Arabella, until with the closing of lines in the late 1940s, they were dispersed throughout the remaining lines of the system.
NOPSI_943+friend-ArabellaSta-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_932-Magazine+friends-ArabellaSta-1947-06-10.jpg
Picture 5-5.
ArabellaSta-2002.jpg
Arabella Station from the rear, looking across the storage yard toward the car barn.  This picture was taken in 2002, just about the time the station was closed as a bus garage.  The storage yard is seen in the foreground, now paved for rubber tired vehicles.  The trolley coach wires have long since been removed, but in the upper foreground, we can see the rear of the tags numbering the lanes for bus parking.  Note the rust on the rear wall of the building.  This view is no longer possible, as the storage yard has been developed for housing. — Photo by, and collection of, Johnnie J. Myers
Pictures 5-6 and 5-7.
Arabella-Image009-2007-05-23.jpg
Arabella Station in its current role as a Whole Foods store, May 23, 2007.  The upper picture shows the view from Magazine St. (compare Picture 5-1, above), and the lower view shows the rear of the building, from Constance St. — Photos by the author
Arabella-Image010-2007-05-23.jpg

Group 6: Freret Line


Picture 6-1.
NOPSI_902-Freret.jpg
Freret was one of the later streetcar lines to be started.  NOPSI created the line September 7, 1924 using portions of the old Carondelet and Clio Lines.  It ran as far uptown as Broadway.  Originally, it also ran on Broadway from Freret Street to S. Claiborne, but the portion of the line on Broadway was given up to the early Broadway trolley coach line November 30, 1930.  This picture shows Perley Thomas car 902, apparently at the end of the line on Freret at Broadway, probably in the 1940s.  The crew has changed ends, and the car is facing the “wrong way” on Freret Street, awaiting departure time for its next trip downtown.  We see the conductor with his left rear door open to the sidewalk to board any last minute passengers before departure, when the car will take the crossover ahead of it to switch to the downbound track, and the conductor will change his door controller handle to operate the right-hand door.  Freret gave up to rubber-tired vehicles December 1, 1946.

Group 7: Jackson Line


Picture 7-1.
NOPSI_924-Jackson_at_river-1930s-2.jpg
Perley Thomas car 924 is changing ends at the end of the Jackson line at the river, probably some time in the 1930s.  The neutral ground at this point was a foot or so higher than the roadway, so patrons at the terminal used the doors on the other side of the car to exit or enter from the neutral ground.  There is a wide black stripe along the center of the roof, perhaps an attempt to hide stains from sparks from the trolley wheel.  Jackson crossed several of the major uptown lines, then turned downtown and went to Canal Street.  After Jackson was converted to trolley coaches in 1947, the neutral ground on Jackson Ave. was substantially narrowed to provide more lanes for automobiles. — Collections of Earl Hampton and Leo Sullivan
Picture 7-2.
NOPSI_929-Jackson-SRampart+Canal.jpg
Perley Thomas car 929 is working the Jackson line at its Canal Street terminal on S. Rampart Street in this 1943 photo.  The car in front of 929 is a 400-class Southern Car Co. car, working on the St. Charles Belt line.  In 1947, the St. Charles Belt was rerouted from S. Rampart to Liberty Street, and Jackson was converted to a trolley coach line. — Collection of Earl Hampton

Group 8: Napoleon Line


Picture 8-1.
NOPSI_958-Napoleon.jpg
Napoleon was one of the last four streetcar lines in New Orleans.  Judging by the automobiles, this picture featuring car 958 was taken some time in the 1940s.  The car has just cleared S. Claiborne Ave. riverbound.  A bit of the Beacon Restaurant on S. Claiborne can be made out to the right of the streetcar.  Napoleon Ave. was, and remains, a wide beautiful street with a broad neutral ground eminently suitable for a streetcar line.  Thanks to Richard Sharp for identifying the location.
Picture 8-2.
NOPSI_969-Napoleon-1949-03-18.jpg
At the outer end of Napoleon Ave., the streetcar line ran along the Broad St. neutral ground the short distance to Washington Ave., then out Washington to Carrollton on tracks between the roadway and the New Basin Canal, eventually finding its way out to Metairie Road and into Jefferson Parish.  Long before this picture of car 969 was taken on March 18, 1949, the Napoleon line had been cut back to this point at Broad and Washington.  In this picture, the car has changed ends in preparation for its next inbound trip, and the conductor is loading passengers from what is now the left front door.
Picture 8-3.
NOPSI_952-Napoleon-Broad_at_Wash.jpg
Car 952 has changed ends and is awaiting departure time from the Broad and Washington terminal.  The motorman is looking out the first window toward the photographer, and the conductor taking his ease is visible through the third window — at least, his elbow is.  Originally, there was double track here, which turned left and continued out Washington on side-of-the-road trackage. — Collection of Earl Hampton
Picture 8-4.
NOPSI_937+friend-Napoleon-1947-06-10.jpg
Near the river end of the line, car 937 and another 900-class car meet on Napoleon Ave. at the Magazine St. intersection in this June 10, 1947 picture.  The photographer is facing away from the river.  The streetcars are on the wide, grassy neutral ground.  Note the roadways for other vehicles at left and right.  The track curves in the foreground provide connections for Napoleon cars to travel to and from the car barn at Arabella Station (see Group 5).  There appear to be some “extra” uniformed NOPSI personnel in front of the streetcars; perhaps the shift is changing.  The church steeple in the background belongs to St. Stephen's Church.  In recent years, this parish has been combined with others, and it is now Good Shepherd church.

Group 9: South Claiborne Line


Pictures 9-1, 9-2, and 9-2.5.
NOPSI_956-SClaiborne+State-1950-02-12.jpg
In the author's considered opinion, the South Claiborne line was the most beautiful line in the City.  These first pictures are submitted in support of that view.  At 191 feet wide, this avenue was even wider than famed Canal Street.  For at least part of its length, the median was occupied by a large drainage canal, an important component of the city's drainage system.  (Today, the canal has been filled in or covered over, but in streetcar days, part of it was open.)  The beautiful part of Claiborne Ave. had a broad, grassy, landscaped neutral ground, with a streetcar track at each edge of the neutral ground, as seen here.  The top picture from Feb. 12, 1950 shows car 956 and another S. Claiborne car downbound at State Street.  The date and location of the second picture, featuring car 959, are unknown, but it was probably taken in the late 1940s.  The third picture, somewhere along S. Claiborne Ave., is dated Jan. 7, 1951.  Note the narrow roadway for automobile traffic.  This ultimately proved fatal to the line, since the only way to widen the automobile lanes necessarily involved either rebuilding the streetcar tracks further to the center of the neutral ground, or removing them altogether. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri (second picture); Bechtel (third picture)
NOPSI_959-SClaiborne.jpg
NOPSI_972-SClaiborne-1951-01-07.jpg
Pictures 9-3, 9-4, 9-4.5, 9-5, 9-5.5, 9-6, 9-6.5, 9-7, and 9-7.5.
NOPSI_964-SClaiborne.jpg
The uptown end of the S. Claiborne line was at the unusual intersection of S. Claiborne and S. Carrollton Avenues.  Probably only in New Orleans would two major avenues both designated “South” intersect each other.  It happens because, while both cross Canal Street (the dividing line between “South” and “North”), Carrollton runs in a completely straight line, while Claiborne bends to follow the crescent of the Mississippi River.  At the terminal, the upbound track curved across the neutral ground, connecting to the downbound track in a single-track stub terminal, which continued in a curve to connect to the tracks on Carrollton for access to the car barn at Carrollton Station.  (It seems surprising that the track didn't simply curve back on itself to form a loop rather than a stub terminal.  There was certainly plenty of room.)

The upper picture here shows car 964 just after it has completed its upbound run and discharged its last passengers.  The car is stopped on the curve, with the upbound automobile roadway glimpsed behind the car.  This picture is undated, but the automobile suggests an early 1950s date.

The second picture, probably from the late 1940s, shows car 961, just a bit forward of the location of 964 in the first picture.  The track glimpsed across the bottom of the picture is the downbound track. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri

The third and fourth pictures, undated but from the same era, show cars 960 and 946 on the upbound track, approaching the switch connecting to the downbound track.  In the fourth picture, car 964 has already changed ends and pulled forward to the point from which passengers are loaded for the next trip downbound. — Collection of Earl Hampton (fourth picture)

In the fifth picture, car 877 has passed over the switch and is still facing upbound.  From here, normal operation calls for the car to be reversed, i.e. the trolley poles are changed and the seats are reversed, and the motorman and conductor swap positions in the car.  Otherwise, the car is now facing the curve connecting to the S. Carrollton tracks, from which it could proceed to Carrollton Station.  The activity visible in the foreground appears to be the construction of the terminal for the bus line which replaced the streetcar line in early 1953.  That would date the picture to late 1952.  (During the 1940s, car 877 would not usually have been assigned to S. Claiborne service; this would be more likely after S. Claiborne was moved in 1948 from Arabella Station to Carrollton Station and Napoleon Yard.)  Note the Katz & Besthoff drug store on the corner, visible behind the streetcar.  This was a long time New Orleans chain store, well known in the city and surrounding area.  This store building included doctors' offices on the second floor.

The sixth picture depicts car 965 after it has pulled into the stub track and changed ends.  The motorman is completing the process by hooking down what is now the front trolley pole.  A couple of boys have taken the coveted spot in the right front window, from which to enjoy the ride downtown; one is wearing a Boy Scout hat.  The date is probably around 1940. — Joseph P. Russo

The seventh picture, from the late 1940s, shows car 969 after it had pulled into the stub terminal and changed ends, ready to depart on its next trip. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri

The eighth picture shows car 926 on July 13, 1941, and the bottom picture, taken March 14, 1949, shows car 959.  Both cars are facing downbound, after having pulled into the stub, changed ends, and then pulled forward to load passengers.  Car 926 has just started loading, and car 959 has completed loading and closed its doors, ready to depart downbound.  At the far right edge of the eighth picture, one can see the pole and crossarms for the trolley wires on S. Carrollton Ave.  Notice the landscaping on the neutral ground in most of these pictures.

NOPSI_961-SClaiborne_at_Carrollton-terminus.jpg
NOPSI_960-SClaiborne.jpg
NOPSI_946+964-SClaiborne-Carrollton_terminus.jpg
NOPSI_877-SClaiborne.jpg
NOPSI_965-SClaiborne-c1940.jpg
NOPSI_969-SClaiborne_at_Carrollton-terminus.jpg
NOPSI_926-SClaiborne-1941-07-13.jpg
NOPSI_959-SClaiborne-1949-03-14.jpg
Picture 9-8.
SClaiborne-SCarrollton.jpg
This is a diagram of the trackage at the intersection of S. Claiborne with S. Carrollton.  It is not drawn to scale, but is intended to suggest the general layout.  Tracks are shown as black lines, street and neutral ground curbs as green lines.  The tracks shown in blue were added about August 1952.  This is the configuration of crossovers usually found in reports of the period (1940s), although the author has seen at least one such report with a crossover on S. Carrollton near what would be the bottom edge of this diagram.  While such a crossover would make travel from Carrollton Station to S. Claiborne more convenient than this diagram shows, other reports do not confirm it.  Carrollton Station is off the bottom edge of this diagram, some blocks away.  Assuming this diagram is accurate as to the position of the crossovers, travel from Carrollton Station to S. Claiborne must have involved going across Claiborne to the crossover on Carrollton, switching back and crossing Claiborne again, then changing ends and taking the broad curve into Claiborne.  (Return to the station would of course have been much simpler.)  In wondering why such a track layout would have been tolerated, it should be remembered that in earlier days, the S. Claiborne line was housed at Arabella Station, and the connecting curve between Carrollton and Claiborne would have been used only rarely.  By the time Arabella was stripped of its rails (1948), it was clear that the assignment of S. Claiborne cars to Carrollton Station would last only for a few years.  It should also be noted that in August 1952, the St. Charles line was cut back to this intersection, and a new double scissors crossover, still in use today, was installed on S. Carrollton as shown in blue.  That would have made the connection from Carrollton Station to the S. Claiborne line more convenient, but S. Claiborne had then less than six months to survive as a streetcar line.
Picture 9-9.
NOPSI_969-SClaiborne-Howard+Carondelet-1951-11-01.jpg
The portion of the S. Claiborne line that was not on S. Claiborne Ave. was mostly street running, inherited from the earlier Clio line.  After leaving S. Claiborne Ave., downbound cars followed Erato St. to Carondelet, which they took to Canal Street.  They made the loop that St. Charles streetcars still take, from Carondelet to Canal to St. Charles and back to Howard Ave. at Lee Circle, then went out Howard to S. Rampart Street and up to Clio to return to S. Claiborne Ave.  Except on Howard and Canal, this was all street running.  This Nov. 1, 1951 picture shows car 969 on Carondelet, just about to cross Howard on its way to Canal Street.  The car is using the right-hand trolley wire of the Freret trolley coach line; in fact, there are double trolley coach wires visible in this picture.
Picture 9-10.
NOPSI_957-Claiborne+TC-Freret-1951-09.jpg
It is September 1951, and S. Claiborne streetcar 957 has paused for passengers on Carondelet Street at Canal, with a Freret trolley coach behind it.  (The roll signs on some cars, such as 957, were marked Claiborne, with a blank space where the “S” should have been.)  Another streetcar follows, about a block away at Common Street; it is probably on the St. Charles line.  The streetcars use the right hand wire of the two-wire trolley coach overhead.  There is an automatic switch in the overhead wire ahead of the car, so that when it moves forward, its trolley pole will follow the track onto the Canal Street neutral ground; the double poles of the trolley coach activate the automatic switch such that they will follow the coach into the roadway.
Pictures 9-11, 9-12, 9-13, and 9-14.
NOPSI_928-SClaiborne+820-Canal+StCharles-1947-06-10.jpg
S. Claiborne cars came down Carondelet to Canal, then turned into the outer track on Canal Street, ran one block to St. Charles Street, then turned up St. Charles to begin their upbound runs.  These four June 10, 1947 pictures show S. Claiborne cars on Canal Street at St. Charles, loading passengers before turning up St. Charles Street.  The upper picture features car 928 loading passengers, and Cemeteries car 820 at the left on the inner riverbound track.  In the second picture, car 909 has paused on the outer track, and is ready to turn right into St. Charles Street for the trip to Howard Ave.  The third photo features car 920 from the opposite direction, waiting to make the turn.  At the left we see two White buses, the first signed Freret, the second displaying a Bus Garage sign.  In the background there is a Desire or Gentilly car turning into Bourbon St.  The car at the right is either a 400 on Tulane, or an 800 on Cemeteries or West End.  The bottom picture shows car 924, as the motorman looks back into his car at his passengers.  The woman at the right is dressed up, in suit, hat, and gloves, as any lady would do when going shopping “at Canal Street.”  She is waiting for the streetcar to pass in front of her on the inner riverbound track.
NOPSI_909-SClaiborne-Canal+StCharles-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_920-SClaiborne+friends+Freret_bus-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_924-SClaiborne+friends-Canal+StCharles-1947-06-10.jpg
Picture 9-15.
NOPSI_956-SClaiborne-HowardAve-1951-01-07.jpg
Here is S. Claiborne car 956 upbound on Howard Ave., having just turned in from St. Charles Street on its way to S. Rampart and then to Clio Street.  Lee Circle is visible at the right edge of the picture, although the statue of the general is out of sight.  The date is January 7, 1951. — Collection of William Nixon

Group 10: St. Charles - Tulane Belts

For over 50 years, from Feb. 19, 1900 to Jan. 8, 1951, the St. Charles and Tulane lines operated as belts, with St. Charles being the clockwise side of the loop, and Tulane the counter-clockwise side.  Putting it another way, cars leaving Canal Street for St. Charles Ave. were marked St. Charles, and cars leaving Canal Street for Tulane Ave. were marked Tulane.  One small difference was that, after the 1929 rebuilding of the Canal Street trackage, Tulane served the loop at the foot of Canal, while St. Charles did not.

When belt operation was established in 1900, St. Charles and Tulane were among the minority of New Orleans routes which were standard gauge.  In 1915, the first arch roof cars were acquired, the 400-449 class designed by Mr. Perley Thomas and built by Southern Car Co.  These cars were standard gauge, and were assigned to the belt lines and Jackson.  In 1925, Jackson was converted to wide gauge and rerouted, and 800-900-class cars were assigned to it.  In 1929, the belts were converted to wide gauge; the 400-class cars were also converted at this time.  These cars then ran on St. Charles and Tulane until their retirement in 1948.  By 1945, cars 800-818 were also assigned to St. Charles and Tulane to supplement the fifty cars of the 400 class.  After retirement of the 400s, other 800-class cars were assigned to the belt lines, having been made available by the bustitution of other streetcar lines in the City.


Pictures 10-1, 10-1.2, 10-1.4, and 10-1.6.
NOPSI_813-Tulane+837-Canal-foot-1947-06-10.jpg
These Tulane cars were photographed on the outer track of the layover area at the foot of Canal Street: from top to bottom, cars 813, 800, 814, and 442.  The top three pictures were taken June 10, 1947, the bottom one in December 1945.  Car 837 on the inner track in the top two pictures is working the Cemeteries line, and 855 is probably on that line also.  There is a Car Stop sign on the light pole at the right.  The third photo neatly lines up cars 814, 906, and 829 (left to right), probably on the Tulane, Cemeteries, and West End runs, respectively.  The fourth photo features Tulane car 442 on the outer layover track.  When the Tulane cars begin their runs, they will switch to the inner track for the trip to Saratoga Street, which they will then follow up to Tulane Ave.  Note that the right front and left rear doors of the 400-class cars, such as 442 here, are sliding doors, but on the 800-class cars, they are folding doors, the same as the other doors.
NOPSI_800-Tulane+855+837-Cemeteries-CanalSt-foot-1947-06-14.jpg
NOPSI_814+906+829-CanalSt-foot-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_442-Canal-foot-1945-12.jpg
Pictures 10-2, 10-3, and 10-4.
NOPSI_406-Tulane+bus-on_Canal-1947-06-10.jpg
These pictures all look out from the corner of St. Charles/Royal and Canal Streets on June 10, 1947.  The Tulane Belt cars have just arrived at Canal Street from Carondelet, one block behind, and switched to the inner track for the trip to the loop at the foot of Canal.  In the top picture, car 406 is discharging a lady passenger at the front door.  To the left, we have a rare glimpse of a White bus on the Freret line.  Freret had been converted from streetcars to buses temporarily on Dec. 1, 1946, while trolley coach wires were built for its reconversion to TCs on Sept. 3, 1947.  The middle picture features Tulane car 802 and another 800-class car outbound on the Cemeteries or West End line.  The bottom picture shows the motorman of car 807 intent on his departing passengers.  Notice the light but mostly not-casual summer dress of the shoppers in these pictures.
NOPSI_802-Tulane+friend-on_Canal-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_807-Tulane-on_Canal-1947-06-10.jpg
Pictures 10-5, 10-6, 10-6.5, and 10-7.
NOPSI_435-StCharles-on_Canal-1947-06-10.jpg
These June 10, 1947 pictures show St. Charles Belt cars at the University Place intersection with Canal Street, on the outer track.  Since March, St. Charles cars have approached Canal from Tulane Ave. via S. Liberty Street.  They will continue one more block on Canal and then turn into Baronne St. for the trip up to Howard Ave., which they will then follow to Lee Circle and St. Charles Ave.  The top picture features car 435 at the left, with a glimpse of another 400-class car on the Tulane Belt at the right behind the elegant hat of the suited gentleman.  We see car 440 in the second picture.  The third picture stars car 443, with Tulane Belt car 808 outbound at the right, and Cemeteries or West End car 826 inbound in the middle.  The bottom picture shows car 878 working the St. Charles Belt (an unusual assignment for this car at that time), while car 822 is inbound on the West End line.
NOPSI_440-StCharles-on_Canal-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_443-StCharlesBelt+808-TulaneBelt+826-CanalSt-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_878-StCharles+822-WestEnd-on_Canal-1947-06-10.jpg
Pictures 10-8 and 10-9.
NOPSI_441-Tulane-1947-06-10.jpg
The neutral ground on Tulane Ave. was none too wide for the car line.  Here are two views of Tulane Ave., just out from S. Broad St. on June 10, 1947.  The building at the left is the Criminal Courts Building.  Notice how the span wires are mounted to poles near the outer curbs of the street, rather than on poles mounted on the neutral ground, as was the practice on wider streets such as St. Charles, Carrollton, and Canal.  When Tulane Ave. was converted to buses and trolley coaches, and the rails removed, the neutral ground was reduced to nothing more than a narrow strip separating the inbound and outbound roadways.  The upper picture shows the conductor's back as he leans against the window of car 441.  The lower picture features car 813 as the conductor and some of the passengers look back wondering what that silly photographer is up to.
NOPSI_813-Tulane-1947-06-10.jpg
Picture 10-9.5.
NOPSI_830-Tulane.jpg
Tulane Belt car 830 is stopped for passengers, outbound on Tulane Ave.  At the right, a waiting rider leans out looking for a St. Charles Belt car to take her toward Canal Street.  Screens were used on the windows of some 800s around the period 1948 to 1951 on cars assigned to the Tulane and St. Charles Belt lines.  They were intended to protect riders from shrubs on the St. Charles Ave. neutral ground, but they were unpopular, and were removed.  The window posts of car 830 here show the mounting studs from the screens after their removal. — Collection of William Nixon
Pictures 10-10, 10-11, and 10-12.
NOPSI_857-StCharlesBelt-TulaneAve-CarHouse-1947-06-10.jpg
Here are three pictures of St. Charles Belt cars inbound toward Canal Street on Tulane Ave., all taken June 10, 1947.  In the top picture, car 857 is displaying a Car House sign, which indicates that this is its last trip for the day.  From the car number, we know that this car was operated out of Canal Station, even though most St. Charles and Tulane Belt cars operated out of Carrollton Station car barn.  If this is correct, the car will probably turn left at S. Dorgenois Street to proceed over to Canal Street and the Canal Station car barn.  The second picture features car 431 stopped for the traffic light at S. Broad St.  The third picture, featuring car 434, is also at S. Broad St., but facing in the opposite direction from the other two photos.  Note again how close the tracks are to each other, and how narrow the neutral ground is compared to St. Charles Ave. or Carrollton Ave.
NOPSI_431-StCharlesBelt-TulaneAve-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_434-StCharlesBelt-Tulane+Broad-1947-06-10.jpg
Picture 10-13.
NOPSI_412+friend-Tulane+Dorgenois-1948-04-07.jpg
This scene is on Tulane Avenue at S. Dorgenois Street.  We see St. Charles Belt car 412 inbound on Tulane Avenue.  At the left, an 800-class car coming from Canal Station is turning from Dorgenois into Tulane to begin a run toward Carrollton Avenue on the Tulane Belt line.  The date is April 7, 1948. — New Orleans Public Library collection
Picture 10-14.
NOPSI_404-StCharlesBelt-Broadway-1948.jpg
St. Charles Belt car 404 is stopped at Broadway upbound on St. Charles Avenue in this 1948 photograph.
Picture 10-15.
NOPSI_832-Tulane-HowardAve.jpg
Tulane Belt car 832 rounds the curve from Lee Circle to Howard Ave. on its way downtown, probably around 1950.  It will turn into Carondelet Street, one block ahead, just as St. Charles cars still do today.  In the distance, we can see a St. Charles Belt car approaching on Howard Ave., after having turned in from Baronne Street.  The St. Charles car will take the curve in the left foreground to Lee Circle, going around to St. Charles Ave. for its trip uptown.
Picture 10-16.
NOPSI_832_WarBonds-CarrolltonSta.jpg
During World War II, NOPSI painted car 832 in this patriotic livery advertising the sale of war bonds.  The car moved around the entire system, and from time to time, the message on its side was changed slightly.  We see it here signed for the Tulane Belt on the ladder track in Jeanette Street at Carrollton Station. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri

Group 10.5: Poland Station

Poland Station, located at the corner of Poland and St. Claude, was one of the three major car barns (“stations”) in New Orleans, the other two being Canal and Arabella, until it was closed November 25, 1934, presumably as an economy measure.  Pictures of Poland immediately after the 1915 hurricane are in Group 14.  Pictures of the station before the hurricane, and the rebuilt station afterwards, can be found in Hennick & Charlton, The Streetcars of New Orleans, page 218.


Picture 10.5-1.
PolandSta-1941.jpg
In 1941, after Poland Station had been closed for seven years, the City of New Orleans decided to erect a police station on the site.  This picture shows workmen dismantling the streetcar station in preparation for building the police station.

Group 11: St. Claude Line and the 1000-class Cars


Picture 11-1.
NOPSI1000.jpg
This is the Perley Thomas Car Co. builder's photo of car 1000, the first of what were the most advanced cars that builder provided to New Orleans.  Cars 1000-1009 were built by Thomas, and cars 1010-1019 were built by St. Louis Car Co.  According to the notes on the original caption of the picture, an order of 100 cars was placed April 17, 1924, and delivery of the first ten was completed October 23, 1924.  According to Louis Hennick, however, these dates refer to the 900 series of cars, which was originally planned to include 100 cars, but in the end actually included 73.  Hennick & Charlton's book states that cars 1000-1019 were ordered in September 1927.  In “Appendix III,” Hennick reports that NOPSI records show the orders being placed in August 1927, but that the car builder's records show 1926 dates; no explanation for this discrepancy is known.  The cars were delivered to New Orleans beginning in January 1928.

The 1000s had smaller wheels than their predecessors, the 400s, 800s, and 900s, and thus rode lower to the track.  They also had a ramp inside the car instead of a step up from the platforms to the floor of the car body, and they were slightly wider than the earlier cars.  They had four motors, instead of two, and so were also somewhat faster.  They were initially built as one-man cars, but the city forbade the use of one-man cars, so they were converted for two-man crews, and no more of the type were ordered.

Picture 11-1.5.
NOPSI1001-1man.jpg
This apparently posed picture, taken along City Park Ave. in front of Delgado College, shows Perley Thomas car 1001 demonstrating how riders would board and alight from the car in one-man service.  The car is signed Special.  We see a passenger boarding at the front door and another exiting from the rear door, the opposite of the usual practice in New Orleans at that time.  When the city government refused to allow the use of one-man cars, NOPSI eventually reworked cars 1000-1019 for two-man crews, and assigned them to the St. Claude line.
Picture 11-2.
NOPSI1003-StClaude-Rampart+Canal-1947-06-10.jpg
Car 1003 at the uptown terminal of the St. Claude line, on N. Rampart St. at Canal, June 10, 1947.  The motorman is changing ends, pulling down the trolley pole at what will be the front end of the car, prior to beginning the next outbound run down N. Rampart and St. Claude Ave. to the American Sugar Refinery.  Note the shelter for St. Claude patrons, sticking out into the traffic lanes of N. Rampart St., a unique feature on Canal Street, but a very handy one with the frequent rains found in New Orleans.

The entire 20-car fleet of 1000s was usually assigned to the St. Claude line, because it was the only line for which there were enough of these cars to provide base service.  Because of their higher speeds, they did not mix well with the somewhat slower cars of the 400, 800, and 900 classes, although those cars were used as necessary for tripper runs on St. Claude.  The 1000s were also used in some owl services, where their higher speeds could be utilized effectively.  St. Claude was converted to trolley coaches, and the entire 1000 class was scrapped, in 1949.

Picture 11-3.
NOPSI1016-StClaude-1947-06-10.jpg
St. Louis car 1016 approaching the uptown terminal of the St. Claude line on N. Rampart at Canal, June 10, 1947.  The photographer is looking down, away from Canal Street, which is at his back.  In front of the car is the crossover it will use to begin its next downtown (outbound) run.
Picture 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 and 11-6.1.
NOPSI1001-StClaude.jpg
Perley Thomas cars 1001 and 1003, and St. Louis cars 1010 and 1016, at the St. Claude terminal on N. Rampart at Canal, the same location as Pictures 11-2 and 11-3.  The cars have yet to pull up to the stub end and change ends for their next downbound runs.  The photographers are standing on the lake side of Rampart, looking in toward the river.  Note the distinctive building in the left background of each picture, the New Orleans Athletic Club.  The picture of car 1001 (top picture) is dated October 3, 1943.  The second picture, showing car 1010, is dated June 10, 1947.  In the picture of car 1003 (third picture), dated only about a month later than the second (July 18, 1947), we see construction beyond the car; the building in the right background of the first two pictures has been demolished, and a new building is being put up on the site.  The fourth picture, featuring car 1016, is dated November 23, 1947, and shows partially opened front doors as the passengers prepare to alight.  The construction project is obviously still ongoing.
NOPSI1010-StClaude-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI1003-StClaude-1947-07-18.jpg
NOPSI1016-StClaude-1947-11-23.jpg
Picture 11-6.2 and 11-6.3.
NOPSI1005-StClaude-CanalSt+Rampart-1947-06-10.jpg
Perley Thomas cars 1005 and 1007 are shown here on N. Rampart St. at Canal St. on June 10, 1947, with the Woolworth building in the background.  The two photos were apparently taken by the same photographer a few miniutes apart.  In each photo, the car has pulled into the stub terminal and changed ends.  The 1005 has both poles up, momentarily, while the motorman of the 1007 has pulled down the front pole.  The cars are facing downbound (outbound) in readiness for their next trips.
NOPSI1007-CanalSt-1947-06-10.jpg
Picture 11-6.4.
NOPSI1010+1002-StClaude-NRampart-1947-06-10.jpg
Perley Thomas car 1002 has just pulled out from the stub terminal, and is beginning its downbound (outbound) run.  The motorman of St. Louis Car Co. car 1010 is ready to pull into the stub terminal and change ends for his next downbound run.  We are looking down, with Canal St. at the photographer's back, on June 10, 1947.
Picture 11-6.5.
NOPSI1019-StClaude-1943-10-03.jpg
The highest numbered car, St. Louis Car Co. car 1019, is seen working the St. Claude line somewhere on N. Rampart St., Oct. 3, 1943.
Picture 11-6.6.
NOPSI_879-StClaude-1947-07-23.jpg
Car 879 is serving a tripper run on St. Claude, July 23, 1947, probably somewhere along N. Rampart St. — Fred Victor DuBrutz photo, collection of the author
Picture 11-7.
NOPSI1006.jpg
St. Claude car 1006 is somewhere on the line, probably traveling between St. Claude Ave. and the river on its way to its downtown (i.e., downriver) terminal at the American Sugar Refinery.
Pictures 11-7.3 and 11-7.6.
NOPSI1010-StClaude-Delery-1940-05-15.jpg
On the east side of the Industrial Canal, the St. Claude streetcar line left St. Claude Avenue and followed narrower city streets, eventually working its way toward the river and its terminal across the St. Bernard Parish line at the American Sugar Refinery.  In these two photos, we see St. Louis cars 1010 and 1017 working their way out Delery Street on their upbound (inbound) trips to Canal Street.  It is May 15, 1940, and WPA workmen are constructing gutters on Delery near the entrance to the Jackson Barracks. — New Orleans Public Library collection
NOPSI1017-StClaude-Delery-1940-05-15.jpg
Picture 11-8.
NOPSI1015-StClaude.jpg
One of the St. Louis cars, number 1015, pauses at the downtown terminal of the St. Claude line at the American Sugar Refinery.
Picture 11-9.
NOPSI1013-CarHouse.jpg
St. Louis car 1013 is idle in a car barn yard, probably Canal Station.  It is possible that this picture was taken at Poland Station, which closed in 1934. — Collection of Earl Hampton
Picture 11-10.
NOPSI1017-CanalSta-1947-06-10.jpg
St. Louis car 1017 awaits its next run in Canal Station yard, June 10, 1947.
Picture 11-11.
NOPSI1001-CanalSta.jpg
Perley Thomas car 1001 is sunning in the car barn yard, apparently fresh and only partly dried from a scrubbing down.  The question is, which car barn?  This might be Canal Station, but if the date is 1934 or earlier, it might be Poland Station, which closed that year.
Picture 11-12.
NOPSI_970+29-CanalSta-StClaude.jpg
Car 970, alone of the 900 class, had four motors instead of the usual two, and so was usually assigned to St. Claude service.  Hennick & Charlton describe (pages 151-152) a 1930s experimental installation of four motors on certain 900 series cars in hopes of improving their performance.  The result of the experiment was the judgment that the expense of so equipping the entire car fleet did not justify the small improvement in performance, and so the experimental equipment was removed from the cars.  It is not clear whether car 970 was involved in that experiment, and somehow retained its four-motor configuration, or whether it was so equipped later for a reason which is lost to history.  However it came to have four motors, that configuration made it suitable to join the 1000 class cars in St. Claude line base service.  It was not scrapped with the 1000s when St. Claude was converted to buses on January 1, 1949, but it did not survive much longer.  The car was retired after an August 1949 collision with a line car, the first 900 class car to leave the active roster.  It was gradually cannibalized for parts until final scrapping in 1952.  This picture of 970 was taken in Canal Station yard.  The panel on the front appears to be caved in around the headlight, so the picture may have been taken to document the damage from the collision (which does not appear to be particularly extensive).  Note the work car, probably one of the cars 24 to 30, behind the 970.  It may have just been used as a tow car.  The far trolley pole of 970 is up, but for some reason, it is off the wire.
Picture 11-13.
NOPSI_970-StClaude-Rampart+CanalSt-1947-06-10.jpg
Car 970 in service on the St. Claude line, June 10, 1947.  We see the car on N. Rampart Street at Canal, just after it has been pulled up to the stub track and its ends have been reversed.  The motorman is just pulling down what will be the front pole, as the conductor, unseen at the back of the car, is loading what looks like a large crowd waiting to board.  Another St. Claude car is behind the 970, and will commence loading as soon as 970 begins its downbound (outbound) trip.  Note the passenger shelter at the left; compare to Picture 11-2, above.

Group 11.5: Gentilly Line

The Gentilly Line was derived from the old Villere Line.  Started in 1926, Gentilly and St. Claude were the last two streetcar lines begun in New Orleans, until the Riverfront Line was created in 1988.  Gentilly was unusual in New Orleans in being named for the area it served rather than the street on which it ran.  It shared some track with the Desire Line in the Vieux Carré, up to Canal Street.


Pictures 11.5-1 and 11.5-1.5.
NOPSI_831-Gentilly-1946-08-15.jpg
The outer end of the Gentilly Line, on Franklin Ave. at Dreux.  The Gentilly cars have changed ends and are ready to depart on their next runs to Canal Street.  The upper photo features car 831 on August 15, 1946, and the lower picture shows car 821 on July 23, 1947. — Collection of Earl Hampton (top); Fred Victor DuBrutz photo, collection of the author (bottom)
NOPSI_821-Gentilly-Franklin+Dreux-1947-07-23.jpg
Picture 11.5-2.
NOPSI_829-Gentilly-Royal+Iberville.jpg
Car 829 working the Gentilly line approaches Canal Street on Royal at Iberville.  Notice the multitude of large signs advertising the various businesses.  Notable among them are the Hotel Monteleone at the right, a four-star hotel still in business today, and Solari's, a well known restaurant that was in business from 1868 to 1965.  The more modest businesses seen here, such as the Kit Kat Restaurant at left and Leon's Art & Gift Shop at right, are typical of the kinds of stores that come and go in the Vieux Carré.  This photo probably dates from around 1946.
Pictures 11.5-3 and 11.5-4.
NOPSI_897-Gentilly+820-Cemeteries-CanalSt-1947-06-10.jpg
Here are Gentilly cars 897 and 882 on Canal Street, with a Desire Line car in front of 897, June 10, 1947.  They are loading passengers, preparing to beginning their next downbound (outbound) runs.  They will turn down Bourbon Street, the Gentilly cars going to Almonaster and Franklin Avenues, the Desire car to Desire and France Streets.  Cemeteries car 820 is outbound on the inner track at the left in the upper picture.
NOPSI_882-Gentilly-CanalSt-1947-06-10.jpg

Group 12: Desire Line

The famous Streetcar Named Desire, i.e., the Desire Line, was a one-way loop which ran from Canal Street down Bourbon through the Vieux Carré, down Dauphine to Desire Street, then out its namesake street to Tonti, down to France Street, and back in to Royal, finally returning through the Vieux Carré to Canal.  In the process, it passed Elysian Fields Blvd., the site of most of the action in the famous Tennessee Williams play and movie.  Incidentally, Tennessee Williams got the travel directions backwards, presumably a bit of artistic license.  Blanche enters New Orleans at the railroad station at the foot of Canal Street, and tells a helpful stranger that she has been told to take a Desire streetcar and transfer to one marked Cemeteries.  In the movie, a Desire streetcar promptly comes around the loop at the foot of Canal Street, and she boards.  In real life, Desire cars never ran to this loop.  The correct travel directions would have been to take a Cemeteries car and transfer to one named Desire!  But dramatically, it sounds better the way Williams wrote it.


Picture 12-0.
Vivien_Leigh-Desire.jpg
Vivien Leigh as Blanche steps from the Streetcar Named Desire in this photo taken during filming of the movie, as real NOPSI motorman Floyd Mataya looks on. — Frank Edwards photo, Earl Hampton collection
Pictures 12-1 through 12-4.
NOPSI_885-Desire-1947-06-10.jpg
These four pictures show Desire streetcars at Canal Street.  The top three pictures, all taken June 10, 1947, are probably all from the camera of the same unknown photographer.  The first picture features Brill-built car 885 on Royal Street, about to enter Canal Street.  The car will follow the track in the foreground, turning into the outer lakebound track, and will proceed one block to Bourbon Street.  Royal Street is flanked by the Royal Jewelry on the left and National Shirt Shops on the right.  The panel delivery truck in the right foreground is a 1936 Willys.  The smoke cloud suggests that its engine must have been near the end of its life.  The second picture shows the trailing end of Perley Thomas-built car 898 at its stop on the Canal Street outer lakebound track at Bourbon Street.  Passengers are heading toward its open rear door to board.  The car will then turn right into Bourbon Street to begin its downbound (outbound) trip to Desire Street.  We know it is summertime, even if we did not have the date for the photo, as evidenced by the white suit on the gentleman at the left, and the lightweight and light colored clothes on all the people.  Note the business signs: Keller-Zander and Godchaux's at the left (the uptown side of Canal Street), and D. H. Holmes and Maison Maurice prominent on the right (the downtown side).  The third picture shows Desire car 893 (another Brill product) on the outer track, and Tulane car 416 (from the Southern Car Co.) on the inner track, at Bourbon Street.  The bottom picture shows Brill-built car 819 leaving the Canal Street terminal, turning from the outer Canal St. track into Bourbon St. to head downtown.  This may be a special car; note the crowd aboard, and what appears to be an organization's banner in the right front window.  The sign above the right front window, where a destination might be shown, reads “Exhibition”, but the significance of that is unknown.  Ordinary Desire cars would have shown a blank space in this sign window except for displaying “Car House” when heading to the station.  Notice also that the light pole next to the streetcar has been decorated, probably for Mardi Gras.  It is surmised that the car is carrying Mardi Gras partiers, who may have been playing with the roll sign.
NOPSI_898-Desire-CanalSt+855-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_893-Desire+416-Tulane-Canal+Bourbon-1947-06-10.jpg
NOPSI_819-Desire.jpg
Picture 12-5.
Album01-Desire-FrQuart.jpg
A vacationing couple from Philadelphia took this picture of Desire car 894 working its way through the French Quarter, February 16, 1948.  The Desire line had only about three and a half months to go.
Pictures 12-5.2 and 12-5.3.
NOPSI_834-Desire-Royal+Toulouse-turnback-1.jpg
This unusual pair of photos shows what the Desire streetcars did when the track on Canal Street was blocked, such as by a Mardi Gras parade.  This view is on Royal Street at Toulouse, where car 834 has pulled up and is being reversed.  Note the track switch at our right in front of the car.  This led to a one-block track on Toulouse, which fed into the downbound (outbound) track on Bourbon Street.  In the second picture, automobiles are waiting for car 834 to move out of the way before they can proceed in the direction of Canal Street.  The clothing and automobiles suggest a date some time in the 1940s for these pictures.  Unfortunately, the photographer is unknown.
NOPSI_834-Desire-Royal+Toulouse-turnback-2.jpg
Pictures 12-5.5, 12-5.6, and 12-5.7.
NOPSI_898-Desire.jpg
The top picture features cars 898 and 884, somewhere on the Desire line, probably at or near the terminal at France and Tonti Streets.  There are no passengers aboard 898, but several are visible aboard trailing car 884.  The second picture shows car 847 at the same location, some time in 1948, just a few months before the demise of the line.  There is at least one person on the car, but is that the motorman taking his break?  The third photo is of car 878, apparently also at the same location, although the street sign on the pole cannot quite be read.  Note the unpaved streets.
NOPSI_847-Desire-1948.jpg
NOPSI_878-Desire-TontiSt.jpg
Picture 12-5.9.
NOPSI-888-Desire-RoyalSt.jpg
Perley Thomas car 888 is on Royal Street heading for Canal Street on the Desire line.  This photo was probably taken in the 1940s.  (Despite some stains, we choose to display the photo as it is.)
Picture 12-6.
NOPSI_888-Desire-damaged-CarrolltonSta-1947-05-13.jpg
The same streetcar named Desire after it lost an argument with a large truck.  Car 888 is seen here on May 13, 1947 on Jeannette St. adjacent to Carrollton Station, where it has apparently been towed.  Yes, this end of the car looks fine, but look closely through the center window (click on the picture for enlargements).  The other end of the car is simply gone!  Rather than being repaired, the car was scrapped, the first Perley Thomas car to leave the roster. — Charles Franck photo, collection of Earl Hampton
Pictures 12-7, 12-8, and 12-9.
NOPSI_832-Desire-right.jpg
NOPSI car 832 has led an interesting life.  A 1922 Perley Thomas car, it is well known as a Desire car.  The top picture here shows it operating on the Desire line down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.  The middle picture shows it during World War II, when it wore a War Bonds patriotic livery.  The bottom picture shows it in retirement at the Pennsylvania Railway Museum, where it can be found operating to this day with its correct Desire route sign — or even two of them!  It is one of the last three 800-class cars still in existence. — Photo by John M. Miller (bottom)
NOPSI_832-Desire-BourbonSt-WarBonds.jpg
NOPSI_832-museum-02.jpg
Picture 12-10.
NOPSI_913-Orange_Empire_Museum.jpg
Another Perley Thomas car seen in retirement, car 913 was at the Orange Empire Trolley Museum at Perris, California when this picture was taken.  But the folks at the museum apparently did not realize that the Desire route name should have been displayed over the center window, not the right.  The right window was used in New Orleans for a destination sign, such as Car House, when appropriate.  This car has recently been moved to San Francisco, where it has joined the Municipal Railway heritage fleet. — Photo by Jim Walker
Picture 12-11.
NOPSI_922-Desire.jpg
The REAL “Streetcar Named Desire”.  This is the actual streetcar that appeared in the movie (see Picture 12-0).  At this point in its life, it was operated on the St. Charles streetcar line, and no longer had a DESIRE selection on its roll sign, so photographer Hampton made one for this picture.  That's Louisiana Tourist Development Commission “motorman” Byron Pulley in the suit near the headlight of car 922 at Carrollton Station. — Photo by Earl Hampton

Group 13: The Orleans-Kenner Traction Co.

There were only three interurban lines in the entire state of Louisiana: the Orleans-Kenner Traction Co., the St. Tammany & New Orleans across Lake Ponchartrain from the city, and the Southwestern Traction & Power Co. in Iberia Parish.  Of these, the most important by far was the Orleans-Kenner Traction Co.  It was built in 1914, running from the corner of S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne Aves. out what is now known as the Jefferson Highway, through the towns of Harahan and Kenner, to the Jefferson-St. Charles Parish line.  It was a standard gauge railroad, so to reach the New Orleans central business district, it utilized trackage rights over the standard gauge St. Charles-Tulane Belt lines on Carrollton and Tulane Aves. to S. Rampart Street, where it had a terminal and waiting rooms.  In 1928, due to declining patronage and revenues, service was cut back at the outer end to Kenner.  The following year, due to the imminent regauging of the St. Charles-Tulane Belt lines, service was also cut back at the inner end to the corner of S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne, with transfers issued for passengers to take the St. Charles Belt streetcars to Canal Street.  Finally, on December 31, 1930, all service was abandoned to buses.

The line had three groups of equipment.  The first motor cars, numbered 1, 3, 5, and 7, were large combination passenger-baggage interurban cars.  These were supplemented by three or four second-hand trailer cars with even numbers, acquired from the rapid transit system in Brooklyn, NY.  The third group of cars was purchased second hand in 1921 from the Southwestern Traction & Power Co., whose operations had been suspended in 1918.  This group of cars included three more motor cars, SWT&P 21, 22, and 24, which became O-K cars 9, 11, and 13, and two trailers, O-K cars 10 and 12.


Picture 13-1.
OK_7.jpg
Orleans-Kenner car 7, one of the first group of motor cars, in a picture from a printed brocure.
Picture 13-2.
OK_7+trailers-1915-1918-03-05-2.jpg
Orleans-Kenner car 7 leads a pair of the ex-Brooklyn trailers in a train chartered by the Dameron-Pierson Co., Ltd. for a “book binders” outing, some time between 1915 and 1918.  The train is seen on its terminal track in S. Rampart St., about ready to leave; it will turn right into Tulane Ave. to begin the trip out of the city.  The destination is not known, but was probably one of the parks along the line, such as Felix Park at Kenner, or the Jefferson Park Race Track near Shrewesbury.  Behind the train is the station and waiting rooms at 127 S. Rampart St.  (It's hard to make out, but on the building behind the train, and above the word “OUTING” on the sign on the side of the trailer car, is a sign with large letters “ORLEANS-KENNER”.)  There are four tracks on S. Rampart.  The O-K train is on the track farthest from the camera.  The two center tracks carried streetcar traffic.  The track closest to the camera provided a terminal for the Spanish Fort and West End line trains.  Incidentally, the Dameron-Pierson Co. is still in business today in the New Orleans area.
Picture 13-3.
OK_5+trlr-Barn-1929-10-15.jpg
Orleans-Kenner car 5, another of the original group of motor cars, is seen here outside one of the car barns, probably the Harahan barn, on October 15, 1929.  One of the former Southwestern Traction & Power cars is glimpsed at the right. — Krambles-Peterson Archive
Picture 13-4.
OK11+100.jpg
Orleans-Kenner flat car 100, probably near one of the car barns.  On the next track, we see combination car 11, ex-SWT&P 22.  Behind car 11 is one of the trailers, probably one of the ex-Brooklyn group. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri
Picture 13-5.
Transfer-OK-ob-1.jpg
This is the special transfer issued by the OK in its last year, when it terminated at the corner of S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne rather than going all the way in to Canal and S. Rampart, as formerly.

Group 14: The 1915 Hurricane

A Category 4 hurricane struck New Orleans on September 29, 1915.  It came ashore from the Gulf of Mexico near Grand Isle, Louisiana with 145 m.p.h. winds, and moved north to strike New Orleans, ultimately continuing northeast into Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.  New Orleans experienced winds of 102 m.p.h., gusting up to 130.  Two important churches collapsed in the winds, the Presbyterian Church on Lafayette Square, and St. Anna's Episcopal Church on Esplanade Avenue.  Many other structures were damaged or destroyed, including at least one streetcar barn.


Pictures 14-1 through 14-3.
1915_Hurricane-CarBarn01.jpg
Here is a streetcar barn, most probably Poland Station, in the aftermath of the 1915 hurricane.  In the middle picture, the large car just left of center is a “Palace” car, showing a Dauphine route sign.  To the right of center is a badly damaged single truck car displaying a Levee & Barracks route sign.  These are both lines that would have been housed at Poland, located at the corner of Poland and St. Claude.  Compare to pictures of Poland before the hurricane, and the rebuilt station afterwards, in Hennick & Charlton, page 218.  There is no record that any “Palace” cars were scrapped as a result of this hurricane; in fact, all were renumbered just a few years later.  So no matter how badly damaged, they must all have been rebuilt.  Whether the damaged single truck cars were rebuilt is anyone's guess, though, since they were being phased out in the later 'teens and early twenties.

In the bottom picture, we have a partial view of two similar streetcars with wide, arched windows, a very unusual window type for New Orleans.  Louis Hennick has identified these cars as part of an Orleans RR 1898 order of cars from St. Louis Car Co., numbers 33-38.  These were built as “wireside” cars, a form of summer car having wire netting and weather shades at the windows.

1915_Hurricane-CarBarn02.jpg
1915_Hurricane-CarBarn03.jpg
Picture 14-4.
1915_Hurricane-StreetScene01.jpg
This scene of devastation appears to be along the levee, perhaps the Levee & Barracks streetcar line, with a single-truck streetcar in the distance.  Note how the three-story building appears to be leaning.
Picture 14-5.
1915_Hurricane-ElysianFields+Royal.jpg
This is Elysian Fields at Royal Street, looking toward the river.  The steam railroad tracks in the neutral ground belong to the Ponchartrain RR and its parent the Louisville & Nashville.  The Ponchartrain RR was a steam line originally built for passenger service from New Orleans to Lake Ponchartrain.  At this time, it owned the neutral ground on Elysian Fields.  The L&N used this corridor for its passenger trains to enter the city, running in toward its depot on the riverfront at Canal Street.  There is a railroad control tower in the distance at the right.  Such towers were used around this time to control railroad/streetcar crossings.  Note the lady calmly walking her infant in a pram.  The sidewalk she is using to cross the muddy street was probably a plank walkway.  She is walking between two flimsy-looking railroad crossing gates which appear to be completely intact; yet the more substantial utility poles snapped off like toothpicks in the hurricane winds.  At the left rear are two smokestacks of the Claiborne power station (which was not located on Claiborne Avenue, despite its name).  (Today, almost 100 years later, the outer structure of the Claiborne power station still stands, but the smokestacks are gone.  Some of the other buildings in this view are also still standing, though modified.) — My thanks to Morris Hill for much of this analysis.
Pictures 14-6 and 14-7.
PopularMechanics-1915-12-p823-WestEnd.jpg
The Popular Mechanics issue of December 1915 featured these two New Orleans views of the mess left behind by the hurricane, although the first caption was not completely accurate.

The caption of the upper photo reads, “Wreckage of Buildings at West End of Lake Ponchartrain, Caused by Gulf Storm of September 30, 1915, in Which the Wind Attained a Velocity of 86 Miles an Hour”.  (So the date is one day off, and the wind velocity is understated.)

The lower photo is captioned, “This Photograph Shows How the Shipping was Driven into the Wharves and Wrecked by the Fury of the Storm”. — International News Service, Popular Mechanics, December 1915, p. 823

PopularMechanics-1915-12-p823-Wharves.jpg
Picture 14-8.
1915_Hurricane-streetcar5.jpg
The state of Mississippi had only one interurban line, the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Co., which extended from Gulfport east to Biloxi and west to Pass Christian.  The well-built track was laid on a right of way that was very close to the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.  This appears to be a view of a section of the line after the hurricane had passed, perhaps the next day or so.  Wires are down, and the interurban car is stranded.  In addition, the track may have been damaged, as the car appears to be leaning.

Group 15: The 1929 Strike

In 1929, New Orleans endured an exceptionally violent strike of the carmen of New Orleans Public Service Inc.  The strike began July 1.  NOPSI attempted to resume service on July 5, but this was met by serious violence.  Further attempts were made on July 15.  The strike lasted into mid-August, when service was gradually restored, but it was not settled until a final contract was agreed to in October.  Five car lines were abolished in the aftermath of the strike: Coliseum, Dryades, Tchoupitoulas, St. Bernard, and Southport.  The first two were simply abandoned in favor of service on parallel streets.  Tchoupitoulas and St. Bernard were replaced by motor bus lines, and Southport by an experimental trolley coach line.


Picture 15-0.
NOPSI_696-Strikers-1929-07.jpg
On July 5, the company attempted to resume service using imported strike breakers, resulting in rioting.  This is a picture of “Palace” car 696, the first streetcar sent out with strike breakers and police inside, being menaced by strikers and their sympathizers.  Some of the union people are throwing stones at the streetcar, breaking many of its windows.  Shots were reported fired from the car into the crowd, resulting in two men wounded.  (The original of this photo was edited by having lines drawn and some features darkened with ink, such as the pole in front of the streetcar.  We choose to display the entire photo in its current condition.  The photo carries a backstamp dated July 13, 1929, but it is believed to have been taken on July 5.) — N. E. A., collection of the author
Pictures 15-1, 15-1.5, 15-2, 15-2.5, and 15-3.
1929_strike.jpg
“Palace” car 696 eventually made its way to the foot of Canal Street, where it was engulfed by rioters.  The top three views face the river, with the ferry ramp at the left.  Notice that even the ferry ramp is crowded with people.  The rioters have hooked down both trolley poles, thus depriving the streetcar of power, and they appear to be trying to overturn the streetcar.  It stayed on its wheels, but then they set it on fire.  The fourth and fifth photos, probably taken the next day, document the result.  The little utility shed in these pictures suffered some damage, also.  Ultimately, two men were killed on this day, and many more were injured by thrown paving stones.  Three “Palace” cars were destroyed. — Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS, collection of the author (top picture); P & A Photos, collection of the author (second and third pictures); photos by John Tibula Mendes, courtesy The Historic New Orleans Collection 2003.0182.517 and 2003.0182.518 (fourth and fifth pictures)
NOPSI_696-burning-1929-07.jpg
NOPSI_696-burning-2-1929-07.jpg
strike-1929-07-burnt_streetcar-1.jpg
strike-1929-07-burnt_streetcar-2.jpg
Picture 15-4.
Burning_truck-strike-1929-07-08.jpg
At one point, NOPSI sent out this tow truck to retrieve a wrecked streetcar.  Strikers and strike sympathizers overturned the truck and set fire to it, then prevented firefighters from extinguishing the blaze.  This picture is dated July 8. — Acme Newspictures Inc., collection of the author
Pictures 15-5 and 15-6.
1929_strike-1.jpg
After getting a federal injunction against interference with its operations, NOPSI on July 15 again tried to resume service.  These pictures show the most peaceful part of the day!  In the upper picture, we see federal marshals and local police forming a convoy around a streetcar as it tried to proceed down the Canal Street outer track.  The lower photo shows the same part of Canal Street with NO streetcars!  Instead, the automobile lanes are completely clogged with traffic. — San Francisco Examiner, collection of Anthony Posey (upper picture); World Wide Photos, Baltimore Sun archive, collection of the author (lower picture)
1929_strike-3.jpg
Picture 15-7.
Strike-meeting-1929-07.jpg
This picture, dated July 1929 in a contemporary hand, is believed to show a meeting of strikers.  The picture has suffered some water damage from Hurricane Katrina. — Collection of Ramsey Landry
Pictures 15-7.3 and 15-7.6.
NOPSI_813-CarrolltonSta-1929-07-StrikeDamage-1.jpg
Car 813 is posed on Willow St. outside Carrollton Station car barn, showing off its many dents and dings from thrown paving stones and bricks.  This is probably earlier than July 15, since there is no injunction notice on the front dash of the car.  (Compare Pictures 15-10 and 15-11.) — Teunisson photos, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans
NOPSI_813-CarrolltonSta-1929-07-StrikeDamage-2.jpg
Pictures 15-8 and 15-9.
CanalSta-1929Strike-1.jpg
The car storage yard at Canal Station, showing damage to many of the stored streetcars.  The upper picture features “Palace” cars 677 signed for Canal Belt and 631 signed for Esplanade Belt, plus at the right, an unidentified single truck car, partial number 62.  The second picture shows single truck “Prytania” car 360 signed for St. Bernard, and FB&D car 172 signed for Broad, with two “Palace” cars beyond them.  Note the broken windows in every car, and the pulled-down sections of the “protecting” fence.  The pile of debris at the right in the lower picture may, or may not, be a result of the strike. — Collection of Earl Hampton
CanalSta-1929Strike-2.jpg
Pictures 15-10 and 15-11.
NOPSI_435-Carrollton-Jeanette-damaged.jpg
Here is St. Charles Belt line car 435 on Jeanette Street at Carrollton Station showing damage from strikers to some of its windows and its front door panel.  The company posted on all cars the Notice seen here on the front dash and the first side window.  The second picture is a detail from the first, giving a better view of the damage.  The sign on the car's dash was a warning against interference in the operation of the car, which would have been in defiance of a federal injunction.  These signs were affixed to all cars by July 15, when the second attempt was made to restore service. — Collection of Earl Hampton
NOPSI_435-Carrollton-Jeanette-damaged-detail.jpg
Picture 15-12.
NOPSI_679-fire_damage.jpg
In the course of the strike, five streetcars were torched and destroyed: “Palace” cars 679, 687, and 696, and “Morris” trailer cars 523 and 524.  Some of them were burned during a striker assault on Canal Station.  Here is car 679 after the strikers finished with it. — Collection of Morris Hill
Pictures 15-13 and 15-14.
1929_strike-2.jpg
In August, there was a riot at City Hall, across St. Charles Street from Lafayette Square, during and following a city council meeting.  During the riot, three people were shot, and the police used tear gas to disperse the mob.  A police guard was placed on the steps of City Hall.  But in the lower picture, these guards look pretty casual about the whole business.  (Chances are, most of the guards sympathized with the strikers.) — San Francisco Examiner, collections of Anthony Posey (upper picture) and the author (lower picture)
1929-City_Hall-guards.jpg

Group 16: Streetcars Misnamed Desire, and Other Misnames

Even after various car lines were closed, their route names continued for a while on the roll signs carried on the streetcars.  Motormen and conductors could often be induced to “turn the crank” and display an obsolete route name while they were taking a break at the end of a run, while a photographer snapped a no-longer-possible picture.  With the popularity of the Tennessee Williams play and movie “A Streetcar Named Desire”, it is no wonder that “Desire” was a popular choice for such posed pictures.  But it was not the only choice....


Picture 16-1.
NOPSI_904-Desire-1949-03-18.jpg
This is one of the most nearly convincing photos purporting to show a streetcar named Desire.  It seems to show Perley Thomas car 904 as it lays over at the end of the Desire streetcar line, on France Street near Tonti Street.  The Desire line looped through this neighborhood on single track; there was double track such as seen here on France St. just below Tonti to allow for switching cars at the terminal.  But note the above-ground tombs in the cemetery behind the streetcar.  There is no such cemetery anywhere near France and Tonti!  This picture actually seems to have been taken at the pre-1950 outer end of the Cemeteries line on West End Blvd. just off City Park Ave.  The picture is dated March 18, 1949.  The last Desire streetcar ran May 30, 1948. — Collection of John F. Bromley, used with permission.
Picture 16-1.5.
NOPSI_926-CanalSta-Desire-pullout-1940s.jpg
Car 926 is leaving Canal Station to begin its day's work on the Desire line.  This looks like a real Desire line photograph.  However, there are two subtle flaws.  First, it was unusual for a 900-series car to be assigned to work the Desire line.  In the 1940s, until 1948, most 900s were stationed at Arabella Station, and Canal Station was mostly populated by 800s and 1000s.  Second, as Morris Hill has pointed out to the author, the automobile partly visible at the right edge of the picture is a Nash Rambler of the model year 1950, '51, or '52.  Since the Desire line lost its streetcars in 1948, this must be a posed picture.
Picture 16-1.7.
NOPSI_897-CanalSta-Gentilly-Race_Track-fake-1949-08-28.jpg
Here is car 897 in the yard at Canal Station on Aug. 28, 1949, signed for the Gentilly route, with a Race Track destination sign.  Neither sign can be real.  The Gentilly line went to buses July 17, 1948, just a couple of months after Desire did.  As for the Race Track destination sign, who knows when it was last used in operations.  Notice the trolley coaches in the background.  TC service operating from Canal Station on the City Park line began April 3, 1949, and on St. Claude on Nov. 6, 1949. — Otto A. Goessl photograph
Picture 16-2.
NOPSI_808-fake_Desire-Canal_foot.jpg
This picture was posed at the foot of Canal Street, where cars which used the loop there took a layover in preparation for their next runs.  Unfortunately for reality, Desire line cars never used this loop or the layover area. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri
Picture 16-3.
NOPSI_825-fake-Freret.jpg
This picture looks out from the layover area at the foot of Canal Street.  The Custom House, at the corner of Peters and Canal, is in the background.  Freret is another route which never came to the loop and layover area at the foot of Canal.  It gave up to rubber tired vehicles December 1, 1946. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri
Picture 16-4.
NOPSI_845-fake-CityPark.jpg
Like the Desire line, the City Park in its last years came to Canal Street on Royal, and left on Bourbon.  Thus it, too, came nowhere near this location near the foot of Canal Street.  When this picture was taken in the late 1940s, City Park had been running on rubber tires since January 1, 1941. — D. R. Toye, S. J., Kenner Train Shop (Chris Rodriguez) collection, courtesy of Mike Palmieri
Picture 16-5.
NOPSI_909+913+friends-CanalSta-Broadway.jpg
Taken literally, the signs on car 913 mean Canal Line, destination Broadway.  Unfortunately for reality, Canal Street and Broadway Ave. do not come anywhere close to intersecting.  This view, taken in Canal Station yard, was clearly posed.  There never was a Broadway streetcar line in New Orleans, although before the creation of the pioneering Broadway trolley coach line, streetcars of several different routes operated on parts on Broadway Ave, from north of S. Claiborne Ave. to Magazine St. near the Mississippi River.  That is probably the reason for a Broadway selection on car 913's roll sign.

Group 17: Work Cars

The best known work car in New Orleans, the only one surviving to the present day, is car 29, built from a single truck passenger car and used today as a rail grinder, a sand car, and a general purpose rail work horse.  Click here for an article about car 29.


Picture 17-1.
Line_wagon_2.jpg
The companies owned streetcars fitted out as tower cars, for work on the overhead wire system.  But tower wagons that were not on rails had the distinct advantage of being able to move out of the way when streetcars had to pass by them.  Here is emergency tower wagon no. 2 of the New Orleans City R. R. Co. at the terminal area at the foot of Canal Street, some time between 1899 and 1904, as the motorman and conductor of car 510 look on from the platforms of their car.  The 510 is one of the double truck cars built by American Car Co. to Barney & Smith design in 1898.  It was usually assigned to pull a train of trailers on the West End Line, but that line did not usually come to the foot of Canal, so the car may be in use as a single streetcar.  At left on the outer track is FB&D car 207, one of the standard gauge cars 160-229 built by American in 1899 for the New Orleans & Carrollton.  Of the three other single truck cars in view, the one to the right is one of the “Esplanade” cars, numbers 260-277, built in 1900 by St. Louis Car Co., and the other two are 20' Brills built between 1893 and 1895 for New Orleans City R. R. — Teunisson Photo, collection of Eugene Groves
Picture 17-2.
NOPSI_021-sand-car.jpg
This odd contraption is sand car 021.  Its history is lost.  Whatever its origin, it appears to be a product of considerable local building and rebuilding.  The car's purpose was to sand one rail on wet days, to improve traction for passenger cars.  Note the odd, wide, open-ended operator cab on the left end of the car.  The car had to have been considered double-ended, i.e., capable of operation in either direction, with either end leading.  But how clumsy it must have been!  It seems that the operator would have to face away from the controller to operate the car with the cab end leading, in which case he would have had the wind and weather in his face.  Even more strange, unless there was a controller on the opposite platform (with no cab around it), operation with that end leading would have required someone to be a pilot on the leading end, because the operator in the cab could not see where the car was going! — Collection of Leo Sullivan
Picture 17-3.
NOPSI_052-1949-08-14.jpg
NOPSI owned several of these side-dump cars, half motored (cars 050-053) and half trailers (cars 030-033), built in 1923.  There was also a pair of center dump cars, motor 054 and trailer 034, built in 1924.  By the early 1950s, trucks were in service for all the purposes that these dump cars had been used.  The last of them were scrapped in January 1953.  Note the rust on the bottom edge of the dash panel at the left in this picture of motor side-dump car 052, taken August 14, 1949.
Picture 17-4.
NOPSI_White_line_truck-1960-02-17.jpg
Two linemen are adjusting the overhead wires at a crossover track switch on February 17, 1960.  For many years, NOPSI had White trucks such as this for its service needs.  This truck may date from the 1950s.
Picture 17-5.
NOPSI_Hoist.jpg
The Brown hoist, late in its life, probably around 1952.  It was built by the Brown Hoist Co. in 1913.  In earlier times, it was used around the system wherever heavy lifting was required, but by the 1950s, it was confined to the Napoleon Yard complex at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas.  When the trolley wires were removed from Napoleon Yard, the hoist was powered by a cable.  In this picture, it has been divested of its trolley pole.  It was probably retired about 1953.

Group 18: Sewerage & Water Board

Separate from the city streetcar tracks, the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board operated a short freight line using trolley locomotives.  It was a single track line along Eagle Street from the New Orleans Public Belt RR along the river levee to the S&WB water purification plant.  Diesel locomotives took over the line in 1959.

S&WB had two electric locomotives, numbered 50 and 65, although neither displayed its number in later years.  Number 50 was the first on the property.  It was built in 1907 by Westinghouse and Baldwin, and operated to the end of electric operations in 1959.  Its body survives (more or less) in Mel Ott Park in Gretna, Louisiana, across the river from New Orleans.  Wikimedia has an excellent picture dated July 3, 2008.


Pictures 18-1 and 18-2.
S+WB_65-1950-07.jpg
This is locomotive 65, although the number is not painted on it.  It was built by GE in 1910 for the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Co., and came to the S&WB in the late 1920s.  The upper picture is dated July 1950; the lower picture probably also dates from the 1950s. — Collection of Mike Walsdorf (upper)
S+WB_65.jpg

Group 19: Bogalusa, LA: Gaylord Paper Mill

The town of Bogalusa, Louisiana is near the northeast corner of the “toe” of the Louisiana “boot”.  The Gaylord Paper Mill had a small industrial trolley operation, using a pair of second-hand cars to move materials around the mill site.

The mill had two working trolleys.  The first was a former interurban freight car from the Toledo, Ohio area.  The second was a retired wooden L car from Chicago, built in 1907 and acquired by Gaylord in 1958.


Picture 19-1.
ExToledo+Ind-1960.jpg
This is the former interurban freight car, built by Brill in 1915.  It saw service on the Toledo & Western and later the Toledo & Indiana lines.  It came to Gaylord in October 1939.  The other side of the car was removed so that materials, such as huge rolls of paper, could be quickly loaded and unloaded.

Group 19.3: St. Tammany & New Orleans Rys. & Ferry Co.

The town of Covington, Louisiana is today a bedroom community of New Orleans, thanks to the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway which crosses the lake and directly connects Covington to the New Orleans area.  But until that engineering marvel was erected, access to Covington and other towns on the north shore of the lake was achieved by circumnavigating the lake on land, or by crossing it by boat.

In the early 1900s, an interurban railway was planned to connect the north shore towns with a steamship line that would cross the lake.  Track was laid from Covington east to the resort town of Abita Springs, then south to Mandeville on the lake shore and out into the lake on a pier at which the steamship line would have its northern terminal.  In order to avoid the expense of an electric power system, the line in 1908 ordered two gasoline motor cars from Fairbanks-Morse, the first ones of their type built by that company.

Service began February 13, 1909.  Patronage was initially very good, necessitating the addition of two more F-M cars, similar to the first pair.  Oddly enough, the motor cars were numbered 11, 17, 22, and 33.  Other cars are known to have been used, including trailers and at least one other motor car.

In 1915, the company was reorganized as the St. Tammany Ry. & Power Co., in order to electrify the line and three of the motor cars (11, 22, and 33).  Electric service began in August.  (No pictures of the electrified service or cars are known to exist.)

Soon after, however, patronage declined, and in 1918, the line went into receivership.  Operations ceased on June 4, 1918.


Pictures 19.3-1 and 19.3-2.
ST+NO-BogueFalaya-1.jpg
The motor line crossed the Bogue Falaya near Covington on this bridge.  In the upper picture, we see car 17, one of the four Fairbanks-Morse Type 24 gasoline motor cars which were the main equipment of the line, pulling a trailer.  At the far end of the bridge, we can see another motor car which has a different configuration.  Louis Hennick believes this is a F-M Type 19 motor car, but official records are lacking to prove the identification. — Collections of Maunsel White (upper) and Charles Simoneaux (lower)
ST+NO-BogueFalaya-2.jpg
Picture 19.3-3.
ST+NO_17+trailer-betw_Covington_and_AbitaSprings.jpg
Motor 17 and its trailer are somewhere along the line between Covington and Abita Springs. — Collection of Charles Simoneaux
Pictures 19.3-4 and 19.3-5.
ST+NO_17-AbitaSprings-shed-1912.jpg
Two views at Abita Springs.  In the upper picture, we see motor 17 in 1912, this time without a trailer.  The lower picture, undated, features motor 33 with a trailer. — Collections of Charles Simoneaux (upper) and Maunsel White (lower)
ST+NO_33-AbitaSprings.jpg
Picture 19.3-6.
ST+NO-Mandeville.jpg
One of the motor cars picks its way through the town of Mandeville.  The card is postmarked Aug. 2, 1910, so it must represent very early operation of the line.  Note the light track with very little ballast.  By the time patronage declined in the late 'teens, the track was greatly in need of maintenance and rebuilding that the company could no longer afford. — Collection of the author
Picture 19.3-7 and 19.3-8.
ST+NO-Mandeville-pier-1.jpg
At Mandeville, the motor cars negotiated the pier out past the shore of Lake Ponchartrain to connect with the steamship for the voyage between the north shore and New Orleans. — Collections of Charles Simoneaux (upper) and of Maunsel White (lower)
ST+NO-pier-1.jpg
Picture 19.3-9.
ST+NO-Mandeville-dock-3.jpg
Here we have a glimpse of the lake-crossing steamship. — Collection of Charles Simoneaux
Picture 19.3-10.
ST+NO-Ticket-excursion-1915.jpg
Here is a “special excursion” round trip ticket, issued for passage between Covington and Mandeville on December 30, 1915.  Although this was after the company was reorganized and renamed, and the line converted to electric operation, the ticket has the original company name. — Collection of Charles Simoneaux

Group 19.5: Southwestern Traction & Power Co.

New Iberia and Jeanerette boasted one of the few interurban lines in Louisiana, the Southwestern Traction & Power Co.  It was one of the latest interurbans to be built, and was also an early one to be abandoned.  It was created in 1912 as a single-track line between the two towns; the locals called it the “streetcar line”.  It had three passing sidings: one at each terminal so that a motor car pulling a trailer could run around the trailer so as to lead it, whichever direction the train was going; and one at Edgard, around the middle of the line, so that opposing trains could pass each other.  There was a car barn and power house just outside of New Iberia.

The promoters of the line envisioned extensions all through southwestern Louisiana: north through Lafayette to Alexandria, west through Abbeville to Lake Charles, and southeast to Morgan City.  Therefore, it was equipped, not with streetcars, but with the finest interurban cars from Brill subsidiary American Car Co. of St. Louis, of a style that would have been suitable for one of the largest midwestern interurban systems.  The only problem was, it was never extended beyond the 13 miles between New Iberia and Jeanerette, a line that, by itself, could never achieve sustained ridership sufficient to support itself.  By 1918, this became obvious to the company, and service finally ceased.  The line was not immediately dismantled, but three years later, its passenger cars were sold to the Orleans-Kenner Traction Co. (see Group 13), and the rest of the line was scrapped.

The Southwestern Traction & Power Co. owned two orders of motor cars, both from American Car Co.  The first order was for two cars, which were numbered 21 and 22.  The second order, placed in 1913, consisted of a somewhat larger car, number 24.  The line also owned at least two passenger trailer cars and a few express, freight, and work cars, about which little is known.


Picture 19.5-1.
SWT+P21-builder.jpg
The builder's photo of SWT&P car 21, which with sister car 22 was built by the American Car Co. of St. Louis, order number 933, May 1912.  We see a “combine”, a car with a passenger section and a baggage/freight section.  The passenger compartment seated 40, and 4 additional seats were available in the baggage compartment.  The cars were double-end, i.e. were operated from either end, because there were no loops or wyes on the line with which to reverse them.  The car body was steel-sheathed wood.  Note the “New Iberia” route sign above the roof at the front of the car. — Bill Volkmer collection
Pictures 19.5-1.3, 19.5-1.5, and 19.5-1.7.
SWT+P_24.jpg
This is car 24, the second order from American Car Co.  It was featured in the March 1914 issue of Brill Magazine.  The car was described as seating 52 on ten pairs of transverse seats, plus longitudinal seats at one end of the passenger compartment, and folding seats in the baggage compartment.  The vestibules at each end had train doors as well as two-leaf folding doors on each side.  The vestibules were at the same floor height as the passenger and baggage compartments, requiring three steps to enter the car.  It was 52'1" long over the end bumpers, and rode on Brill 27-MCB2-X trucks.Brill Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 81-83
SWT+P_24-int.jpg
SWT+P_24-plan1.jpg
Picture 19.5-2.
SWT+P_21-NewIberia-CBD.jpg
The central business district of New Iberia, with a man waiting to board car 21.
Picture 19.5-3.
NewIberia-CBD.jpg
New Iberia's Hotel Frederic.  The sign on the pole at the front center of this picture reads, “Cars / stop here / on signal”.  The interurban cars provided local streetcar service within New Iberia and Jeanerette.  Company plans to operate a true city streetcar for local service within the towns were never materialized. — Albertype/Lee's Drug Store
Picture 19.5-4.
SWT+P-NewIberia-MainSt.jpg
One of the big cars passes along Main Street in New Iberia.  There are to this day stately homes along this street, shadowed by ancient oak trees.
Picture 19.5-5.
SWT+P-Jeanerette.jpg
The south end of the line, Main Street in Jeanerette.  In between here and New Iberia, the track was on the west side of the roadway. — C. J. Darce, publisher

Group 19.7: Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Co.

The only interurban operation in the state of Mississippi was the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Co., which ran along the Gulf Coast east of New Orleans.  It was centered at Gulfport, and was built eastward to Biloxi in 1906, and westward to Pass Christian in 1907.  The line ran mostly just inland of the beach, through an area that was already well built up.  Over the years, it was subject to frequent washouts, and had to be totally rebuilt after the 1915 hurricane (see Picture 14-8).  The company also operated local streetcar service in Gulfport and Biloxi, and provided electric power service to the area.  The line intially enjoyed substantial passenger patronage, but in the 1920s, that was lost to the automobile and the parallel Gulf Coast highway (now known as U. S. 90).  In 1924, the company was acquired by the Mississippi Power Co.  Interurban passenger service ended in 1926.  The last city streetcar lines, in Biloxi, ended service in 1932.  Part of the line continued to provide electric freight service in Biloxi until 1949.


Picture 19.7-1.
Gulfport01.jpg
Two of the G&MC interurban cars pass at the corner of 14th Street and 25th Avenue in Gulfport.  One car is turning east into 14th Street heading for the line to Biloxi; the other car is turning west, probably bound for the line to Pass Christian.
Picture 19.7-2.
BearsBayou.jpg
Somewhere along the coast, the line crossed Bear's Bayou on this bridge. — Paul Jermyn collection
Pictures 19.7-3 and 19.7-4.
GulfCoast-1.jpg
Two views along the right of way between Gulfport and Biloxi.  The first picture is captioned, “Where Gulf Breezes Frolic”.  The caption on the second picture says, “Electric Line Running Through Presque Isle to Biloxi”.  Whether along the beach or through a forest, the route was certainly scenic.
GulfCoast-2.jpg
Pictures 19.7-5 and 19.7-6.
Biloxi-Card01.jpg
Two postcard views based on the same photograph of the beachfront trackage from the White House, Biloxi.
Biloxi-Card01A.jpg
Pictures 19.7-7 and 19.7-8.
Biloxi-Card03.jpg
Two pictures of city streetcars in Biloxi.  The upper looks westward on Howard Avenue at LaMeuse Street, which was the connection to the car barn.  The lower picture is probably at the intersection of Howard with Reynoir.  The city lines were all single-track. — lower picture from the Maunsel White collection
Biloxi-Card04.jpg
Picture 19.7-9.
G+MC-CarBarn-Gulfport-1908.jpg
The car barn of the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast, at Gulfport, around 1908.  Both interurban and city cars can be seen peeking out of the doors. — From the booklet Along the Line of the Gulfport & Mississippi Coast Traction Co., c. 1908, p. 18

Group 20: Badges, Buttons, and Pins


Picture 20A-1.
NOCRR-Motorman_badge-623.jpg
A hat badge worn by a motorman of the New Orleans City RR Co.  This was the second company to bear that name, operating from 1899 to 1902.
Picturea 20A-1.3 and 20A-1.6.
Gaetano_LaBarbera.jpg
The type of hat badge used in the 1910s by New Orleans Railway & Light Co.  The upper view is of the young Gaetano LaBarbera, who eventually retired from NOPSI in 1945.  The lower view shows the “platform crews” at one of the stations (car barns) about 1915.  These hat badges are in two varieties: white on black, and black on white.
CarMen-1915.jpg
Pictures 20A-2, 20A-3, and 20A-4.
Badge_239.jpg
Badge1004.jpg
Badge1484.jpg
Hat badges worn by NOPSI operating personnel: motormen, conductors, and bus operators.  Badge 239 is an example of the first badges issued by NOPSI in 1922.  It measures about 2½ by 2¼ inches, and is made of nickel-plated copper.  In the late 1930s, NOPSI began issuing badges like number 1004.  It measures about 2½ by 2 inches, and is stamped in aluminum.  Pictures are known dated during WW II showing both types of badges, so there must have been an overlap in their usage.  The aluminum badges are believed to have been in use up until the late 1960s.  The dates of use of badges of the type of number 1484 are not known to the author, but the type is thought to have been introduced later than the other two types shown here.  Information from knowledgeable readers would be most welcome.

Railroad and transit uniform buttons have been cataloged by Don VanCourt in his published catalog Transportation Uniform Buttons, volume 1 Railroads, and Volume 2 Transit.  Catalog numbers from this work are given for each button shown.

Picture 20B-1.
tn_Button-NOC+L_jpg
Beginning in 1892, the New Orleans Traction Co. operated the lines of the old New Orleans City RR, known since 1883 as the New Orleans City and Lake RR, and of the Crescent City RR.  In 1899, these two companies merged into a second New Orleans City RR.  Uniform buttons of this type are known marked New Orleans City & Lake R. R., Crescent City R. R., and New Orleans City R. R., with job titles Conductor and the unusual variation Motorneer.  Presumably, the Motorneer buttons came into use in the middle 1890s, when these lines began to electrify.  This very worn button must have been appropriate for no more than about four years, but it appears to have remained in use considerably longer.  VanCourt catalog number 52/13.
Picture 20B-2.
tn_Button-SCSRR_jpg
The Saint Charles Street RR operated several lines which came together on the lower portion of St. Charles Street, from Canal to Lee Circle, then diverged into several uptown neighborhoods.  These included the Clio, Dryades, and Carondelet lines, but not the St. Charles line, which was built by the New Orleans & Carrollton RR.  (However, modern restrikes of these buttons are said to have been worn unofficially by operators on the St. Charles line.)  VanCourt catalog number 52/17.
Picture 20B-3.
tn_Button-C+CRR_jpg
The Canal & Claiborne Streets RR owned the important North Claiborne and Tulane lines.  The company built and operated the outer tracks along the multi-track sections of Canal Street from Claiborne Avenue to the foot of Canal.  The company was bought by the New Orleans & Carrollton RR in 1899.  VanCourt catalog number 52/18.
Picture 20B-4.
tn_Button-NOR+L_jpg
New Orleans Railway & Light Co. was created in 1905 to operate all New Orleans city lines.  The lines were owned by the individual companies that had previously built, owned, and operated them separately.  This arrangement continued until 1922, when ownership and operation were combined into New Orleans Public Service Inc. (NOPSI).  (No distinctive buttons are known for NOPSI.)  VanCourt catalog number 52/6.
Pictures 20C-1 through 20C-14.
Pin00.jpg
Pin05-2.jpg
Pin10-2.jpg
Pin15-2.jpg
Pin19.jpg
Pin15.jpg
Pin20-2.jpg
Pin25.jpg
Pin30.jpg
Pin32.jpg
Pin35.jpg
Pin40.jpg
Pin45.jpg
Pin495.jpg
Service pins awarded by NOPSI to employees for various lengths of service.  The first pin does not indicate the length of service for which it was awarded.  The 5, 10, and 15 year white metal pins, and the 20 year pin, were all awarded to one single employee.  The 30, 35, 40, 45, and 49 year pins were all awarded to another single employee.  The jewels correspond to the number of years of service: none for 25 years, 1 diamond for 30 years, 1 diamond and 1 ruby for 35, 1 diamond and 2 rubies for 40, 2 diamonds for 45.  The 32 and 49 year pins have the same jewels as the next lower multiple-of-5 pins; probably they were one of a kind, struck when a long-time employee retired.  The 25, 32, and 49 year pins appear to be somewhat newer than the others; for one thing, they are fitted out in back with modern clutches rather than screw posts, and for another, they lack the enamel work in the background of the number panel.  The number panels on these three do not display well; they are actually shiny gold color, which did not show up in the scan.  The actual width of the word NOPSI on each pin is about one-half inch.  The letters on the first five pins are a bit taller than those on the gold-colored pins.


Group 21: Tickets, Tokens, and Transfers


Picture 21A-1.
Ticket-JeffCityRR.jpg
The Jefferson City RR was organized by Mr. Joseph Kaiser in 1863 to develop a franchise issued by the City of Jefferson, which was one of the uptown communities eventually absorbed into the City of New Orleans.  Service on Magazine Street in Jefferson probably began in 1864 (during the Civil War!).  The company was reorganized as the Magazine Street RR Co. in 1865.  The reverse of this ticket has the initials of two officers of the company, JK for Mr. Kaiser, and JC, who is unknown to us.  The little picture is very detailed, showing an early 6-window bob-tail horsecar, complete with the driver and his whip. — Collection of Louis Hennick
Picture 21A-2.
Ticket-NOCRR.jpg
This is a ticket of the first New Orleans City RR.  The company began horsecar service in 1861, when J. B. Slawson was president, as seen on the face of the ticket.  Slawson had invented a farebox system used on his omnibus lines in the 1850s, which was widely used on horsecars in New Orleans and in other cities.  He left New Orleans later in 1861 to join the Stephenson Car Co.  The ticket is inscribed, “RECD. 5 CTS. ENTITLING BEARER TO ONE RIDE ON N. O. C. R. R. CARS.”  The reverse of this ticket, unfortunately not pictured here, includes an excellent woodcut of a six-window bob-tail horsecar pulled by a white mule. — Collection of Louis Hennick
Picture 21A-3.
Ticket-NO+CRR.jpg
The reverse of this ticket from the New Orleans & Carrollton RR is inscribed “Good for one five cent fare”.  The ticket is torn from a booklet; the number 9 may be its position in the booklet.  Such tickets were supposed to be removed only by the conductor at the time used to pay a fare.  The point was that the tickets in the booklet were supposed to be used by only one person.  This also served to discourage counterfeiting of the tickets.  The woodcut on the face of the ticket is a wonderfully detailed view of a six-window Stephenson bob-tail car, complete with a tiny Bombay roof for ventilation and the inscription “N. O. & C. R. R. CO.” on the lower side panel.  The company put cars of this type into service in 1868, so the ticket probably dates from about that time. — Collection of Louis Hennick
Picture 21A-4.
Ticket-NO+CElecRR-obv.jpg
Ticket-NO+CElecRR-rev.jpg
The New Orleans & Carrollton RR issued these tickets about the time they began to electrify their lines, in 1893.  The company name, however, was never officially changed to include the word “Electric”.  This ticket was probably also from a booklet; note the inscription “ONE FARE WORTHLESS IF DETACHED”.  The reverse bears only the signature J. Hernandez President.  The woodcut on the obverse appears to be a fantasy; no such electric car ever ran on the NO&C.  One surmises that the artist who created this woodcut had never seen an electric streetcar, and had no idea of its controls.  If so, perhaps he did not do so badly. — Collection of Louis Hennick
Picture 21A-5.
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New Orleans Railway & Light Co. was the name of the streetcar system from 1905 to 1922, so these tickets could have been issued any time in that range.
Picture 21A-5.5.
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This is a printing block used by New Orleans Railway & Light Co., probably to print the cover of a small booklet of tickets.  The first view is of the actual printing plate; the second is the same, but reversed so that it can conveniently be read.  The little circles are the heads of the nails fastening the brass plate to a wooden block.  The cutout areas will appear blank when the block is printed.  The printed image would be about 2¾ x 1¾ inches (72 x 45 mm).  The area above the words “Light Co.” would have a serial number imprinted by a numbering machine; the number would be repeated on each ticket in the booklet.  The horizontal line in the middle is for entry of the ticket holder's name; no one else is supposed to use the tickets in the booklet.  Note the dings around the edge of the block, collected during its use in printing.
Pictures 21A-6, 21A-7, and 21A-8.
Ticket-SpFort-cover-ob.jpg
Here are tickets issued in a booklet by New Orleans Railway & Light Co. for travel to Spanish Fort (see Group 3).  Shown are the front and back covers of the booklet, and a typical page of tickets from inside.  (The reverse of the tickets is blank.)  The cover bears a handwritten date 6/16/11, which would be during the first season that Spanish Fort was open by NOR&L.  Curiously, the inscription on the tickets says that they are good "on the West End train".  They were apparently supposed to be taken up by the conductor in order, since the cover proclaims “Coupons good only when detached by conductor”.  They are attached to the booklet at their left edge, so that the fact that they are printed in the order 1-2-4-3 apparently caused no harm.  Coupon 1 is marked “City to Half-WayHouse”; number 2 is “Half-WayHouse to Spanish Fort”; 3 is “Spanish Fort to Half-WayHouse” (for the return trip); and number 4 is “Half-WayHouse to City”.  (Half Way House was located at City Park Ave./Metairie Road and West End Blvd.)  Each ticket is also marked “Good only for free transportation”; it is not known whether this was for a promotion, perhaps to encourage travel to Spanish Fort, or whether some fee was required for the “free” transportation.

The back cover details some of the rules for use of these tickets: “Caution.  This ticket is issued with the express condition that no Coupons will be taken from it to pay the fare for any one except the person to whom it is issued.  The cover must be returned to the office of the Company before another book will be issued in its place.  This book must be taken up by the Conductor and returned to the office, if used or offered for any other person than the one whose name is written herein.”

The tickets are somewhat enlarged; the booklet covers are reduced in size.

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Picture 21A-8.5.
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The purpose and use of this Limited Ticket are unknown to this author.  It could have been issued any time during the presidency of A. B. Patterson, from 1930 to 1951.
Pictures 21A-9 and 21A-10.
Ticket-NOCRR-official.jpg
New Orleans City RR (2nd corporation) operated the streetcar system 1899-1902, being succeeded by New Orleans Railways, which in turn was succeeded in 1905 by New Orleans Railway & Light.  Here we see tickets used by officials of these companies to travel the system. — Collection of Louis Hennick
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Pictures 21A-11, 21A-11.3, 21A-11.6, and 21A-12.
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New Orleans Public Service Inc. (NOPSI) continued use of tickets of this type for company officials.  The main difference among these tickets is the facsimile signature of the current president at the time they were issued.  A. B. Patterson was president for a long time, 1930-1951; C. L. Nairne became president in 1962.  (The series U ticket, and some following, show mildew caused by surviving the floods that followed Hurricane Katrina.) — Collections of Louis Hennick (series J), the author (series M and AA), and Earl Hampton (series U)
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Pictures 21A-13, 21A-13.3, 21A-13.5, 21A-13.7, and 21A-14.
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Here are samples of two different types of tickets issued to employees of the company.  The dated ones are one-day passes.  Not much changed from 1929 to 1970, except the facsimile signature.  Patterson's signature as vice-president is shown on the 1929 ticket; he became president in 1930.  G. S. Dinwiddie was president 1951-1959.  Note that the 1929 date is 2½ weeks after the start of the strike.  This suggests that the company tried (or at least intended to try) to run cars on that date. — Collections of Earl Hampton (series H and Z tickets) and of the author
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Pictures 21A-15 through 21A-19, and 21A-19.5.
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The tickets issued to retired employees evolved slightly over the years.  Here are samples of tickets from series A, D, E, F, G, and H.  The oldest two arre inscribed “Pensioner”, the rest are marked “Retiree”.  Note the logo of the Globe Ticket Co., especially noticeable on the otherwise blank reverse of the last ticket.  As the corporate structure changed, the name of the parent company “Middle South Utilities System” was added to the logo, beginning with series G. — Collection of Earl Hampton (series D, E, F, G) and of the author (series A and H)
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Pictures 21A-20, 21A-20.5, 21A-21, and 21A-22.
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These are the covers of a pair of booklets of 90 tickets issued to a retiree and his wife on March 1, 1983.  Note the consecutive serial numbers.  The RTA took over transit service from NOPSI on July 1, 1983, so it is not surprising that only one ticket was used from each of these booklets.  From the top, these are the front cover, the inside front cover, and the back cover.  (The inside back cover is blank.)  The dark blue band is the tape binding the pages of the booklet.  The tickets in this booklet are the H series tickets, the type shown in Picture 21A-19.5, above.

The author is puzzled by the Condition printed on the inside front cover.  How does that apply to retired persons or their family members?  I speculate that it may have been intended for retirees who came back to work part-time.  Or it may have been something included in booklets of tickets for active employees, and just automatically copied to booklets for retirees.

It is difficult to display the precise shade of color of these booklet covers.  Different scanners give different results, none of which matches what the eye sees of the originals.  The left column is fairly close to the original dark shade of red.  But it is hard to read the black text against that dark red.  The right column is easier to read, but is much lighter than the original.  (The inner and outer covers of the originals are all the same shade.) — Collections of Earl Hampton (top picture) and of the author

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TicketCover-retiree-4-front-inner-colorfix.jpg TicketCover-retiree-4-front-inner.jpg
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Picture 21A-23.
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In 1970, this type of ticket was issued to postal carriers, who rode the cars and buses free.  Note that the cash fare at this time was still only ten cents!  In earlier times, not even tickets were required of a postal carrier in uniform carrying his leather satchel.  Incidentally, by long standing custom in this predominantly Catholic city, Catholic nuns in their distinctive habits boarded at the front of the streetcar and rode free, no tickets or fares being required. — Collection of Earl Hampton
Pictures 21A-24, 21A-25, and 21A-26.
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In the 1980s and 1990s, Orleans Parish school pupils rode the New Orleans RTA buses and streetcars using tickets such as these. — Collection of Louis Hennick
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Picture 21B-1.
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This New Orleans Railway & Light Co. token dates itself, having the year 1919 stamped on the reverse.  The token was struck in what collectors call White Metal (WM), and is 16 mm (millimeters) in diameter.  The dark colored metal is the normal patina which forms in the low spots on such a token over the years.  The token bears Atwood-Coffee token catalog number LA 670 A.  (For more information on transportation tokens, visit the American Vecturist Association website at www.vecturist.com.  A “vecturist” is a collector of tokens.)
Pictures 21B-2 and 21B-3.
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New Orleans Public Service Inc. issued these two similar tokens years apart.  The upper picture shows the token issued in 1947.  It was commonly used by conductors stationed on the street at busy rush hour streetcar and bus stops.  In those days, streetcar conductors and bus drivers made change, which of course slowed boarding.  So the street conductors passed among the people in the crowd, selling these tokens and making change, thus speeding up the boarding when the streetcar or bus arrived.  The second picture shows the token issued in 1970.  It differs only in the reverse inscription, saying “One Base Fare” instead of “One Cash Fare”. At this time, some NOPSI routes (e.g., express routes) had premium fares.  Both of these tokens are also 16 mm in diameter, and were struck in WM.  Atwood-Coffee catalog numbers LA 670 Bb and LA 670 H.
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Picture 21B-4.
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This handsome token was issued by New Orleans RTA in 1984 for the Louisiana World Exposition, the world's fair held in the city that year.  It was good for a fare, but RTA clearly expected that many people would buy and keep one as a souvenir without riding, thus selling more rides than were claimed.  This token was struck in brass, and measures 27 mm in diameter.  Atwood-Coffee catalog number LA 670 M.
Pictures 21B-5 and 21B-6.
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RTA issued the upper brass token in 1985.  The inscription on the reverse says, “Oldest continuously operating streetcar / in / New Orleans / since 1835”.  Someone seems to have decided that this didn't quite say what it was intended to say.  A subsequent issue, shown in the lower picture, has the inscription, “Oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world / since 1835 / New Orleans / St. Charles Streetcar”.  These tokens are 16 mm in diameter.  The earlier token (upper picture) is Atwood-Coffee catalog number LA 670 N; the later issue (lower picture) is LA 670 O.  Notice how the lettering around the edge of the token had to be made a smaller size for the second token.
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Pictures 21B-7 and 21B-8.
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After NOPSI went to an exact fare system, and conductors and bus drivers no longer made change, tokens were advertised as an alternative to the nuisance of presenting exact cash fares.  Banks, grocery stores, and many other kinds of stores sold the tokens in packets of 10 or 20, although the price per token was still the same as the cash fare (15 cents at this time).  The tokens seen above in Pictures 21B-2 and 21B-3 were the ones usually included in these packets, but an occasional older token (Picture 21B-1) could also be found. — Collection of Earl Hampton
Picture 21B-9.
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RTA sold tokens in envelopes such as this.
Pictures 21C-1 and 21C-2.
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A transfer of the New Orleans City RR Co., circa 1900.  The reverse side is blank.  Note the list of lines across the bottom of the transfer.  The issuing conductor had to punch one of the stars to indicate the line of his car, and then punch the light (for a.m.) or dark (for p.m.) box for the line to which the customer wanted to transfer.  In the panels at the right, he also had to punch the time limit for the transfer to be valid, plus the month and day at the top.  This copy is pretty beaten up; the dark area at the right torn edge was caused by a tape mend some time in the past history of this transfer.  The second picture is the same transfer, “mended” on the computer to be closer to what the original would have looked like.
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Picture 21C-3.
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Here is a transfer of the New Orleans Railway & Light Co. Prytania Line, probably from about 1905.  For some reason, the list of lines does not include the St. Charles and Tulane Belt Lines.  Since the Prytania Line runs parallel to St. Charles Ave., only a few blocks away, perhaps transfers from Prytania to the Belt Lines were not allowed.  Note the line listed as “N. O. & Pont.”, or New Orleans & Pontchartrain, which was the corporate name of the subsidiary company that built the Napoleon Ave. “Royal Blue” line.  This line began operation January 1, 1903.  The route name Napoleon Ave. at this time indicated the old N. O. & C. branch line running from the river only to St. Charles Ave., and thence to Canal Street.  The two lines were combined in 1906.  This transfer is punched for Aug. 3, valid until 2:15 p.m., for transfer from Prytania to Esplanade Belt.  The year, unfortunately, is not indicated, but the use of the name “N. O. & Pont.” suggests a date prior to the merger of the two Napoleon Ave. lines.  N. O. Railway & Light Co. began operations in 1905, so this transfer would seem to date from 1905 or 1906.
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Picture 21C-4.
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A previous owner of this New Orleans Railway & Light Co. Canal Belt Line transfer has penciled in the year 1906.  It is punched for the date December 9, for transfer from the Canal Belt Line to the Dauphine Line, with a time limit of 7:00 p.m.  All the routes of both divisions are listed on this transfer.  The Napoleon Ave. Line is listed, apparently meaning the now combined line formed by extending the “Royal Blue” in on Napoleon Ave. all the way to the end of the street at Tchoupitoulas Street.  Another interesting line in the list is “So. Port” (Southport), a small shuttle operation near the Carrollton Station car barn from Carrollton Ave. to the gambling and “recreation” area near the parish line at Southport.  From time to time, this operation had been part of other lines, and would be again.  Note the little picture of a child at the upper right; apparently, a punch in that square would indicate that the transfer was valid only for a child.  The company was constantly trying to ensure that transfers were presented for fare only by the persons to whom they were issued.
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Picture 21C-5.
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This Dauphine Line transfer is punched for August 21 with a time limit of 6:20 p.m.  The name of the line to transfer to is obscured by the punch, but appears to be “S. Claib.” (Claiborne).  The penciled date is 1912.  This is a problem, as Hennick & Charlton's book states that the S. Claiborne line started on February 22, 1915.  Also, the Laurel Line is listed and the Annunciation Line is not.  Hennick & Charlton date the beginning of the Laurel Line to August 12, 1913, and the end of the Annunciation Line to December 23, 1917.  So a date of 1918-1920 is suggested for this transfer.  Dauphine was an important line, which eventually evolved into the St. Claude Line.
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Pictures 21C-6 and 21C-7.
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These are the types of transfer used by New Orleans Railway & Light around 1920-22.  (The Desire line, listed on both of these transfers, was started in 1920, and the company was reorganized into New Orleans Public Service Inc. in 1922.)  The two transfers are slightly different.  It is not known to the author whether they were used in the same period, or if not, which was the older type.  One possibility is that they were handed down in these forms from predecessor companies of NOR&L, without being changed to a single standard company-wide format.
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Picture 21C-8.
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This is a very early (mid-1920s) transfer from New Orleans Public Service Inc. (NOPSI) for the Tchoupitoulas line.  Someone has penciled the number “26” in the upper right corner, which may mean it was issued in 1926 — that would be around the correct date for this form.  Notice the simplification compared to the previous form, which would have greatly speeded up the process of issuing the transfer to a passenger.  It now requires only two punches to validate the transfer, one for the time, the other for the direction of travel.
Pictures 21C-9 through 21C-14.
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A selection of NOPSI transfers from the late 1920s, from the Freret, Gentilly, Jackson, Magazine, N. Claiborne, and St. Claude lines.  The red numerals in the upper left corners are the day of the month on which the transfer was issued and was valid.  Note that the N. Claiborne transfer has not been punched. — Collection of Nancy Brister
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Picture 21C-15.
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This NOPSI transfer was used on the pioneer Broadway trolley coach line.  The transfer listed each possible transfer point, i.e., each point where the Broadway line intersected another line: from north to south, the S. Claiborne, Freret, St. Charles-Tulane Belts, and Magazine streetcar lines.  Note how streetcar terminology was used on the transfer, even though it did not literally apply: there is reference on the reverse to the “conductor”, and on both sides to the “car” (meaning streetcar, not automobile).  There was never a streetcar line named Broadway.  And New Orleans trolley coaches never had two-man crews, although the city insisted on two-man streetcar crews, which was one of the incentives in the 1940s and 50s for NOPSI to convert from rail to rubber-tired vehicles.
Pictures 21C-15.3 and 21C-15.6.
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These two transfers, from the City Park and North Claiborne lines, date from the same period as the Broadway transfer in the previous picture.  Louis Hennick has estimated that this type was put into service about the time of the end of the 1929 strike, and continued in use until superseded by the multi-coupon type in the following pictures, probably in the mid-1930s.  The biggest departure from previous transfers is the method of indicating the time as the latest time showing when the transfer was torn off.  This was much faster for the conductor or bus operator than punching the time indicators.  Note how all possible transfer points are listed on the face of the coupon, plus options From BARN, To BARN, CAR to CAR, and EMERGENCY.  Presumably, the conductor could punch one of those to validate it when the situation arose. — Louis Hennick collection
Picture 21C-16.
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During World War II, Bomber Base was a bus line that ran on Franklin (the same street as the main part of the Gentilly streetcar line) from Gentilly Road to the lake front, then east to the airport, which was in use by the military.  Between Gentilly Road and Dreux, it overlapped the Gentilly car line.  In effect, it extended the car line so that workers could get to the military installations on the lake front.  Since the only transit lines that it connected to were the Gentilly streetcar (which ended at Franklin and Dreux) and the Gentilly-Broad bus (at Franklin and Gentilly), this simple transfer served the purpose.
Picture 21C-17.
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This is an early version of the type of transfer NOPSI used for many years.  With the multiple coupons, one could transfer several times on the same ticket.  Each conductor or bus operator would take up one coupon.  Each coupon listed the routes on which it was valid (or sometimes the ones on which it was not valid).  Someone had to have worked out all the different combinations a person could have reasonably used for a journey anywhere in the city, always on the assumption of one continuous trip and no return to the point of origin.  This transfer was from the St. Claude streetcar line.  Some previous owner has written the date Nov. 1934 on it; the only date that was printed was the day of the month (5).
Picture 21C-18.
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This Broadway transfer is the complete form, as issued to the conductor or operator.  In use, the conductor or operator would tear it off at the time that represented the limit on the time to use the transfer on the first connecting car or bus.  Complete forms such as this were not supposed to be available to riders.  Note that the complete date is now printed on the transfer (this one is dated Tuesday April 19, 1949).
Pictures 21C-19 and 21C-20.
These two transfers date from 1949 on the two Canal Street lines, Cemeteries and West End.  The Cemeteries transfer is the complete form, as issued to the conductor.  The West End transfer shows normal usage as issued to a rider, torn to represent a time limit of 3:15 p.m.
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Pictures 21C-21 and 21C-22.
These transfers were issued on the real Streetcar Named Desire, the first in 1936, the second in 1944.  Notice that the 1944 transfer has one more coupon than the 1936, probably reflecting the fact that the system had grown and a longer trip was possible.
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Pictures 21C-23, 21C-24, and 21C-25.
For over 50 years, Tulane and St. Charles were essentially opposite sides of what was effectively a single streetcar line.  However, there was one significant difference: Tulane served the loop at the foot of Canal Street, while St. Charles did not.  (See Group 10, above.)  So one is not surprised to see the St. Charles transfer marked “Not good on Tulane.”  What is surprising is to find two slightly different Tulane transfers, as seen here.  The first one, marked by a three-sided red line at the top and bearing a cryptic letter “R”, states “Good on Tulane Outbound at Bourbon and Canal Only.  Not good on St. Charles.”  The second, marked by the letter “S”, is inscribed “Not good on St. Charles Except at Baronne and Canal Only.”  (All the other restrictions on usage of the Tulane transfers are the same on both R and S.)  It appears to this author that the R transfer made it possible for a through passenger to ride to Canal Street on a Tulane car, then skip the trip to the foot of Canal Street by transferring to an outbound Tulane car at Carondelet/Bourbon Street.  The S transfer would have made it possible for a would-be St. Charles passenger to catch an outbound Tulane car on Canal between the loop and Baronne St., then transfer to an outbound St. Charles car just before it turned up Baronne.
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Pictures 21C-26 through 21C-33.
Here is a sampling of transfers for a variety of streetcar lines, from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.  During the 30s and 40s, the full date, including the year, was printed on each transfer, but some time in the 50s, the year was dropped.  The samples which list numbered routes come from the late 1950s or later, as the first numbered routes (express bus routes, such as Bridge 60 and Express 70) came into use in 1958.  Incidentally, bus lines used the same type of transfers as streetcar lines.  The reason St. Claude and S. Claiborne transfers were printed “St. Claude Car” and “S. Claiborne Car” was to distinguish them from the feeder bus lines having those same names.
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Pictures 21C-33.3 and 21C-33.6.
When the underpass on S. Carrollton Avenue was built, forcing the separation of the St. Charles and Tulane lines, the temporary outer end of the St. Charles line was at S. Carrollton and Dixon, just riverward of the new underpass, and the temporary Tulane diesel bus line (used while trolley coach overhead was erected for the Tulane line) was at S. Carrollton and Tulane, just the other side of the new underpass.  These transfers were used to connect the outer ends of the two lines for through passengers, who must have had to walk the distance between the ends of the lines.  Later, when the underpass was completed, and the outer terminus of both lines was moved permanently to S. Carrollton at S. Claiborne Avenue, ordinary multi-coupon transfers were used to connect between the two lines.  These transfers are not dated, but bear a letter code, which was changed daily so that an out-of-date transfer would be noticed and rejected by a conductor or bus operator.
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Pictures 21C-34, 21C-35, and 21C-35.5.
Unusual circumstances, such as breakdowns and blocked trackage, called for these kinds of special transfers.  The second type is especially interesting, as it served a triple purpose.  A conductor could issue it with all three coupons, good to transfer to another line outbound; or with the first coupon removed, for another line inbound; or with both of those coupons removed, to the next car on his own line (“Car to Car”).  Neither type is explicitly dated, but the triple-coupon type bears a letter code which was changed daily.  This served to date the transfer sufficiently that a conductor would notice and reject an out-of-date transfer.
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Pictures 21C-36, 21C-37, and 21C-38.
New Orleans Regional Transportation Authority (NORTA) issued transfers such as these.  The first comes from the restored Canal-Cemeteries streetcar line on its inaugural day, April 18, 2004; both front and back are shown.  Note that the year again appears on the transfer, but the time is specified only to the nearest half-hour.  The second transfer, also from Canal-Cemeteries, is from April 18, 2005, the one-year anniversary of the line.  The third was issued on the St. Charles streetcar line on Nov. 7, 2004.  The list of lines on which each coupon will be honored is now simply a list of route numbers, without route names.  Canal-Cemeteries is route 42, and St. Charles is route 12. — Collection of Earl Hampton
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Pictures 21C-39, 21C-40, and 21C-40.5.
These three transfers are samples of a generic form, used by NORTA as it worked to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.  The first blank one is dated October 7, 2006.  In use, the number of the route issuing the transfer was supposed to be handwritten on the form, as can be seen in the second example, dated May 23, 2007.  (Route 47 is the current designation for the Canal-Cemeteries streetcar.)  The third example, dated January 27, 2008 and shown both front and back, is a near-complete copy of the blank form as issued to operators. — Collections of Earl Hampton and of the author
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Transfer-RTA-Generic-04-rv.jpg
Picture 21C-41.
On December 7, 2008, RTA resumed the use of route-specific transfers.  Early in 2009, they took the form shown here.  Note the simplified list of eligible lines on each coupon, and the use of a single form for routes 42, 47, and 48.  The route number 42 was used for the Canal-Cemeteries bus, which had been running to provide wheelchair service on the Canal route, but which had been discontinued when refurbished wheelchair-capable 2000-class red streetcars resumed operation in early 2009.  Numbers 47 and 48 designate the Canal-Cemeteries and the Canal-City Park (Carrollton branch) streetcar lines, respectively.
Transfer-RTA-Canal-01-ob.jpg
Transfer-RTA-Canal-01-rv.jpg
Pictures 21C-42 through 21C-47.
FareCard-Transfer-regular.jpg
FareCard-Transfer-ADA+Senior.jpg
In the summer of 2009, RTA put into service new “smart” fareboxes on all streetcars and buses.  These fareboxes are capable of issuing transfers and other kinds of tickets, printing them as needed, and reading their information.  Each has a magnetic stripe similar to the stripe on a credit card, which encodes all the information necessary for the particular type of ticket issued.  Here is a sampling of the kinds of tickets issued, and recognized, by these fareboxes.

The first picture shows a “local transfer.”  Note that it shows the date and time, the route and vehicle (bus or streetcar) from which it was issued, the direction of travel, and an expiration time, two hours after issuance.  (Unfortunately, all transit vehicles are referred to as “buses” on the cards.)  To use the transfer, the rider puts it into the card slot on the farebox of the streetcar or bus, which takes it in and interprets the coding on the magnetic stripe; if it is invalid, it emits a warning beep and displays an explanation on the operator's screen; if it is valid, a normal beep sounds, and the “Used” section is imprinted.  The card is then returned to the rider, who can use it to continue on another route.  The sample shown was issued on bus number 166 operating inbound on route 108 (Algiers Local); it was then used to board a streetcar outbound on route 47, Canal.  Multi-coupon transfers, such as shown in Picture 21C-41 above, are no longer in use.

The second picture shows a similar transfer issued to an ADA or senior reduced fare rider.  Transfers are free to these riders, but cost 25¢ for everyone else.

The third picture shows an emergency transfer, issued by farebox number 2 on streetcar 2006 (so the car number is printed as 20062).  This could be used in case of some unusual circumstance, such as a blockage or unexpected turnback of a streetcar.

RTA has long had a one-day pass fare option.  These passes are now sold on the streetcars and buses, and are printed by the farebox.  The fourth picture shows such a pass, issued on February 19, 2010.

The fifth picture shows a sample of something new: a change ticket.  Since bus and streetcar operators do not make change, a rider who did not have the correct exact fare used to have to overpay, and had no way to claim a refund.  The new fareboxes can issue “change” in the form seen here.  This ticket was good for 50¢ toward the rider's fare on his next trip.  We can see that it was issued on “bus 20232” (which means streetcar 2023 farebox 2), and was spent on streetcar 2006 (using farebox 2 on that streetcar), leaving a balance of zero.

The last picture shows the back of the fare cards (the same for all types).

FareCard-Transfer-emergency.jpg
FareCard-Pass-1day.jpg
FareCard-Change.jpg
FareCard-Reverse.jpg
Pictures 21C-48 and 21C-49.
FareCard-Pass-1day-2012.jpg
FareCard-Reverse-2012.jpg
By the fall of 2012, a few changes were in use.  The first picture shows a one-day pass issued October 30, 2012, indicating a price reduction from $5 in 2009 (Picture 21C-45) to $3.  The second picture shows the revised back of the form, including the new RTA logo and a new “void if...” paragraph.

Group 22: Stocks and Bonds

The corporate history of the New Orleans streetcar system traces back to seven major horsecar systems and several smaller companies.  By the early 1890s, when the systems were seeking to electrify their lines, they had begun to merge.  Finally, in 1902, all streetcar lines in the city came under the control of one company, New Orleans Railways Co.  In 1905, the system came under the control of the New Orleans Railway and Light Co., though full corporate merger was not accomplished until New Orleans Public Service Inc. was formed in 1922.

Railroad stocks and bonds, including those of street railroads, are cataloged in Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads by Terry Cox.

According to Cox, stocks and bonds are known for only the following New Orleans street railway companies (shown with the prefix for catalog numbers for their certificates):
NEW-327   New Orleans & Carrollton RR. Co.
NEW-329   New Orleans City R. R. Co.
NEW-330   New Orleans City & Lake RR. Co.
NEW-427   New Orleans Traction Co.
ORL-333   Orleans & Jefferson Ry. Co. Ltd.
NEW-319   New Orleans Rys. Co.
NEW-393   New Orleans Ry. & Light Co.


Picture 22-1.
NEW-319-S-50-ic.jpg
This is a certificate for 3 shares of stock in the New Orleans Railways Co., issued March 20, 1906, and later cancelled by a rubber stamp, probably when the owner sold it to someone else, or when the company was merged into New Orleans Railway and Light Co.  It has Cox catalog number NEW-319-S-50.
Picture 22-2.
NEW-393-Ss-71.jpg
We see here a specimen copy of a certificate for 100 shares of the preferred stock of the New Orleans Railway and Light Co., printed by the American Bank Note Co. of New York.  It is number NEW-393-Ss-71 in the Cox catalog.

Group 23: The Amalgamated Transit Union

New Orleans streetcar workers were among the organizers of the original Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees of America.  In New Orleans, they were initially organized into Local Division No. 2.  Over the years, the national union changed its name as transit evolved, becoming the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, then the Amalgamated Association of Street, Electric Railway, and Motor Coach Employees of America, and finally simplifying its name to the current form, Amalgamated Transit Union.

In New Orleans, union matters evolved, also.  After a two week strike in the fall of 1902, New Orleans Railways signed a contract with the Amalgamated, which organized Local Division 194 in New Orleans about this time.

Another strike began July 1, 1920 over a wage dispute.  Management tried to break the strike using imported strikebreakers, and had the backing of Federal Marshalls, the New Orleans Police, and the Governor, but could not achieve satisfactory service levels, despite claiming that all lines but one were in operation.  The strike was settled late in the month with a new contract.

The biggest event in New Orleans streetcar union history was the violent July 1929 strike (see Group 15).  Service was gradually restored beginning in August.  By the end of the strike, the Amalgamated in New Orleans was in very poor shape.  A different union was formed, one that the Amalgamated calls a Company Union, which in October signed a contract with NOPSI, nominally ending the strike.  This union was called the Cooperative Street Railway Employees Association of New Orleans.  Amalgamated Division 194 continued to exist until 1948, and to advocate for laws and policies it supported, but it had no contract with NOPSI.

This arrangement was successfully challenged in 1974, when the Amalgamated won a representation election and formed Local Division 1560 in New Orleans.  This was followed by unsuccessful negotiations between Local 1560 and NOPSI, and then by a strike.  A bargaining agreement between NOPSI and Local 1560 was signed in December 1974, but the strike was not completely settled until March 1975.


Pictures 23-1 through 23-4.
WorkingCard-1917-11.jpg
These Working Cards were issued to one member of Division 194, L. J. Alford, over the period November 1917 through January 1923.  They are essentially receipts for monthly dues of $1.00 (a significant amount of money in those days).  Later, in the 1930s and 40s, many locals of this union issued pin-on buttons for this purpose, of the type that were used in presidential election campaigns, with a slightly different design every month.  However, the New Orleans local may not have ever issued any of those; if such buttons exist, the author has never seen one.  Note the facsimile signature of international president W[illiam] D. Mahon, who was elected to this office in the union's second convention in 1893, and served to 1946.  We also see the stamped name of the local secretary, Gus. J. Bienvenu.  Note the updated streetcar in the center of the seal, from the 1917 card to the 1921 version.
WorkingCard-1921-04.jpg
WorkingCard-1922-03.jpg
WorkingCard-1923-01.jpg
Picture 23-5.
Postcard-1927.jpg
This is the message side of a postal card form letter sent out by Division 194 to welcome a new member into the union.  It reads:
AMALGAMATED ASSOCIATION
Street and Electric Railway Employees of America
DIVISION 194
HEADQUARTERS 433 GRAVIER STREET, SECOND FLOOR
NEW ORLEANS,  FEB 3  1927

DEAR SIR:

Your application has been received and acted upon favorably at a regular meeting.  Please present yourself at the first opportunity for initiation at headquarters, 433 Gravier St. second floor, between the hours of 8:30 a. m. to 4 p. m.

Failure to respond within two (2) weeks for initiation, without good cause, forfeits initiation fee.

Regular meetings at the hall, 433 Gravier St., second floor, every second and fourth Wednesday evening at 8:00 p. m.

Yours fraternally,
GUS. J. BIENVENU, Secretary.

The card is also stamped:

REMOVED 606 COMMON ST.
3rd FLOOR LABOR TEMPLE

Picture 23-6.
coop_labor.jpg
This union button is inscribed: “Cooperative Street Railway Employees Assn. of New Orleans”.  It is about 5/8" in diameter.
Picture 23-7.
Baldassare_Lotruglio-3.jpg
Some of the flavor of the 1920 strike can be tasted through the recollections of one of the participants, Baldassare Lotruglio, as reported by his son, Anthony Lotruglio.  This picture and the following story are copyright © 2013 by Anthony Lotruglio, and are used here with his permission.

Based on
Fifty Years Old
Recollections of Stories Told
To me by my Father
Baldassare Lotruglio
Who passed away in 1964

Veracity not guaranteed
Anthony F. Lotruglio, PhD

Dad became a naturalized citizen in 1914.  After a quick army tour, he returned in 1917 or 1918.  He became a streetcar motorman, and his brother Phil was a conductor.

Some time after 1917, Dad joined the union and became a member of the executive Board.  He traveled as far as Chicago for union meetings.  Some time in the beginning of the 1920s, it was decided to strike.  Today, we are accustomed to strikers walking relatively quietly with protest signs hung around their necks.  It was quite different in those days.  To strike literally meant to take your life in your hands.

In New Orleans, Dad and the other union officials planning the strike rented a large warehouse where all members of the union would stay for the duration.  It was anticipated that once the strike began, management would import strikebreakers from Chicago.  If the strikebreakers caught a union member, he would be beaten unmercifully.  Turnabout was fair play.  If the Union members caught a strikebreaker, they repaid in kind.  During the strike, molten lead was poured into rail switches.  This derailed the streetcars and created havoc with public transportation.

To relieve the boredom of being confined to a warehouse during the strike, the longest running card game started.  A portion of each pot was set aside to buy breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all the strikers.  Dad claimed that by the end of the strike, everyone had lost money in the card game.  The length of the strike coupled with the percentage set aside for the purchase of food was too high a hurdle to overcome.

After the strike ended, Dad was called into the office.  Management offered him the fairgrounds run, a choice route.  Dad asked, “Why are you so good to me?”  They replied that they just wanted to be friends.  Dad queried, “What is a friend expected to do?”  Just come in each morning after a union executive board meeting and have coffee, was the reply.  You could make the conversation interesting by telling us what was discussed the previous evening.  Dad realized he was in a difficult situation.  If he accepted the proposition, he would be disloyal to his friends and coworkers.  If he turned it down, management would retaliate.  Dad took the badge from his motorman’s cap, slid it across the desk, and resigned.  Soon thereafter, the entire Lotruglio clan, except for his brother Ignacio, moved to New York City.


Links to Other New Orleans Picture Sites


Earl Hampton
Michael Strauch aka Streetcar Mike
Dave's Electric Railroads
NYC Subway
Peter Ehrlich aka Milantram
John Smatlak
Chris Guenzler
Charles Howard photos, Stan Malcolm collection
Kevin Pedeaux
Oldtrails
APTA Streetcar and Heritage Trolley Site
World Tram & Trolleybus Networks


References

Louis C. Hennick & E. Harper Charlton, The Streetcars of New Orleans, Pelican, 1975.
Louis C. Hennick & E. Harper Charlton, Louisiana - Its Street and Interurban Railways, Vol. I, Louis C. Hennick, 1962.
Louis C. Hennick, The Streetcars of New Orleans, “Appendix III,” unpublished manuscript, 2005.
Eli Bail, “New Orleans The Private Ownership Years,” Motor Coach Age, Vol. 53, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 2001.
Amalgamated Transit Union Staff, A History of the Amalgamated Transit Union, 1992.
Cars in Various Sta. 1934, NOPSI
R. S. Korach, “New Orleans,” ERA Headlights, July 1945, pp. 9-10.
Arthur Schwartz, “New Orleans CAR NOTES,” ERA Headlights, December 1959, p. 8.

Picture credits are given where known.  All pictures are in the author's collection, except as noted.  Thanks to Earl Hampton, Maunsel White, Morris Hill, and Mike Strauch for innumerable contributions of photos, research, and knowledge.

Text, captions, and photos by the author, © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 H. George Friedman, Jr.  All rights reserved.  Permission is hereby given for the QUOTATION of SHORT excerpts, as long as credit is given to H. George Friedman, Jr.


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