January 18, 2009

Fares Please!, John Anderson Miller

"A Popular History of Trolleys, Streetcars, Buses, Elevateds, and Subways"

Pretty much an anorak take on the subject; lots of details of how successive transit vehicles were built (lots of excellent illustrations), some details of economic and legal development, and a general assumption that history is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. The copyrights are 1941 and 1960, but 1960 was probably a renewal; the final chapter "Transit in the Modern Age" has nothing later than 1941.

Here's a detail for Seattle and Portland, or anywhere else that had more snow than plows this winter, and disagreement over whether that was dreadful planning:

Nobody had ever thought of removing snow from the public streets until the horse-car came along. Then it had to be done so that the wheels would stay on the rails. This, however, interfered with sleighing. In Boston, the Mayor and Aldermen solved the problem by forbidding the street-railway companies to clear the tracks at all so long as sleighing was good. The companies could operate passenger sleighs, they said, and charge the same fare as on the cars, but the snow had to remain on the tracks until it melted away of its own accord.

Find in a Library: Fares Please!

So wrote clew in Cities. , History (20th c.).
And thus wrote others:
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