Date this streetcar

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Date this streetcar

Postby MarkB » Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:03 pm

Can you date this photo by the streetcar type?
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby ferroequinarchaeologist » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:00 pm

There are others on this forum who can narrow it down, but that PCC with the "wings" around the headlight is late 40s - early 50s, IIRC.

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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby dieciduej » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:34 pm

The car type is a PCC, Electric Railway Presidents' Conference Committe, car. My guess it is from the first car order for the Boston Elevated Railway, car numbers 3002-3021, delivered February to March 1941. The reasoning for the guess it the door seem to be the blinker type, think of it as two, 2-door, separate doorways with a center post. The background if familiar but I can't place it at this time.

Edit 5:47 PM

Blinker doors were removed by the end of 1948, so it is between 1941 to 1948.

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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby MarkB » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:01 pm

Thanks. The location is the old South street car yard on the Jamaica Plain line. Public housing was built on the site in the early 1950s.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby Teamdriver » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:24 pm

The background almost looks like Heath street turnaround heading back down South Huntington ave.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby BigUglyCat » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:12 pm

We know it wasn't 3001 (the "Queen Mary") because that one was originally a St. Louis Car Co. demonstrator (1937, though I understand it ran in Boston until 1950, and was scrapped in 1953) and it did not have a left hand door.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:38 pm

It looks like an image you would find in an eBay auction.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:55 pm

That's not the Jamaica Car House Yard. St. Thomas' School and Rectory was back there on Jamaica in place of most of those three-deckers.Those three-deckers slope in the wrong direction for that to be Jamaica Street also, and the biggest tell of all is the fact that the Jamaica Yard wasn't anything near that expansive. In the photo on the right rear is a body of water - certainly nothing like that in the South Street/Jamaica St. area, JP. The Stony Brook didn't come through there. I'm inclined to say that it's the Watertown Yard with the Charles River in the background. I'm just not that sure if the background area slopes so dramatically not being that familiar with the area. The yard itself would compare with the size of Watertown's.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby MarkB » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:07 pm

Sorry, but I must correct you. That's St Rose street in the background, and the same houses are there today, excepting the one at the far right, which is gone now, and is a garden lot. The camera is aimed in the opposite direction from Jamaica street and the St Thomas campus.

Compare the close-up of the photo with the color image from Google Street View. The arrows show the same bay windows on the left side of the second house from the right. That house is on the corner of View South ave, off St Rose street.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:11 pm

I'd love to! Unfortunately my girlfriend may get a bit jealous.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:53 pm

I'll grant you that looking southerly, that the view would match St. Rose's climb. I'm still bothered by what appears to be a body of water in the background with reflections and the amount of trackwork in the yard. I do not believe your housing comparison to be convincing. In any event, unless some more evidence is forthcoming, I'm happy to give you the benefit of the doubt. It's a nice shot in any event.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:59 am

Paul, I think your body of water is just a pile of snow. As for the track work, there's a photo of the JP loop in "Streetcar Lines of the Hub" (page 66) taken from a point close to the upper right corner of the photo in question, showing that as of 1947 there was still a huge amount of trackage there, although most of it was disconnected. Comparing our mystery photo to the track chart in the book, the track layout corresponds perfectly to what you'd see if you were standing just off the west end of the platform and looking south. Closest to the camera is the track heading to the loop, then you've got the stub-ended siding, a disconnected set of ladder tracks, the passing siding with the PCC on it, the main loop track, and finally more disused yard trackage.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:06 am

Yup- You guys are winning me over. I have a sneaking suspicion that the "body of water" may be just that, that being the "Stony Brook Conduit", an artificial conduit that was constructed to attempt to abate the flooding of the Stony Brook in the area. I have been able to trace the conduit to Green Street and am trying to look at where it went south of there in the South Street area. I know that it picks up accross South Street in the "Daisy Field" of the Arboretum and out Franklin Terrace into Roslindale. Of course the other possibility is that it is the Stony Brook in the process of one of it's infamous floodings in the area, which may even explain the vacant yard and experimental "test" PCC to "test the water" (pun intended !). I thought of taking a ride up there to look at St. Rose Street's profile from the development, but I think that the brick buildings may eclipse the view now. Bottom line, for what it's worth, I'm going with Jamaica now. Thanks.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby MarkB » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:58 am

Just to be clear - that is snow, apparently, and Stony Brook was buried long before this photo. For everything you ever wanted to know about Stony Brook, including it's path and all its branches, see my blog Stony Brook - Gone But Not Forgotten. http://stonybrookinboston.blogspot.com/

As it happens, one feeder branch, Goldsmith brook, did cut through the St Thomas church property on its way to meet Stony Brook near today's English High School building, but that was filled during the residential development of the neighborhood, and only still exists in the Arnold Arboretum, near the headquarters entrance. Irrelevant to this photo, however.

I just heard from the guy who posted the photo - he remembers this scene, before the Metcalf Court housing project was built on the site during the 1950s.
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Re: Date this streetcar

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:08 am

Hi Mark ! I have enjoyed your blog as I am a big fan of the history of the Stony Brook. My favorite true story is the guys who rode it like an underground rapids underneath the city of Boston from Forest Hills to the Fenway and back, almost drowning while doing it ! As you know, our friend, the Stony, is alive and well, if not seen, and sometimes it does make cameo appearances, for example flooding out entire neighborhoods such as the Archdale Development from below. I wonder if what we might be seeing in the photo is such a flood considering that the Stony Brook was located in such close proximity ? (I see the snow bank. I'm talking about what looks like a body of water on a level with the rear windows on the PCC above the snow bank.)
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