HEADEND

The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation


FALL 2005


SUBSTATION WIRED UP

Since the establishment of the New York Museum of Transportation over 30 years ago, the heart of its mission has been the operation of trolley cars, and lately we’ve been getting tantalizingly close to fulfillment of the dream.

The first steps by our museum brought Rochester & Eastern interurban 157 back to home territory in the 1970s, with several other important pieces of equipment. 157 enjoyed significant restoration work in the early 1990s, and in 1996 we acquired two fully operational cars (former Philadelphia & Western cars 161 and 168). A memorable moment came late that year when the first of those two cars was being pulled up the hill to its new home at NYMT, passing the RGVRRM crew who were planting the first pole to electrify our joint rail line.

Over the next few years, a major effort by both museums erected more poles, strung wire, and operated car 168 for the public on a weekend-long trolley event in summer 2001, taking power from a standby diesel generator and rectifier. When the thrill of the weekend died down (and the diesel exhaust dissipated), serious research began, aimed at evaluating the costs and benefits of purchased power. When it became clear that we could handle the costs, work started on design and construction of a substation to convert three-phase 480 volt alternating current supplied by our local power company, Niagara Mohawk, to the 600 volt direct current required by our trolley cars.

Over the past few years we’ve kept HEADEND readers up to date on the substation as it progressed, but the words never did justice to the effort involved nor to the professionalism behind that work. Dick Holbert, Jim Johnson, Charlie Harshbarger, Bill Chapin, and Rand Warner have been at the heart of this ongoing effort, devoting their Saturdays to the goal of completing a safe, functional substation fully meeting all codes and satisfying all the operational needs of running trolley cars for public enjoyment. They and the substation have had major support from Ted Strang, Scott Gleason, Dan Waterstraat, and many others.

This summer has been devoted to finishing up controls and instrumentation in the substation and to finalizing the relationship with Niagara Mohawk. In the past couple of months, we settled on a plan to go underground from a new Nimo pole containing the three required 100 KVA transformers, on into the substation. An underground conduit for the DC output to the trolley line had already been put in place, and now we would need to dig a second trench.

On September 22, 2005, the crew from O’Connell Electric Co. started their part of the project, installing the boxes, switchgear, meters, etc. that are associated with our upgraded power system, including a 50 KVA transformer and relocated lines for service to the rest of our facility.

Mike Dingman of O’Connell Electric Company starts the installation on the wall outside the substation.

The new pole was placed by Nimo, the underground conduit path was staked out by Rand and Scott, and Randy Bogucki and his rail crew removed the track for the work to come. On October 2, 2005 a big work day got the trenching done, the 5” conduit laid, and the whole area re-covered. The aforementioned team—most of whom work in the power industry and bring invaluable skills and experience to bear in our electrification—were augmented by the backhoe services of Rush resident Luther Keyes.

Trenching gets started at the wall outside of the substation, with the aid of a backhoe, front-end loader, and the efforts of Charlie Harshbarger, Scott Gleason, and Rand Warner.

Dick Holbert places a section of the heavy conduit that will make the turn, aiming the trench toward the AC power pole.

Dan Waterstraat moves some dirt and Luther Keyes handles the backhoe, as Ted Strang, Scott, Charlie and Dick join in.

The afternoon of Tuesday, October 11 brought the crew back to pull the DC wire through the conduit, and again on October 18 for the AC wires. A lot harder than it sounds…since the large diameter wire is as stiff as rod stock, these pulls took a big effort on the part of the volunteers and equipment. As we go to press, the final connections are being made to the new service from Niagara Mohawk, and check-out of the substation is set to begin.

As we look back and commemorate fifty years of life in Rochester without trolley service, the museum also looks ahead, putting the finishing touches on the system that will allow us to bring that fifty-year drought to an end.


Motormen/Conductors

Training and selection for trolley operations will be starting this winter. Not all may qualify, but if you’d like to give it a try, call Charlie Lowe at 223-5747.



BOB’S BLUE BUS

As the owner of Rochester institutions Donuts Delite and the Highland Park Diner, there’s a local transportation fan who doesn’t really need an introduction, but we’ll say it anyway: Meet the proud owner of a big blue bus, Bob Malley.

Bob Malley and his Flxible coach were a big hit with visitors at the museum on September 4.

Bob’s a Rochesterian by birth, and like so many of us has always had a fondness for anything with wheels on it. The bug bit early but the disease took hold when Bob was about 10 years old, and his dad worked for a large eastern firm, Hathaway Bakeries. Bob would be taken in to work with his father at 3 in the morning to catch a ride with one of the company drivers, Fritzy Stoik, on his delivery run down Rt. 96 to Shortsville and Geneva. Bob’s special treat was being allowed to shift the truck into high gear. When Bob was about 12 years old, he and his dad stopped at the Utica facility of the company, where an old pre-war White cab-over tractor had just been retired. When Bob asked what was to become of the White, his dad replied, “Do you want it?” Bob took that as a sign of encouragement for a hobby that has brought him pleasure throughout his life.

Bob could tell what make of truck or bus was coming just by the sound of the engine. He used to bike down to the Blue Bus terminal at Broad St. and South Ave., just “to stand there and listen to ‘em leave”. He was particularly intrigued by the buses with the air scoop on the roof (Flxible Clippers), drew pictures of them all the time, and knew one day he’d own one.

The collection of books and memorabilia in Bob’s den offers some background on the unique Clipper coaches. The Flxible Corporation got its start in 1913 as the Flexible Side Car Company. The Ohio firm built a “flexible” connection, patented by founder Hugo H. Young, for use between a motorcycle and its sidecar that allowed the wheel of the sidecar to tilt on curves to match the tilt of the cycle. The “e” in “Flexible” was dropped in 1919, and as the country’s transportation needs grew, the company built ambulances, airplane components, and eventually buses.

While the company developed several generations of buses, the earliest just extended-frame sedans holding a dozen passengers, it broke from the pack with a streamlined, “Clipper” coach introduced in 1937, followed the next year by an integral body/chassis Clipper with all-steel frame, and a Chevrolet engine mounted in the rear. The new design proved popular at a time when late-Depression era bus sales (and the number of bus lines) had been dropping. In 1939, the company began offering the Clipper with a Buick FB320 engine, and sales totaled 282 units. After doing its part for the war effort, Flxible came into its “golden age”, introducing a wrap-around windshield and dual headlight/fog lights on new front end styling. The basic Clipper design was produced for worldwide markets in the form of over-the-road buses, airport limos, TV remote outfits, and highway post offices.

Bob’s Flxible Clipper is a 1949 model, originally equipped with the Buick straight 8 engine, since replaced with a Reo six/200 425 c.i.d. power plant. The bus was originally built for Rocky Mountain Motor Coach, of Denver, and outfitted to National Park Service specifications, including sightseeing windows in the ceiling. By the time Bob found the bus in Kansas, it had some seats removed in service for a Texas swing band and had sat idle for several years. His restoration work included reupholstering the original seats, rebuilding the transmission, obtaining new wheels, tires, brake drums, shoes and air compressor, and rechroming all the bright work. He’s added a porta-john, and the bus comfortably seats twenty-one passengers.

Bob’s bus is painted for the local Blue Bus Lines, the public name for Western New York Motor Lines. The company began in 1924, providing service between Rochester and Buffalo, by way of Batavia, NY, although Bob tells us the company’s origins go back to around 1913 with Batavia-Oakfield runs. The company merged in 1958 with Valley Bus Lines (Rochester-Penfield Bus Company). The resulting company served Akron, Attica, and Caledonia-Avon-Scottsville on the west side, Fairport and Penfield to the east, and Geneseo, Leicester, Mount Morris and Dansville to the south. Shortly after the merger, the line joined the Trailways system as Blue Valley Trailways and later Empire State Trailways.

Western New York Motor Lines promoted hourly service on the Rochester-Buffalo route, as seen in this 1931 letterhead.

Collection of Robert Malley

Over the years, Bob has treated the museum to visits by several vehicles in his private collection, which includes two dozen trucks and automobiles, owned with long-time partner Jim Crowley. Surrounded at home by files of memorabilia, posters, models and bus toys, Bob is now happily retired. His dad started Donuts Delite, at Culver and Empire in Rochester, in 1958, after working his way up from truck driver to Vice President at Hathaway Bakeries. Bob joined him two years later, and ran the popular local landmark with his family until earlier this year. Bob’s wife Judy has been there through all of this, handling bookkeeping and “never complaining despite all the Sundays and long hours”, he says. In 1986, he bought the former Dauphin Diner at the corner of South Goodman St. and South Clinton Ave. (by then an OTB parlor, but still a classic design), intending to create a combination diner and donut outlet. The brisk breakfast and lunch business quickly convinced him to remove the pastry case and add three more tables. He sold the Highland Park Diner in late 2004.

Bob Malley is rightly known for his efforts to preserve Americana, from the neon signs at Donuts Delite, to the rotating chrome stools at the Highland Park Diner, and to his beautifully restored Ford semi trailer truck, Buick convertible, Ford V8 phaeton, etc. His efforts have added a special touch to the Rochester scene, and he and Judy richly deserve their retirement. We look forward to seeing more of Bob—and his vehicles—at NYMT, and wish him well as he pursues his love of “anything with wheels on it”.


GALLERY NEWS

During the winter season, the museum gallery will feature “Main Street…A Look Over Your Shoulder”, an exhibit created by Tom Kirn featuring over sixty black & white photos of Rochester’s Main Street down through the years. Visitors will enjoy views of our city in all seasons, from the great flood of 1865 up to the busy downtown bustle of the 1940s and 50s. The show will be up through May, 2006. Come for a look!

Autos, pedestrians, buses, and a bicycle all yield to Peter Witt car 1218 as it makes the turn from Main onto State, March, ’41.


ATTENDANCE

We’re still watching our attendance figures carefully, and are pleased that the upward trend reported in the summer issue is continuing. With the suspension of the annual fall foliage train rides run by the Rochester Chapter of NRHS, we decided to promote leaf peeping from our museum track car rides. A release with accompanying photo was sent out in September promoting “Tracking Fall Foliage by Rail”. Fortunately, the Democrat & Chronicle gave us a great spot, and despite gloomy weather, attendance for October totaled a nice round 777 people, a big gain over last year’s 224. For our May-through-October summer season, total attendance came to 4,288, a healthy 34% increase over summer 2004. Hats off and a big thank you to all who helped during the summer season. We still have winter, with our new gallery show, Bring Your Own Train, and many exciting exhibits to keep the turnstile spinning, and we’d be glad to have you help staff the gift shop. Give us a call at 533-1113 to arrange training.


ROCHESTER STREETCARS No. 36 in a series

by Charles R. Lowe

New York State Railways, R&E 307
Wallace Bradley photo

Let’s travel, as we did in last issue’s installment of this series, with Wally Bradley. In the summer of 1928, with his new folding 116-size Kodak camera in hand, Bradley made a point of journeying to some of the extreme reaches of Rochester’s street railway network including, in this case, Canandaigua. We can only hope he made the trip on one of the Rochester & Eastern’s fine interurban cars. Bradley’s quest, though, was the local cars running on that city’s Main Street from the lake pier to the north city line. At both ends of the two-mile line, the little cars would have a short layover before beginning another run through downtown Canandaigua. At the lake pier, connections could be made with Canandaigua Lake Transportation Company’s steamboats. A stop at the mid-point of the line was in front of the R&E station at the corner of Main and Niagara, at which point R&E riders could easily transfer to the local car.

Car 307 had been originally built as an early single-truck passenger electric streetcar about 1891, numbered in the 200-299 series (probably). The car was lengthened to a double-truck version some ten years later, at which point it received its 307 numbering. Forty-four cars, 300-343, were so rebuilt from single-truck cars. By 1916, with the arrival of the 1200-1249 Peter Witt cars, the last of the 300s were retired from use in Rochester. Two lucky cars from this series, 307 and 326, were rebuilt and sent to Canandaigua in 1917 to relieve a few tired 200-series cars that New York State Railways, R&E 307 had been in use since about 1909. By the late 1920s, 307 and 326 had become Wallace Bradley photo among the oldest streetcars still in passenger service on the Rochester Lines of New York State Railways. It is no surprise that Bradley, having obtained a good camera, resolved to capture one of the “dinkey” cars in Canandaigua as soon as possible. On the day Bradley traveled to Canandaigua, probably about August, 1928, he may have ridden 307. While 307 paused at the layover point at the north end of the line, Bradley snapped this hurried photo. The car has had its end changed from its northbound trip and is about to begin its southbound run. The house in the background, still visible today, marks the location of the car as near the north city line.

The focus of the photo is a bit off, perhaps because Bradley had not yet fully mastered his new camera. It is of little detraction to us at a vantage point of 77 years after the fact, as Bradley did indeed capture one of the rarest of all Rochester streetcar scenes. Just a few months after the making of this photo, the only known railfan photo of a Canandaigua local car in service, the ”dinkey” unceremoniously ran its last miles on or about December 1, 1928.


NYSR HISTORY ON CD

In the latter half of the 1920s, Transportation News, the company magazine of New York State Railways, published a series of articles about the origins and operations of the firm’s street railways and interurban lines. Written by the editor of the magazine, Leon R. Brown, the History of New York State Railways reaches back to the horsecar days in the 1860s, covers the creation of NYSR in 1909, and follows the ups and downs of the company into the 1920s. Composed of seven upstate New York lines, the company boasted nearly 600 miles of electric railway.

Charlie Lowe has reproduced the complete set of articles on a compact disc, adding an introduction and table of contents. Very few complete sets of Transportation News are known to exist, and the access this CD provides should be of great interest to traction enthusiasts. As Charlie’s liner notes say, “Brown’s History of New York State Railways is the story of a street railway empire in its formative years and in its prime. We can almost see the brightly painted cars rolling by as we read, nearly a century after the formation of New York State Railways”.

The CD is available in the museum gift shop, and sells for $13.99 plus tax.


SHOP REPORT by Charles Lowe

Track No. 2 at New Car House: During recent months, construction of the second track into the new car house has included leveling and ballasting the new track. Rand Warner installed rail stops. A snow dam of ballast stone and brick pavers has been created at the barn doors. A new drainage pipe and landscaping have been installed at the northeast corner of the new car house to minimize runoff water from infiltrating the ballast inside the car house on this track.

Electrification: Recent progress in connecting our completed substation to commercial power is detailed elsewhere in this issue. It is not inconceivable that testing of the substation with NYMT’s ex-P&W car 168 will take place in November, 2005. To improve trolley operations, a short extension to the overhead is planned for 2006. At present, the overhead wire does not enter the new car house as that building had not even been imagined when the present overhead was erected during 1996-2001.

To operate 168 with no wire into the car house, it would be necessary to use trackmobile L-3 to haul 168 some 400 feet to the overhead. Since this is a difficult maneuver, it cannot really be done each week, but the alternative of leaving the car outside in the weather is not acceptable either. Therefore, track 1 from the switch near the R&E shelter to the south end of the new car house will be electrified before the commencement of public trolley operations. Already, Bob Miner has reinforced the wood trough hanging from the underside of the roof trusses. On October 23, Bob and Charlie Lowe cleaned and installed the first six of the dozen wire hangers needed inside the building.

Brighton Fire Truck 307: It’s one thing to appreciate the work done by the museum’s dedicated volunteers, but it’s quite another when the work is done by outside professionals who just want to help out. Such was the case this summer with our fire truck. The annual New York State inspection revealed leaking rear wheel bearing seals, and the cost to replace them was going to be high. Mike Ziegler, service manager at Beam Mack in Rochester, came to the rescue and volunteered to do the work for us. This involved removing the dual-wheel assemblies on both sides, and pulling the axles. Once Mike got that far into things, he took a look at the brake shoes. The good news was that the seal leaks weren’t affecting the brakes; the bad news was that the shoes were in need of relining. Mike then turned his attention to finding the right replacement seals and a place to reline the shoes. We’re very thankful to Rochester Clutch and Brake for handling the shoe job and giving us a deep discount on the work. Once all the parts were in hand, Mike returned to reassemble things, and brought along Randy Sylvester to help. After about six hours of their Saturday, with nothing but donuts and a sub sandwich for compensation, 307 was back together and ready for a test drive. Mike and Randy returned from the run all smiles.

Mike Ziegler and Randy Sylvester give the Mack a test run.

We still face replacing the cracked windshield and a straight section of exhaust pipe, but truck manager Don Quant feels he can handle that during this winter. Come next spring, the truck should pass inspection with flying colors and be back on the road in time for a season of fireman’s parades around the area. We might be able to talk Mike and Randy into doing some of the driving…

Philadelphia and Western 161: John Ross and Don Quant have finished replacing the car card sheet metal and the wood borders around the car card areas. Paul Monte finished installation of sheet metal repairs at the steel window sills on both sides of the car, including sealing the edges of the repairs and applying a coat of primer. Don and John then painted the window sills on both sides of the car, including these repairs. Orange paint was used to match the main body color. Wood stools are ready to be installed on one side of the car, which involves removing the small piece of crown molding at the top of each vertical frame between the windows so that the vertical frame member can be slid up enough to slip the stool into position under it. Wood for the stool on the other side of the car has been taken down to size and primed by Don. Once the stools are installed and painted, attention will turn to glazing the upper sashes, and all parts for that task are on hand. With caulking involved in the job, it will probably happen during the winter in the (heated) archive room, as was done with the lower sashes.

Philadelphia and Western 168: In anticipation of substation testing, 168 has had a general clean-up and inspection. Some of the minor problems encountered in 2001 when the car last operated have been cleared up by Bob Miner. At present, work on making one of the car’s two hand brakes functional is underway. The long operating rod for one of the two hand brakes is jammed, requiring that all hand brake applications be made at one end of the car only, where the one operable hand brake is located. The operating rules and procedures for the car are being updated for crew training and trolley operations expected in 2006.

New York State Railways, Rochester Lines 437: The restoration of a K-35 controller intended for use on 437 is nearing completion. Most fortunately, NYMT possesses several such controllers that are being scavenged for parts. Out of what we have, a second K-35 controller can be made for use as a spare.


DID YOU KNOW?

* Ted Strang got TC-1 back in the action after its cam gear broke, then he adjusted the brakes, repaired the carburetor, and replaced the battery. Meanwhile Bob Miner fixed a broken motor mount in TC-3 and installed its repaired radiator, then installed a new radio mount in TC-2.

* Rand Warner has continued installation of rail bonds on our track when not honchoing our trolley power hook-up.

* Our friends at RGVRRM have donated two railroad grade crossing signs in the familiar “X” design for the driveway, and posts to mount them on have been prepared by Charlie Lowe and Trevor James.

* Randy Bogucki oversaw the purchase of a truckload of new crossties and switch timbers as part of the continuing and unsung work being put in by himself, Mark Pappalardo, Tony Mittiga and Duncan Richards.

* Phil McCabe made the modified signage to indicate our Saturday open hours in July and August, and Chris Hauf provided some nice crowd control signs for Diesel Days.

* Jim Dierks painted the retriever bases donated by Fred Perry, and Charlie Lowe installed them on P&W 161, then dug two retrievers out of our parts supply and mounted them.


Ted Thomas

1932 – 2005

The museum lost a friend and active volunteer with the passing of Telfer “Ted” Thomas on October 15, 2005. In six short years with the museum, Ted generously gave of his time and talents, and the results of his work can be found in all corners of the museum.

He computerized our existing archive catalogue system, giving researchers the power to search electronically by key words and other parameters. Further, he took literally thousands of digital photos of the archived items and was able to add them to the computer so that a researcher could see the item without having to pull it physically from its storage carton. This work alone was a great contribution, expanding research capability and minimizing the handling of fragile photos and documents.

As Ted continued to catalogue new arrivals in our archives, he turned to our outdated website, creating a complete new site for us, and maintaining it with current news, event schedules, and issues of HEADEND. He even was able to put our archive catalogue, with all its images, on the website so researchers could do their work from anywhere in the world.

Ted’s handiwork in the wood shop was a big part of our gift shop remodeling of a few years ago. He stripped and refinished the oak ticket desk, and built two shelf units and a seating area. Ted and Anna donated the carpeting that was the finishing touch on the remodeling, and Anna continues to give the shop a thorough cleaning each Thursday. When it became clear that some of the windows in P&W trolley 161 needed to be replaced, Ted took a sample home and eventually built all new upper sashes, and several lower sash windows for the car. Ted built the lighted display cases that allow us to exhibit our many smaller artifacts in a clean, secure environment, and he got as far as he could on a new display table that will further enhance our visitor offering.

During most of this time, Ted quietly fought the ravages of cancer, not complaining nor thinking only of pleasing himself. Instead, he selflessly devoted himself to our museum and to the visitors who come to enjoy and learn. While Ted’s many accomplishments will stand for years to come as a monument to his work, the generous and uncomplaining way he devoted his time to public good will serve as his true legacy and as a model for us all.


SUBWAY NEWS

The 50th anniversary of the abandonment of passenger service on the Rochester Subway is coming up next year, and there are lots of activities set to commemorate the date. The museum will mount a photo exhibit in the gallery featuring black & white prints of the subway from early construction to final throes, and original artwork by Tom Kirn recreating scenes on the line. We’ll have more to report on this exhibit in future issues of HEADEND.

Animatus Studios, the Rochester company that produced “The End of the Line – Rochester’s Subway” in 1994, has released a special edition DVD of that documentary. The original version has been shown on the History Channel and on PBS, and has been available on VHS video in our gift shop. This 45-minute definitive history “recounts the tale of an American city’s bumpy ride through the Twentieth Century, from the perspective of a little engine that could, but didn’t”, according to the Studio’s release. The story of the smallest city in America to build and abandon a subway is told in still shots and movie sequences and with well-researched narration.

According to filmmakers Fred Armstrong and Jim Harte, the remastered DVD contains an additional 45 minutes of extra features, including over 150 still photos from the museum’s Tom Kirn Collection; the complete 1956 “Steel Wheel”; and a unique “phantom run” in the subway, recreating the experience of riding one of the cars through the tunnel. Outtakes, bloopers, extended interviews with Subway oldtimers, and many other treats await the viewer in this new version of the Subway’s history.

The museum has for some years had a video of the “Steel Wheel” running continuously in the gallery for visitors to enjoy. This work, by Les Edgcomb and the late Bob Messenger, was more of a filmmaking endeavor combined with an interest in preserving Rochester history, as the two were not necessarily trolley enthusiasts. Their work is truly valuable, however, as it captures all the details of a complete round trip from the carbarns in the northwest part of Rochester, down to Rowlands loop and back. Through the good use of proper filmmaking technique—mixing close-ups with long shots, covering ancillary details as well as the more typical shots of passing trolleys, telling a story rather than just collecting assorted views—Edgcomb and Messenger have given us an enjoyable, historic film. We’re glad that the new “End of the Line” can now include the entire “Steel Wheel” footage. Fred and Jim were kind enough to provide us with a DVD version of the complete “Steel Wheel”, including the sound track they created for the remastered production, and this new improved version is there to enjoy in our gallery.

Interestingly, back in 1950, work was done by Vitaly V. Uzoff on a film about the Subway as a Master’s thesis at the Rochester Institute of Technology, but it was never completed. The Animatus people were able to find Uzoff in 1993, who graciously gave them the sound track and said he had given the original film to the City of Rochester. The film is apparently now lost, as Fred and Jim were never able to locate it. The sound track was on paper based ¼” tape, and was so decayed that as Animatus dubbed it onto modern media, the old original almost self-destructed and is no longer playable.

Even if you already have a video copy of “The End of the Line”, you’ll want to get the DVD version. Plan to stop out at the museum soon to enjoy the “Steel Wheel” complete with soundtrack, playing in our gallery, and be sure to visit in 2006 to see our new gallery exhibit, reflecting on the past and looking forward to the museum’s future of operating trolleys.

The Rochester Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society has published a full-color calendar for 2006 featuring twelve photos of the Rochester Subway, commemorating the 50th anniversary of abandonment. They sell for $15, and you can get ordering information from Chris Hauf at crhauf@frontiernet.net.

The model railroad crew at NYMT have been busy with some subway recreating of their own. Their N-scale model of the Rochester Subway is fully functional, and Dick Luchterhand reports that the roster of operating subway cars now numbers seven. The main focus of activity now is to build models of the various downtown buildings appropriate to the Subway era. Visitors will be able to study miniature versions of the Powers Building and other city center landmarks as the tiny Subway cars run beneath Broad Street.

City builders Bob Nesbitt, Bill Chapin, Jerry Doerr, and Dick Luchterhand say urban renewal isn’t hard work…in N-scale.


RECENT ACQUISITIONS

The museum collection consists of thousands of items… photos, documents, books, tiny artifacts, huge vehicles, and just about everything in between. These items provide the primary information we need to study and reveal the transportation history of our area. They also are often useful as exhibit items, making the explanation of that history more accessible and enjoyable for our visitors.

Here’s a partial rundown on the most recent additions to this supply of historic and educational items. We’ll have to save some for next issue, due to space limitations this time around. In late August, we received the donation of the original sign from the Hathaways trolley stop on the Rochester & Eastern line. We have an original trolley stop shelter from the R&E, and of course one of our most important collection items is car 157 from that line. So, having an original sign adds one more valuable thread as we weave the R&E interurban fabric back together again. The Hathaways trolley stop still exists as a small garage about 100 yards from its original location.

Electric trolleys’ rapid acceleration allowed interurbans to serve many smaller stops, such as Hathaways on the R&E, providing a distinct service advantage over steam railroads.

Charlie Lowe contributed this piece of Hathaways history from the Victor Herald of Friday, January 24, 1913:

The latter part of last week, an aged vagabond appeared at the small waiting room on the Rochester & Eastern, at Hathaway’s, east of this village, and apparently thought favorably of the surroundings as he took up quarters in the small house. By keeping the fire burning briskly in the tiny stove in the little room, he managed to keep comfortable, and when the pangs of hunger were felt he went to nearby houses, where his wants were supplied. The old man, evidently without home or object in life, was well satisfied with his new abode, and evidently had no thought of “moving on”, until the first of this week, when the section foreman on the road, informed the “lodger” that he had stayed long enough, and the old man wandered on, a sad sight, indeed. Those who conversed with the aged traveler, found him to be an educated Englishman, and, according to his own story, he fell before he left England over thirty years ago, striking on his head and “his head had never been right since.” It is to be regretted that some kindly person did not take an interest in the old man, and have him placed in a home where he would be cared for and provided at least with the necessities and perchance an occasional luxury. The old man consumed considerable of the coal and wood provided by the trolley company, and residents in the vicinity were fearful that the small building would be set on fire by the steady and brisk fire, which the traveler enjoyed to the fullest.

Accompanying the Hathaways donation was a trolley wheel from the Star Brass Works, which had been found near the site of the R&E Seneca Castle station. One more small piece of information for our files, and a nice display item too.

Tom Kirn has continued to donate to our file of images, most recently a large collection of black and white lantern slides made by Wallace Bradley. Bradley, as was noted in the previous issue of HEADEND, was a consummate rail and trolley enthusiast who took many photos and collected shots from many other fans too. Lantern slides such as these from Bradley were the precursor to the familiar cardboard-mounted color transparencies so popular in recent years. The photo enthusiast would buy unexposed lantern slides from companies such as Kodak, just as one could purchase black

Here’s just a fraction of the lantern slides originally created by Wallace Bradley…and they’re heavy too!

& white photo paper. Similar to making photo prints, one would expose the thin glass plates (about 3” x 4 ½”) with the image from a negative, and develop the plates to yield positive images that could be projected (from a “magic lantern” as early devices were known) onto a screen or white wall. These lantern slides will probably duplicate most of Bradley’s negatives, but they’re a great addition to the collection, and they provide an interesting glimpse of another aspect of photography as it existed 75 years ago. Anyone out there have a “magic lantern” they’d like to donate?

Car cards were advertisements placed above the heads of riders on streetcars, usually in the curved ceiling area between the side walls and the clerestory upper ceiling. The name has persisted well into the bus era, and advertisers continue to make use of this space to catch the eye of a transit patron. Our museum collection includes rare old Rochester streetcar car cards as well as some reproductions and some of our own making, thanks to Otto Vondrak and Chris Hauf. Recently a stack of 25 car cards from the 1960s and 70s were donated, all promoting the daily newspapers in Rochester: the Democrat & Chronicle and the Times-Union.

Looks like pants suits will be all the rage in 1970…


HEADEND is published four times a year by the New York Museum of Transportation, © 2007. All rights reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. www.nymtmuseum.org

Editor - Jim Dierks
Contributing Editors - Charles Lowe, James Root
Printing - James Root, Peter Leas
Publication - Doug Anderson