From 1901 to 1938 the Lake Shore Electric claimed to be—and was considered by many—"The Greatest Electric Railway in the United States." It followed the shore of Lake Erie, connecting Cleveland and Toledo with a high-speed, limited-stop service and pioneered a form of intermodal transportation three decades before the rest of the industry. To millions of people the bright orange electric cars were an economical and comfortable means of escaping the urban mills and shops or the humdrum of rural life. In summers during the glory years there were never enough cars to handle the crowds. After reaching its peak in the early 1920s, however, the Lake Shore Electric suffered the fate of most of its sister lines: it was now competing with automobiles, trucks, and buses and could not rival them in convenience. The Lake Shore Electric Railway Story tells the story of this fascinating chapter in interurban transportation, including the missed opportunities that might have saved this railway.
The Lake Shore Electric Railway commenced operation in 1893 on the north coast of Ohio, providing transportation to Cleveland, Lorain, Sandusky, Toledo, and on to Detroit, Michigan. The Lake Shore Electric Railway connected with many other electric railroads to offer a comprehensive quilt of transportation. This allowed increased commerce, ease of transportation, and access for the industrial-era family to visit such recreation spots as Linwood, Crystal Beach, Avon Beach Park, Mitiwanga, Rye Beach, Ruggles Grove and Beach, and Cedar Point, among others. An unimaginable feat in the late 1800s, the Lake Shore Electric could travel from Lorain to Cleveland (approximately 30 miles) in under one hour, making the railway a huge success. Unfortunately this success only lasted about 40 years.
Lavishly illustrated and a joy to read, this authoritative reference work on the North American continent’s railroads covers the U.S., Canadian, Mexican, Central American, and Cuban systems. The encyclopedia’s over-arching theme is the evolution of the railroad industry and the historical impact of its progress on the North American continent. This thoroughly researched work examines the various aspects of the industry’s development: technology, operations, cultural impact, the evolution of public policy regarding the industry, and the structural functioning of modern railroads. More than 500 alphabetical entries cover a myriad of subjects, including numerous entries profiling the principal companies, suppliers, manufacturers, and individuals influencing the history of the rails. Extensive appendices provide data regarding weight, fuel, statistical trends, and more, as well as a list of 130 vital railroad books. Railfans will treasure this indispensable work.
Northeast Ohio is awash with nearly forgotten historical events. In 1780, American scout Captain Samuel Brady leaped across the Cuyahoga River where Kent now stands to evade a party of Native Americans aiming to take his scalp. During the Civil War, Confederates tried to free their compatriots from the Johnson's Island prisoner of war camp by capturing two ferries and attempting to poison the crew of the Union's only gunboat in Lake Erie. The town of Kirtland was briefly the national headquarters of the Mormons and the location of one of the Church of Latter-day Saints' most revered temples. Mark Strecker has unearthed a hidden gem of local history for each of Northeast Ohio's twenty-two counties.
Herbert H. Harwood here gives us a glorious picture of Baltimore in the heyday of the streetcar, combining the story of lines and equipment with a nostalgic view of Baltimore when so many of her people relied on street railways. From the late 1800s through World War II, streetcars transported Baltimore's population to and from work, play, and just about everything else. Bankers and clerks, factory workers and managers, domestics, schoolchildren, shoppers, all rode side-by-side on the streetcars regardless of economic status, level of education, or ethnic background. In a city where residences and schools were segregated, streetcar passengers sat wherever they could. In addition to being a truly democratic institution, streetcars considerably influenced Baltimore's physical growth, enabling families to live farther than ever before from workplaces and thus encouraging early suburbs. Despite rising competition from the private automobile, streetcars remained the mainstay of Baltimore's public transportation system until after World War II, when gas rationing ended and family cars multiplied. Environmentally friendly and for the most part comfortable and reliable, streetcars also had their peculiar charm. Today some people in Baltimore miss them.