LARy 156 on University Service
From the USC Digital Library Collection:
By Not given [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, Suggested by Steve Armitage
External view of a Plaza University trolley car of the Los Angeles Railway Company, showing two conductors posed in front, ca.1900-1910 Photograph of a external view of a Plaza University trolley car of the Los Angeles Railway Company, showing two conductors posed in front, ca.1900-1910. Trolley car number 156, center, is stopped on its tracks in front of what appears to be a store front to the far left. Two men with mustaches, wearing dark suits, bow ties, and conductor hats are standing in front of the front opening to the car. Signs on the car indicate that it is a Plaza University car, and a part of the Los Angeles Railway Company. Also, there is a banner hung on the side of the car that reads “Coming Soon Gentry’s World’s Greatest Dog And Pony Show”. Duplicate picture file card identifies this as a “Great Western Power Company Car”
Note what is probably the brake lever in the front window. Similar levers were used on single truck cars such as Bakersfield & Kern 4 at OERM and Market St. 578 in the San Francisco Muni historic fleet. The basic configuration of this car is similar to a California St. cable car in SF. According to Interurbans Special 43, the cable-car style benches gave way to cross-seats in 1903, so that would date the photo between 1900 and 1903.
In my humble opinion your dating of the photograph is “spot on”. From my research, the earliest year the photo could have been taken is 1903. Notice the advertisement for Bartlett Music Company above the car’s bell. The 1903 City Directory gives their address as 235 Broadway. The following year in appears they expanded (see 1904 City Directory) to include 233-235 Broadway. Please note the address of 233 Broadway on the advertisement.
Anyone have any thoughts on the location?
Where is the location? As a retired transit bus driver here is my guess. I think that this photo opportunity was most likely at the one of the ends of the Plaza-University line. The crew is on layover. Most likely the first thing that they did when they arrived here was to change ends on the car.Then they had a few minutes to pose for a very slow camera. I think that they were at the “University” USC end of the line. Where was the end of the Plaza-University line near USC in 1902?
My Great Great Grandfather was a conductor for OE sometime from 1928 till his death 1944. If anyone comes across anything with his name, Loren Widner, please email me. Put his name in subject line. Thank you.