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About this collection

A three-volume set of vintage photographs of Baltimore streets and streetcars. It is believed that the photographs were taken at the request of the President of the United Railways & Electric (UR&E) Company to document some aspects of managing and maintaining streetcars in Baltimore.

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Workers with streetcar tracks, Orleans St. at Wolfe St.Collection Location: Baltimore Streetcar Museum

Collection Overview: The President's Collection is a three-volume set of vintage photographs of Baltimore streets and streetcars. It is believed that the photographs were taken at the request of the President of the United Railways & Electric (UR&E) Company to document some aspects of managing and maintaining streetcars in Baltimore. It features photographs taken by various photographers for the various UR&E departments including Claim, Engineering, Excursion, Motive Power, and Maintenance-of-Way.

The UR&E Company was responsible for the roadway between tracks and 18 inches on each side of the tracks, so some photographs in the collection appear to have been taken to show work in progress or work completed. It is thought that in some cases the photographs were used to document problems with road conditions that affected streetcar safety or movement but for which Baltimore City agencies such as the Sewerage Commission or Roads Commission were responsible.

Although the UR&E functioned mainly as reliable transport for the citizens of Baltimore to and from work, it also provided weekend rail service to and from parks or recreational areas near the city. The President's Collection gives us a glimpse into early twentieth century Baltimore, often documenting its lost treasures, rising communities, and institutions still thriving today.

The Baltimore Streetcar Museum (BSM) located at 1905 Falls Road in Baltimore is a non-profit museum dedicated to preserving Baltimore's public transportation history, particularly as it relates to the street railway era. Visitors to the BSM can view one of the many historical exhibits and take unlimited rides on some of Baltimore's original streetcars. The BSM also houses one of the most extensive collections of streetcar or street-railroad memorabilia in its library, maintained in part by the Baltimore Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

Related Material:

Farrell, Michael R. Who Made All Our Streetcars Go? Baltimore, Maryland: Baltimore Chapter, NRHS Publications, 1973.

Farrell, Michael R. The History of Baltimore’s Streetcars. Sykesville, Maryland: Greenberg Publishing Company, Inc., 1992.

Lloyd, Charles R. (ed.). Baltimore ’s Streetcar Routes as Chronicled by Kenneth Morse.

 
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