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HORSEpower on Fifth Avenue
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6694
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
The last horse-drawn streetcars were taken out of service in 1917 - two years before New York Railways Company declared bankruptcy, leading to a series of service cutbacks and several "emergency" bus routes started up under Department of Plant and Structures aegis. One such route that still runs is known today as M22.

As for FACCo, WWI forced them into the manufacturing business, as De Dion and Daimler, after all, were "foreign owned." (This factor also contributed to the founding of Radio Corporation of America, RCA, in 1919.) Many of the buses FACCo produced, besides running on their own routes, also made it to other cities, in the years before Omnibus Corp. got its claws into FACCo and, soon after, was purchasing buses made by Yellow Coach.


W.B.:

As always, thanks for contributing some interesting historical trivia! Wink

At one time, the DEPARTMENT OF PLANT & STRUCTURES also operated the Staten Island Ferry (the ferry was also operated, at one time, by the DEPARTMENT OF DOCKS; this was, of course, before the days when the DEPARTMENT OF MARINE & AVIATION was operating the boats)

I have seen a circa-1917 photo of one of the last NY horse cars awaiting passengers at the ERIE's Chambers St. ferry terminal; at that same location, I've also seen photos of a battery powered, single truck NEW YORK Rys. battery streetcar (center entrance)

The car displayed this roller sign reading:

"1 GRAND ST. FERRY"

During the era of horse buses in New York, one patented omnibus design, the "Chariot Street-Car", made trial runs to "make a bid for Avenue passengers".

This single-deck omnibus featured double rear doors, to make for speedier passenger boarding and unloading.

Again, as I've stated earlier, the era of horse-drawn public transport in New York (both omnibuses and horse cars) makes for a fascinating study, one that is, for the most part, largely ignored by all but the most astute transit buffs.......

"NYO"

(if memory serves me correctly, I recall, many years ago, seeing a very rare tin toy of 1800's vintage, replicating a New York omnibus)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6694
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At one time, not only omnibuses and streetcars were hauled by horses in Manhattan, but, also, the early trains of the New York & Harlem Railroad were also pulled by "Old Dobbin", on the streets of Gotham.......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_and_Harlem_Railroad

(this is a very interesting historical page)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Railways_Corporation
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two rare photos (1890's/early 1900's) of the 14th St. horse car line........

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/nyc/htm/fah01.htm

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/nyc/htm/14st01.htm

(courtesy: Dave's Electric Railroads)


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had "obnoxious streetcars" ever been allowed to operate along Fifth Avenue, perhaps.....JUST perhaps.........the "FIFTH AVENUE STREET RAILWAY CO." might have operated a fleet of electrical, double deck behemoths such as this New York Railways monster.....(!!) Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/nyc/htm/mnyr26.htm

(courtesy: Dave's Electric Railroads"
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 52
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Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonder if NYRys ordered that "double-decker" streetcar in response to FACCo's double-deckers?
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
Wonder if NYRys ordered that "double-decker" streetcar in response to FACCo's double-deckers?


W.B.:

From what I've read on the car, The "Battleship" was merely an experimentation that, clearly, was not at all successful.

The car was very sluggish when it came to loading and unloading passengers, and this problem was more than magnified during rush hours.

Its center door "hobbleskirt" design was the result of the then very fashionable, tight skirts ("HOBBLE skirt) then "de riguer" with stylish ladies; this may have been the only time that fashion ever dictated to mass transit vehicular design!

NEW YORK Rys. DID operate a fleet of similar single-deck conduit cars; these were known as "Stepless Dragons" and "Stepless Wonders"; PACIFIC ELECTRIC also operated the type.

Double deck trams were, of course, very popular in Great Britain, especially in London, for decades; however, these were of conventional design and featured the usual front and rear vestibules sand platforms........

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fellows:

"Conventional" center-entrance streetcars were commonplace in several cities; Boston's fleet is particularly noteworthy.

The earliest cars were trailers, hauled by conventional cars; by 1917, however, the BERy began taking delivery of center entrance motor cars, and these hulking behemoths ran in MU service in the Tremont Street subway (today's Green Line) for decades.

The last were not retired until 1953.

PSNJ also operated center entrance trailers until about 1935; like Boston, they were hauled by conventional cars.

One survives at the Shore Line Museum today..........

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a colorized street scene (circa 1914) showing several NY Rys. "Stepless Dragons" on the move.

As you can see, the "BROADWAY BATTLESHIP" was merely a double-deck adaptation of these cars (too bad not one exists today!)

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/nyc/htm/mnyr08.htm

(courtesy: Dave's Electric Railroads)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A (circa 1900?) photo of an open "SOUTH FERRY" horse car (note the timeless "COCA-COLA" sign in the background)

http://www.newdavesrailpix.com/nyc/htm/sfh01.htm

(courtesy: Dave's Electric Railroads)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Wooden ya know!"

It is interesting to remember that, for many decades, up until the early 20th century, that most (if not all) transit vehicles (whether horse-drawn or self-powered) were built of wood.

All of New York's elevated cars had wood bodies; likewise, the horse cars and early electric streetcars.

The earliest IRT subway cars were also wooden.

The horse-drawn Fifth Avenue omnibuses were built of wood; even the earliest motor buses on 5th had wooden bodies built by J.G. BRILL.

Oddly, Boston was more intent on updating their elevated lines than New York; in 1907, the BERy tested the first train of all-steel elevated equipment.

In New York, the only steel "el" equipment were the steel subway cars that later ran on either existing (and rebuilt) els, or new elevated structures.

On a related note, all of the ferries serving the Staten Island run had wooden superstructures until the arrival of the "MISS NEW YORK" class in 1937/1938.

These sleek boats were the first Staten Island boats to have all-metal superstructures.

During the years when wooden ferries dominated the famous Staten Island fleet, there was a large and extensive carpentry shop running full tilt on the Ferry's now-defunct Pier 7 maintenance base At Tompkinsville.

The "DONGAN HILLS" class boats, replaced by the KENNEDY Class diesels (the first in the fleet) in 1965, were also the last SI boats in regular service that had wooden superstructures.........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further on Fifth Avenue HORSEpower..........

IF a new book on the history of the FACCo. is ever published, not only do we need more thorough coverage on the New Looks, but also, more details on the operations of the company prior to the use of motor buses.

It would be most interesting, to say the least, to learn about the Company's stable, including the grooming and care of the horses.

Too, information on the "behind the scenes" crews, including groomers, carpenters, and blacksmiths (also, where was the company's stables located. and the omnibuses stored when not in use?)

It would also be interesting to learn about the drivers themselves, and how they handled their equine charges..........

"NYO"

* It would also be very interesting to lean more on the early battery buses that were dismal failures; they were, I've read, not much better than the horse buses, and also needed an auxiliary hitch of two horses to get them up over the hill from 34th to 38th Streets!
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