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There's more to a picture than meets the eye.....
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:58 am    Post subject: There's more to a picture than meets the eye..... Reply with quote

All:

Though this isn't a bus photo, it does also relate to vintage NYC bus photos (especially on bus.nycsubway.org).

At first glance, this photo* of B&QT Peter Witt #8528 appears to be "just another Brooklyn Peter Witt photo"; but, look closely, and you will see something else that sets this photo apart from countless other Brooklyn streetcar photos.

Look closely, and you will notice that the motorman is an African-American male; this, in itself, makes this photo pretty uncommon, especially that, in looking back, the only other Brooklyn streetcar photo I've ever seen with an African-American motorman was in the "BROOKLYN TROLLEYS" book (Greller/Watson)

This photo shows Peter Witt #8456 on the "METROPOLITAN" line.

In the 1954 children's book "BIG CITY TRANSPORTATION", there is a photo of an African-American subway conductor operating the doors between two R-11 cars.

In Joe Cunningham's "INTERBOROUGH FLEET", there is a photo (1955) showing an African-American IRT motorman on a Dyre Ave. line Lo-V, with his vestibule door open partially, to admit a rare, welcome breeze on a hot day.

Bus-wise, from the hundreds of NYC bus photos I have researched through bus.nycsubway.org, it seems that the oldest photos showing African-American drivers/dispatchers, etc. date to the late 60's and early 1970's.

One can only imagine what these men felt, sixty/70-odd years ago, joining a workforce that made then an automatic "ultra minority".

It had to take GUTS, I am sure.

Like Your's Truly is fond of saying: "If you're gonna play the game, it's a good idea to know ALL the players"..........

"NYO"

* http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?31168

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This, I believe, is a photo even more rare than the one my previous post.

Dating to 1958 (the year that the last BMT gate cars ran on the Myrtle Avenue El) this rare photo shows an African-American conductor working the gate cars.

To date, this is the only photo I have seen of an African-American gentleman working the El trains (note the dapper uniform!)

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?56296

(courtesy:nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taylor Avenue & 177th ST., 1983.

Note that driver is in uniform (w/tie!) Very Happy

Man, that snow looks so dang refreshing right now........ Wink

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?958

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Webster Avenue & Bedford Pk. Blvd, 1974 (and another driver sporting a tie!)

Also, note the soon-to-be removed remains of the old 3rd Avenue El, which ceased to run through the Bronx the previous year......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1008

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A deserted-looking (and trashy!) scene at 12th Avenue & 42, 1972; note the old elevated West Side Highway in the background.

At least, courtesy of MaBATOA, there IS a subtle "touch of class" in this otherwise sloppy street scene....... Wink

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2002

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3rd Avenue & Washington, 1973 (note driver is not wearing a tie; but, hey, it's a hot July day in "Noo Yawk!") Very Happy

Note, too, that two-tone blue #6524 is being followed by a somewhat-battered looking roster-brother, still sporting the old green......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1044

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chatham Square, 1975.

One of my favorite old bus photos: I wonder if battered #882's* driver is thinking to himself: "What the $&#$^&$*&! happened to this %&%&@ bus??" Shocked Shocked

Good thing those Old Looks were true TANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked Shocked

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?753

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

*Man, would I love to own that roll sign today!!! Very Happy
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 658
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to hiring African-Americans: I think the book "In Transit: Transport Workers Union, 1933-1966" by Joshua Freeman treats the topic somewhat. I could be mistaken, but I think the Independent City-Owned Subway had black conductors but no towermen or motormen in the 1930's. Again, subject to my errors, I think the highest job a black man could get in New York transit was that of porter, until LaGuardia got control of the Independent.
---
"In Transit" describes, I think, both the Philadelphia trolley strike and the Fifth Avenue strike during World War II when union men refused to work with blacks.
---
What you reported about a black gate man is important, as I have an acquaintance livid on the subject of African-Americans entering Bed-Stuy. His Dad was a Lexington Avenue gate man.
---
It had to be something more than a job fight. An important man in my youth would not visit Chock-ful of Nuts because the firm hired blacks.
---
Within the Board of Ed in the 1930's through the 1950's there was a spirit of "I hire my own kind," leading to schools where the teaching staff was the ethnicity of the principal.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe:

Thanks for jumping on board; always look forward to your input! Wink

Yes, I've read much on the 1944 Philly strike; reminded me of the fight for equality that the famed Tuskegee Airmen faced, in the military.

Thanks, also, for telling me that the IND had black conductors during the 1930's; as much as I've researched the IND over the years, and as many old IND photos I have seen over the years, I've not yet once come across any showing an African-American conductor.

This bit of news I find quite interesting, to say the least.

Mom and I frequently rode the subways back in the early and mid-1960's, I still clearly recall seeing some African-American conductors and motormen.

Being "color blind" even then, all I knew that these men (regardless of color) were great heroes of mine (the same went for bus drivers)

In all ethnic groups, you will find (sadly) bigots; but, then again, you will ALWAYS find the "good guys"; as far as I'm concerned, friendship has no color barriers....... Wink

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Date this one to 1972......47 years ago!

This is one of my all-time favorite "Noo Yawk" bus pictures! Wink

The fellow next to Old Look #7075 clearly reflects the old "Tee-Yay" days; he looks like a gentleman that knew his job!

Also of interest: note there is no roller curtain in #7075's sign box (you can see the light bulbs that usually illuminated the sign!)

Also, the Twin Towers (RIP) can also be seen in the background......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1821

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some related vintage IRT views (taken at Bowling Green and Chambers St.); I'm sure these old-time "veterans of the rails" had more than a few good "shop stories" to share with an interested party, back in the day......... Wink

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3095

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3188

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?4030

(courtesy: nycsubway.org)
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 53
Joined: 02 Oct 2014
Posts: 576
Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
A deserted-looking (and trashy!) scene at 12th Avenue & 42, 1972; note the old elevated West Side Highway in the background.

At least, courtesy of MaBATOA, there IS a subtle "touch of class" in this otherwise sloppy street scene....... Wink

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2002

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

That garbage can seemed to have an equivalent of "middle-age spread," no? Wink
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
A deserted-looking (and trashy!) scene at 12th Avenue & 42, 1972; note the old elevated West Side Highway in the background.

At least, courtesy of MaBATOA, there IS a subtle "touch of class" in this otherwise sloppy street scene....... Wink

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2002

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

That garbage can seemed to have an equivalent of "middle-age spread," no? Wink


W.B.:

More like "upscale digs" for a certain grouchy Sesame Street character......(!!) Rolling Eyes

"NYO"

Then again, unless it was bent, battered, and truly filthy, a Fishbowl always managed to add "that certain touch of class" to virtually any neighborhood...... Wink

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 7059
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE!" Laughing

Hillside Avenue, 1981

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1831

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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N4 Jamaica




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 658
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:

Thanks, also, for telling me that the IND had black conductors during the 1930's; as much as I've researched the IND over the years, and as many old IND photos I have seen over the years, I've not yet once come across any showing an African-American conductor.
"NYO"

I'm afraid I overreached my statement of black employment history. I wasn't alive at that time, and I cannot yet find in the NY Times archives a reference to hiring practices at the Independent. I'll have to retrieve "In Transit" from the Franklin Square library.
---
The New York Times of April 20, 1941, related a deal with Fifth Avenue, New York City Omnibus, the TWU, and the United Negro Bus Strike committee, towards the hiring of 100 negro drivers and 70 men in the maintenance department, under a formula described in the article. I suspect another disagreement arose during the war, but I am having difficulty searching the Times archives.


Last edited by N4 Jamaica on Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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