Badger Traction CERA Bulletin #111 with dust jacket 1969
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Badger Traction CERA Bulletin #111 with dust jacket 1969
Badger Traction Central Electric Railfans Association Bulletin 111
Hard cover with dust jacket Dust jacket has damage
INCLUDES ERRATA sheet
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION I NORTHEASTERN WISCONSIN page 7
Green Bay Traction 8
Appleton - Kaukauna 32
Lake Winnebago Lines 48
Sheboygan Lines 68
Marinette - Menominee 98
Manitowoc & Two Rivers 104
SECTION II CENTRAL WISCONSIN page 109
Wisconsin Rapids 134
SECTION III SOUTHERN WISCONSIN page 143
Beloit Janesville 172
Geneva Lake Line 194
Milwaukee Solvay Coke 200
SECTION IV NORTHWESTERN WISCONSIN page 201
Eau Claire 202
Ironwood Bessemer 221
Duluth Superior 224
Great Northern Allouez Car 258
Duluth Belt 259
Edward Hines Lumber Co. 260
There were trolleys in most Wisconsin cities. Interurbans linked many cities and served the Wisconsin farm lands in between. This is the story of the electric lines in the "Badger State" - except for the big Milwaukee system which needs a volume of its own.
The lines were nearly as diverse as the cities they served. Bouncing birneys on city streets, heavy interurbana in the country filled a real need before the automobile came - and conquered.
The story of a trolley line laid on lake ice, of a line that made money hauling ice, of a trolley car, fire engine and the recollection of a priest who needed a trolley whistle to end his sermon are all gathered between the covers of this book.
The disappearance of the trolley, in most of Wisconsin before World War II is one of the amazing phenomena of America. "Badger Traction" preserves this bit of the heritage of Mid-America.
THE GREAT area in the heart of North America called Chicagoland includes most of Wisconsin; the "Badger" State and Chicago share Lake Michigan with other states. Lines of trade and communication link Chicago and Wisconsin; to Chicagoans, Wisconsin and vacation are virtually synonymous. Many CERA members, who grew up along streets where the Red Pullmans ran, spent vacation days watching the Orange Line cars along Lake Winnebago or riding the yellow trolleys out to Rothschild Park in Wausau. The typical Chicago traction fan has a place in his heart for the Wisconsin lines alongside that area where he has enshrined Illinois Lines such as the Chicago Surface Lines, the `Roarin' Elgin and the North Shore Line.
About one third of CERA's constituency is from Chicagoland. Expressions had been reaching our Board for some time that the story of Wisconsin's electric lines should be told in a more comprehensive manner than had been done in Bulletin 97. The Board has responded by its deciding to issue two volumes on the electric lines of Wisconsin. The one predominant system, The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company, requires a special tremendous volume of its own. This CERA has committed itself to produce after the present book. In Badger Traction we cover those other lines which served Wisconsin outside the Milwaukee area.
Wisconsin in the trolley era was predominantly a lumbering and agricultural state. In contrast to the interurban networks in Indiana and Ohio, which in a large part served some areas of industrial complexity, the Wisconsin lines were built in areas of lighter population and served their areas more as local transportation lines.
The systems set no speed records, traffic volumes were not tremendous, but they did serve their chosen localities. One feature that seemed common to so many was the purchase of cars from St. Louis. The rosters show that time and time again orders for new equipment were filled in the Missouri city.
To study these lines properly, we have not arbitrarily halted at the state boundaries. The builders of these lines recognized that public need transcended political boundaries. Certain of the lines crossed into three of the surrounding states and, in the interest of historical completeness, we have followed the cars into Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
In this latter half of the Twentieth Century it may be difficult to appreciate the enthusiasm generated in the first decade by the prospect of the building of a new trolley line. So great was the interest that promoters ran rampant. As part of some promotion schemes, postcards were prepared and issued with trolley cars "dubbed" into the scene to give some idea of what a proposed line might look like. The reason pictures of cars in Kewaunee, Colgate, Kiel and some other places have not been reproduced is because they were dubbed in, some obviously so. Cars never ran in these communities.
The State of Wisconsin is typed in the public mind as a "progressive" state, politically. This is due to the movement which produced Robert M. LaFollette, his sons, and at least one grandson. A manifestation of this movement was the establishment in 1908 of the Wisconsin Railroad Commission to regulate railroads, traction lines and other public utilities. The Commission was active from its inception. In the course of its regulatory function, it gathered a quantity of detail of the day-to-day activities of traction companies in the hey-day of the trolley. These details have been used in preparing this volume.
Ownership and control of the lines was as scattered as the location of the cities they served. This book might have had the term "small' or "short" lines in the title, but we felt that the lines covered here were of such interest that any possibility of implied depreciation should be avoided. No other common term described the lines except the nick-name for the State, hence the title Badger Traction.
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