Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961
Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961
Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961
Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961
Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961
Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961

Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961

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RailroadTreasures offers the following item:
Interurban Era, The By William D Middleton w/dust jacket 1961
The Interurban Era By William D Middleton  Names sticker partially removed from inside dust jacket
Hard Cover WITH DUST JACKET - has plastic covering. The plastic covering is rippled/
Copyright 1961   
432 pages.  

Table of Contents:
The Coming of the Interurban
The Interurban Era
The Interurban Car-
Roadside and Rural
The New England Trolley
Through Eastern Hills and Valleys
The Middle Atlantic States
Trolley Sparks in Dixieland
The South Atlantic States
The Interurban's Midwest Empire
The North Central States
The McKinley Lines
Illinois Traction System
Insull's Interurbans
The Great Chicago Systems
Way Down South
The South Central States
To Far and Lonely Places
The Mountain States
In the Far West
The Pacific States
Red Cars in the Southland
Pacific Electric Railway
Maple Leaf Traction
Canada's Interurbans
Traction in the Tropics
Wrecks and Other Mishaps
Trolley Freight
Exit the Interurban
Interurban and Rural Railways in the
United States, Canada, and Mexico
Principal Interurban Carbuilders
Principal Types of Rolling Stock,
Important Components, and Accessories
Electrification and Current Collection
Electric Railway Museums in the
United States and Canada

A significant new  pictorial contribution to authentic Americana

In that happy American interlude between the brass bands of the Nineties and the trenches of World War I, when Tom Swift was every boy's hero and the Wrights were simply bicycle-shop tinkerers, there blossomed the interurban. The big yellow arch-windowed cars alternately rocked along beside dusty rural lanes at a mile a minute and inched around courthouse squares, and in their wake America found a new mobility. For this purely American invention ushered in an era of cheap, fast, frequent transportation that broke the isolation of the farm, proved a boon to the salesman, and created suburbia. "Traction," as the craze was known, came about overnight; the first true interurban was built in Oregon in 1893, yet by 1917 nearly 10,000 cars rode more than 18,000 miles of intercity electric railways in virtually every state of the Union. And then, after only three decades of usefulness, traction vanished - a victim of the Model T and the paved highway. William D. Middleton has re-created this electric phenomin The Interurban Era, a splendid 560-photo, 55,000-word, 432-page tribute to an American age that identified the hoot of the interurban's horn and the zing of its trolley pole with all the good things that lay just beyond the next curve.

IN the long history of transportation development in North America the interurban era is little more than a recent incident. In business terms the electric interurbans must be considered a notable failure, and even in terms of public utility their span of useful service was exceedingly brief. Few of them operated much more than two decades before their role of local passenger carrier and light freight hauler had largely been usurped by rubber-tired transport. Yet there was a time when they seemed to hold unlimited promise for the future, and a good number of persons considered the age of universal electric transportation to be just around the corner.

To many adult Americans, now as much slave as they are master of their automobiles, the interurban railways linger among pleasant memories of an unhurried, less sophisticated time in the recent past. My father still recalls the arrival of the first "Crandic" interurbans in Iowa City during his undergraduate years at the University of Iowa. My mother, raised in Framingham, Mass., remembers with pleasure frequent girlhood excursions to Boston on the fast cars of the Boston & Worcester "Trolley Air Line" ( the closed cars made her queasy, but the big open trolleys were wonderful) . And when Great-Aunt Viola joined the family in Maine for the summer, she invariably arrived from Boston aboard the Shore Line trolley. One of my own earliest memories is of the big red interurbans of the Clinton, Davenport & Muscatine, which raced along the west bank of the Mississippi past my uncle's home in Le Claire with what seemed, to a small boy's eyes, blinding speed.

In attempting to record something of the colorful era of the interurbans I have been confronted with the problem of deciding just what was an interurban, for the intercity electric railway existed in almost infinite gradations between what were little more than long streetcar lines and systems that were virtually identical to electrified steam trunk lines. E. D. Durand, while he was Director of the Census, defined an interurban as "a railway having less than half its track within municipal limits." Many electric railway enthusiasts have limited the term interurban to systems meeting rigid standards of high-speed, intercity operation over private right of way, and some refuse to grant interurban status unless the company transported mail and express on the cars. One railroad fan considered a line an interurban only if the cars had railroad roofs and lavatories. None of these definitions have been adhered to slavishly here, and the occasional appearance within this volume of electric rail-ways meeting none of these criteria represents no more than personal preference. It is hoped that these lapses will be excused by those with more rigid definitions.
Wherever possible I have chosen illustrative material that is previously unpublished or has been but little seen, but where completeness of coverage has occasionally required the use of illustrations that have been widely published in other works on the subject, they have been used without hesitation.   William D. Middleton    G, Turkey   August 1960

All pictures are of the actual item.  If this is a railroad item, this material is obsolete and no longer in use by the railroad.  Please email with questions. Publishers of Train Shed Cyclopedias and Stephans Railroad Directories. Large inventory of railroad books and magazines. Thank you for buying from us.

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