The Shorpy Archive
 
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
Join and Share

 
Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

 
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

 
 
 
 
Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600
VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Union Traction: 1907

Union Traction: 1907

Indianapolis, Indiana, circa 1907. "Union Traction Co. -- Union Terminal Building." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Changing modes of transport

Somewhat later, this was the Greyhound Terminal. See Terminal Lunch:1943 and Indianapolis: 1943.

Market & Illinois

West Market and North Illinois Street. The building in the background is the Indiana Statehouse.


View Larger Map

"The standard of perfection"

Long before Cadillac adopted that motto!

[I think Cadillac's was "Standard of the World." - Dave]

Express car

They sure do seem to be loading express parcels, likely from the Terminal's basement. Note the elevator is up.

But I don't think this car was going any great distance. Those four wheels would preclude making any time on a high speed run. Probably making local deliveries around town.

Interurbans ran parcel express cars, Railway Post Office cars, and as I said earlier, hauled their own or steam railroad freight cars on some lines.

In Baltimore was an express company running their own cars on the city car lines for a time; Indianapolis may have had a similar outfit. Someone with more knowledge of I'polis might tell us.

Is that a mail delivery trolley?

Or an early UPS truck in the barn?

Pretty cool, whatever it is.

Union Terminal interurbans

This was the largest interurban terminal in the world. Indianapolis was the epicenter of the traction industry, with routes leaving the city in virtually every direction, with all the lines terminating here.

An interurban was not a streetcar, but a long distance, heavy duty electric railway running between distant cities. They ran limited express, milk run locals, some sleepers and diners and even carload freight trains.

Union Traction merged with a number of other properties to form Indiana Railroad. The tax-supported highways killed the IR off in the 1930's.

Many cities had at least one or two interurban lines, and with few exceptions were all gone by Pearl Harbor. Few American industries rose so high and fell so far so fast. About the last old interurban still under wire is Chicago, South Shore and South Bend RR.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2014 Shorpy Inc.