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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • BUENOS AIRES, c. 1950

Chicago Bound: 1960

Chicago Bound: 1960

January 16, 1960. It was about 1 o'clock on a cool, crisp, sunny Saturday afternoon at the Lake Bluff stop of the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee interurban railroad. The North Shore was one of America's very last operating interurbans when I photographed a group of cadets from the nearby Great Lakes Naval Training Center climbing aboard a southbound train for a weekend of fun and relaxation in downtown Chicago. The attentive motorman is keeping an eye on the conductor for the two-bell start signal while at the same time observing what I was doing with my camera. The once busy line was abandoned three years later, almost to the day. 35mm Kodachrome by William D. Volkmer. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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The day I left Chicago

Quite a coincidence - this was taken the day I (and my family) left Chicago for California. My brother celebrated his 6th birthday on the train on the way west. Interesting (but not surprising) to see snow on the ground; I have no memory of that from my time living there, just pictures I'm in.

Wheels But No Rails

That portion of the North Shore still exists, in a different way. The curving turn into the station is now part of the North Shore Bike Path through Lake Bluff, and heavily treed. Still helping people get from one spot to another, only this time under their own power.

The Roarin' Elgin

I rode the North Shore in my youth; and rode the South Shore, too. Only occasionally on both.

But don't forget the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin, which ran from Chicago's Loop west to (wait for it...) Elgin and Aurora. It closed in the '50's, but a number of cars have been preserved, and a few still operate at museums.

Incidentally, both the North Shore and the Roarin' Elgin used the Chicago Rapid Transit (now the CTA) to get into the city. The tight curves and third rail affected the design of the cars.

South Shore

Since a lot of the neighborhoods it goes through haven't been significantly updated in the past 80 years (no kidding), a ride on the South Shore resembles a moving, full color version of Shorpy's. Just sayin'. One of the big things missing is the old Pullman works in Michigan City, which was torn down to make Lighthouse Place.

Old rolling stock was from 1926, I believe--you can still see a few of the cars in downtown Chesterton/Porter--and quite frankly the "new" rolling stock has an old time feel now as well. They try, but it's hard.

Big scandal was that the new cars were made in Japan, which was bad considering that the line goes by several steel mills and what had been the Pullman works. Lots of people would have liked a chance to make them here, but it didn't work out.

Liberty Call

The sailors seem to be enlisted men not cadets. White hat and peacoat the uniform of the day.

Still Chicago bound from elsewhere

The other interurban that ran into Chicago, The South Shore, is still doing service between Chicago, Illinois and South Bend, Indiana. New rolling stock, to replace the ancient, cobbled together, relics of earlier service , was introduced on the line in 1985/86.

 
SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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