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Third and Vine: 1900

Third and Vine: 1900

Cincinnati circa 1900. "Burnet House and Chamber of Commerce, Third and Vine." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Burnet House

Was nosing through the website of the Cincinnati Civil War Round Table, and tripped over a bit of interesting Burnet House history.

Air switch

An interesting detail of a twin pole trolley line is the air switch (Can be seen in front of the alcove at the level of the second floor) or air trolley crossing. These are usually difficult to maintain, sensitive to corrosion and cost money. The major point, why why this system has not become established.

Re: Twin Poles

Cincinnati was not the only city using twin trolley poles for their streetcars. Such systems were used to minimize stray current from the streetcar system. Usually, the single trolley wire carried the positive DC voltage, and the steel wheels and rails carried the negative side. Since the rails were in contact with the ground, some portion of the current will pass through the earth. This can cause corrosion in underground metal pipes and other long metal structures. By using two wires, one can be the positive and the other the negative, avoiding heavy current flowing through the rails.

When trolley buses were introduced, two wires were required, since there are no rails.

Chamber of Commerce Fire

The H.H. Richardson designed Chamber of Commerce Building caught fire in 1911. The upper floors, suspended from the roof trusses in order to provide a clear span over the main hall below, collapsed taking the rest of the building with them. The Union Central Tower (now PNC Tower) was built on the site shortly after.

Twin Poles

Was this trolley line unique in having dual poles taking current from dual overhead wires?

The Flag

What is the flag on the right for? Trolley stop flag?


Come this September streetcars will return to Cincinnati for the first time since the 1950's. It has been a long and torturous road.

Neat looking streetlight

Those streetlights down the street sure are neat looking. I wonder if the light they emitted was tinted, but probably not. I don't think "vapor" or "mercury" were used at that time.

[They're carbon arc lamps. -tterrace]

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