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Municipal Palace: 1907

Municipal Palace: 1907

Cincinnati circa 1907. "Federal Building (Custom House and Post Office)." Alfred B. Mullett, architect. Completed 1885, demolished 1936. View full size.


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Sweeping or greasing

The man in the image could also be greasing the switches. "Greaser" was a common though lowly occupation at many big city streetcar systems. Careful greasing of switches and tight curves helped prevent wheel wear and noise.

There's a point to his sweeping

It looks to me as though he's sweeping out the switch points. Stones etc. can get lodged there and keep the switch from closing all the way, causing derailments.

Can't quite make out

what the man center right foreground is doing, cleaning the tracks?

51 years seem too few

That's how long between completion and demolition of this beautiful building, which today would be regarded as a treasure were it extant.

Photo shows clearly the double overhead peculiar to the Cincinnati electric streetcar system; all of the other hundreds of trolley systems use/used single wire feed with return through the rails. Reason given was alleged interference with the telephone system. (Havana, Cuba also had double overhead.)

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