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Forbes Avenue: 1909

Forbes Avenue: 1909

Circa 1909. "Residences, Forbes Avenue -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." Next stop, Swissvale. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Toastrack Streetcars

The two streetcars in this view appear to be open air summer trolleys, with cross bench seating and a running board for the conductor. These were popular for summer excursions and city tours, and these Pittsburgh cars may have been on a tour of the Forbes Street neighbourhood, which still looks upscale today. An example of such a car can be seen below.

A Lawn Way Down

That sloping lawn is pure decoration -- nobody could lie on it. Imagine being 6 and rolling down the slope to land Plop on the sidewalk! OW!

Gardener's Problem -- Solved!

This appears to be the same building, now part of Temple Sinai at 5505 Forbes Ave.
If it is the same building, the street has been raised considerably.

UPDATE: No, it's not the same building.

Vacuum Cleaner Co

The sign in the distance says "Vacuum Cleaner Co Pittsburgh". According to the 1908 Pittsburgh Business directory, there was a cleaning service called "Vacuum Cleaner Co" at 4614 Forbes. If that clue is accurate, the houses on the left are now Carnegie Mellon and this is the view:

My hat's off to the gardener

After noting the three flights of stairs leading to the mansion on the left, I tried to imagine myself being tasked with mowing that lawn using a hand lawnmower. As a youngster in the late 1940s I mowed my family's flat lawn using a hand mower until I was about 15 years old so I am quite familiar with the state-of-the art in lawn maintenance, as it must have been in 1909.

When I was about 15 my dad loaned me money to purchase a power mower that I used to earn money mowing other lawns in our neighborhood, which was used to repay him. That's how we learned business sense in those days.

[1-hp mowers were not uncommon in 1909. - Dave]

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