.
(Photo 28489_2 – Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photo)
(Photo 28489_1 –  Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photo)
.
A LOOK INSIDE DETROIT'S
P.C.C. STREETCARS
In this December, 1945 photo, a DSR
streetcar motorman can be seen at
the controls of a new PCC streetcar.
A control board located on the
dashboard in front of the motorman
contained the gauges and switches
used to operate the doors, interior
lights, exterior lights, etc.
(Photo #48409_3 – Walter P. Reuther
Library, Wayne State University photo)
Upon entering the new PCC cars, Detroiters would first notice that the motorman's cab was positioned
differently than the older Peter Witt style streetcars that had been operating on Detroit streets since 1921.  On
the older cars
(left photo) the motorman was stationed in the center of the cab and had to stand or sit on a
stool. He would accelerate and stop the vehicle through the use of a waist-high hand-operated controller box
located to the left of the motorman. In the PCC streetcar
(right photo), the motorman was positioned to the left
and sat in a seat, much like a bus operator. Acceleration and braking was controlled by foot-operated pedals.
(Photo #28490_1 (left) and #48409_2 (right) Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photos)
In the fall of 1945, two PCC cars (#100 and 101) began operating along the city's
busiest streetcar route—Woodward Avenue. These two cars, built by the St. Louis
Car Company, were diverted to Detroit from an order being built for the Pittsburgh
Railways Company.  The two differed in appearance from fleets that were to follow
later, as the two cars more resembled PCCs built prior to WW-II.  Immediately after
testing began on these two demonstrators, an order was placed for 78 new cars.
The two photos below, taken on October 16, 1945, show the interior and seating arrangement of the first two PCC cars to arrive
in Detroit.  Car #100
(later renumbered #141)  was the PCC used in these photos.  Notice the crank handles used to open the
passenger windows—which were similar to those found in automobiles—that were located above each window.   
Beginning in the spring of 1947, a fleet of 78 PCCs (#102-140,142-180) began  to
arrive, and were placed in service on the heavy Woodward line. An additional fleet
of
106 cars (#181-286) were placed into service during the late fall of 1949. These
cars were more typical of the style of PCCs built after WW-II.   The PCCs delivered
in 1949 were also slightly larger in size than the previous fleets.
The two photos below show the typical interior and seating arrangement of the PCC cars delivered in both 1947 and 1949. These
cars came equipped with "standee" windows for standing passengers. Instead of the perimeter seating used at the front of the
two demonstrator cars, these cars used single forward-facing seats on the left-side of the car. Both photos are of the PCC fleet
delivered in 1949, which used lift-operated passenger windows instead of the crank handles used on the previous fleets.
(Photo 48409_1 – Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University photo)
(Detroit Public Library, Burton Historical Collection photo)
The following Virtual Motor City Collection photos #28489_1, 28489_2, 28490, 48409_1,  48409_2 and 48409_3 used by permission of the
Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.
All rights, including those of further reproduction and/or publication, are reserved in full by the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.  Photographic
reproductions may be protected by U.S. copyright law (U.S. Title 17).  The user is fully responsible for copyright infringement.
The seating arrangement of a typical DSR PCC car.
For Comments and/or Suggestions Please Contact Site Owner at: admin@detroittransithistory.info
Click here to return to "THE PCC ERA IN DETROIT" Main Page.
© 2007  (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 11-22-07)