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34 Years on the Streetcars

September 21, 2009 |  4:00 am

Dec. 23, 1934, Streetcars

Dec. 23, 1934: John Corsen reflects on his 34 years as a streetcar motorman. This is a wonderful first-person account of the early days of the streetcars in Los Angeles.

"You ought to see what it was when I started. That was way back in 1900 with horse cars still plodding the streets. They used to lift the horse cars off the rails to let the 'electrics' go past. I was No. 177 on the company's rolls and they gave me a 'bald-faced' trolley to trundle along a single track on an old dirt road that led from Temple and Main streets out to Lincoln, then Eastlake Park.

"By a bald-faced car, I mean a tram that was open all the way round. If dry weather, passengers coughed in the dust; when it rained they almost drowned."