Re: Trolley roofs
- I think the roof detail varied on PCC's by builder, date, and how the
owner placed the order. Some did have a canvas section in a "plug"
area around the trolley base, some perhaps had a rubber mat covering
in this area; but from the ground this area was almost invisible and
I do not think it represented a canvas roof in the sense that there
was a tack molding at the roof eave or drip line and an etire blanket
of canvas was stretched and tacked down over the whole roof. And
there were earlier and later cars that had various shrouds around the
trolley base area to look streamlined from the ground, or had longer
shrouds and or monitors of sheet metal for ventilation, etc.
As I said originally, the only rule is that there are exceptions to
every rule. For PCC's this can be complicated by various rebuildings
and the fact that many of the cars saw second hand use in another city
and were rebuilt or modified at that time.
- Good Morning!
> From: "trolleycar68" <68trolley@...>The design of the body used on PCC cars is distinctly
> Subject: Re: Trolley roofs
> I think the roof detail varied on PCC's by builder,
> date, and how the owner placed the order.
> Some did have a canvas section in a "plug"
> area around the trolley base, some perhaps had
> a rubber mat covering in this area; but from the
> ground this area was almost invisible and
> I do not think it represented a canvas roof in the
> sense that there was a tack molding at the roof
> eave or drip line and an etire blanket of canvas
> was stretched and tacked down over the whole roof.
different from the older cars *as a rule* with the curve
between the sides and the roof so a clear edge between the two
is not distinguishable. But the canvas Did Cover the whole
*essentially--flat* area of the PCC roof on the *Body* of
the car - not the platform ends - an area approximately
34-feet-long and between 7-8-feet wide. The canvas was Not
just around the trolley pole base.
ALL discussion here is *As__Originally__Built.*
The canvas roof on St.Louis PCC Air-Cars (Pullman may have
been different) was not an option decided on by operators --
it was quite standard. In *PCC-Car-That-Fought-Back*
pg.88, last paragraph, I quote::
"""The central section of the standard car's roof was of
canvas-covered plywood. At this date [of writing the book]
the reasons are not clear, but the sound and electrical
insulation properties as well as the low weight of wood may
have been considerations......."""
And on pg.98, under the title of ""The 1945 Model Car""
(All-Electric,) last paragraph, I quote:
"""...Although the wood-and-canvas roof remained an option,
the standard was now an all-steel roof."""
The classic photo of car construction at St.Louis car in
Young and Provenzo's *History of St.Louis Car Company*
pgs.200-201 top center of San Diego cars shows an open roof
section with cross bracings installed. This open section is
for the canvas-plywood roof.
Pg.55 clearly shows the canvas roof on the Brooklyn car, top
photo. And in the classic 3-car-train photo of PE Pullmans
on the Fletcher trestle on pg.93, it seems that a canvas roof
is clearly delineated here as well -- so maybe Pullmans are
not an exception.
Pg.52 of *PCC-From-Coast-to-Coast* shows 2 CTA Air-Cars and
the canvas roof is distinctly visible -- same for photos on
Pg.115 of LATL 3056, photo from ground level, still reveals
the edge of the canvas running down the right side as does the
photo of PRCo 1045 on pg.164.
The photo on pg.138 showing Philly 2016 on display distinctly
reveals the canvas roof covering the body of the car.
A little more difficult to see but the photo on pg.184 of
SLPS cars shows the canvas roof as described -- and these
are all-electric cars. Believe that SLPS 1700s also had
canvas roof later converted to metal.
Photo of DCT 1152 on pg.222 shows the canvas roof as
described as does top photo pg.227.
TTC 4220 on pg.238 reveals canvas as described.
BCER photo pg.250 reveals canvas roof on 2-different cars
-- need to look close on closest PCC in photo, but canvas
roof on car behind is painted a dark color with the front edge
fading. All except bottom right photo on pg.253 reveal the
canvas as well.
The Model-B PCC clearly shows the canvas roof on pg.37 of
DeMoro's PCC book. And pg.45 shows a large side view of
Brooklyn 1001 and the length of the canvas roof is clearly
discernible -- from immediately behind the front doors to
the front edge of the very last window. Pg.57 also shows
the construction of the PCC in lower right and open roof for
Again, while exceptions may exist, the Vast Majority of PCC
Air-Cars were Originally Built with Canvas over Plywood Roof
between platforms and covering the width of the roof.
The rubber-mat was not needed on a canvas roof since canvas
is an insulating material. The rubber mat is used on the
All-Metal roof of the All-Electrics as on pg.60 showing a
St.Louis CTA PCC, top left.
Waiting for a bus is about as thrilling as fishing,
with the similar tantalisation that something,
sometime, somehow, will turn up.
James B. Holland
Holland Electric Railway Operation.......
___"O"--Scale St.-Petersburg Trams Company Trolleycars and...
______"O"--Scale Parts mailto:pghpcc@...
______Pennsylvania Trolley Museum http://www.pa-trolley.org/
___Pittsburgh Railways Company (PRCo), 1930 -- 1950
N.M.R.A. Life member #2190; http://www.nmra.org