New items are added, while the collection is sometimes reorganized to maximize research potential.
And sometimes, you come across something that may have been there all along but that you never noticed before.
We recently stumbled across a booklet titled “Types of Cars.”
The Los Angeles Railway Engineering Department produced this particular volume in 1944 to facilitate identification of the railway’s myriad streetcar models.
In this booklet, we discovered nineteen photographs of Los Angeles Railway’s “Yellow Cars” — the local streetcar system that complimented the regional Pacific Electric Railways (“Red Car”) system.
Los Angeles Railway operated primarily within a six mile radius of downtown Los Angeles for about half a century, from 1895 to 1945.
This catalog of streetcar types was produced one year before The Huntington Estate sold the railway to Los Angeles Transit Lines in 1945.
The images a valuable resource for identifying streetcars in other photographs, and the construction specifications are extremely detailed.
They appear to be organized so that the earliest streetcars are at the front of the booklet, while the more recent 1940s models are at the back.
But don’t limit yourself to the few images reproduced here — check out the entire booklet to see the variety of streetcars that Los Angeles Railway used in the 1940s.
If you’ve been looking to build your own replica streetcar, this is your source material.
With streetcar systems in the planning stages across the United States (map), including downtown Los Angeles and historic lines nationwide, historic replication from primary resources such as this proves that archival documents could suddenly find themselves containing newly discovered and unexpected relevancy.