Sunday, March 18, 2012

In my community it was the law a Trolley stopped for a Fire Man

Back in the heyday of trolleys believe it or not in the community of Carrick Pa. which became part of the city of Pittsburgh and is now its 29th ward and where I grew up before moving out of the city . It was the law for trolley operators to stop and pick up a fireman along his route if he was standing there in his fire gear and take him intermediately to the closet stop where the fire was located.
Now remember this was back in the early 1900's not everyone had a vehicle and in fact horses where still being used for delivering milk etc.
So it only made sense that this was and back then trolleys went everywhere . You could board a trolley in Pittsburgh and by switching to various trolly lines at one time be able to go all the way to Cleveland , Detroit even Chicago by trolley and rail line. Some trolley lines even carried freight and even had special ambulance cars which got people to hospitals.
Several other community's which had trolleys also are suppose to have had this law on there books as well.
You can view more carrick trolley pictures and even read articles I wrote on them as part of my Eagle scout project on history of carrick at following link.

Because this was the fastest way to get to a fire scene it was also the fastest way to get away from a crime as well. and in City of Pittsburgh in 1960's an individual became famously known as the Commuter Bandit as he would rob a bank then hop on a trolley to make his escape even back then trolleys often had there own rights of way to get thru areas fast. He was even charged with Robbing a bank in Carrick as well. Ironically a friend of ,my dads who he worked with at J&L steel. His wife Deloris worked at the grocery store where the commuter bandit was the owner it turned out.

This was a fascinating era now gone and only a hand full of towns still have trolleys or street cars in use. most modernized and there are a handful of museums like near Washington Pa. where you can still ride one of these great old relics.

But Pittsburgh Railways which ran the big net work of trolleys before it was taken over by Allegheny county Transit authority known as PAT Port authority transit. Still exists and was a one time big player in the Alarm Business . They are still known today as Pittway that's right the people who bought and expanded ADEMCO Alarm systems till they sold out to Honeywell.

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