Hand Colored Transit Images
Presented by Emiliano Echeverria

A collection of transit images, mostly hand-colored by Charles Smallwood, author of the indispensible book White Front Cars of San Francisco. Emiliano Echeverria (co-author of the indispensible book San Francisco's Street Railway Octopus, the Market Street Railway of 1893) wrote all the photo captions. He also posted these captions with each Charles Smallwood image in the Market Street Railway group on Facebook:

I was nominated by the late Rudy Brant ten years after he died to post the Charlie Smallwood colored prints that have had the most influence on my career.......

No explanation, just the image.......Check the comments, lol.....

(this is my take-off on all those challenges I've seen lately, but this will be fun, I'm only missing one of these tints so we'll see another tomorrow & such till I run out.......)

Holy Cross terminal
979 in its brand new paint job, June 1939. the first zip stripe shows off its stuff. Tomorrow we take a trip a little south. (Market Street Railway car 979 sits at the outer terminal of the 31-Balboa line, at 30th Avenue and Balboa Street. I grew up down the street, but the streetcars were long gone. -- JT) Charles Smallwood collection. August, 2020 Picture of the Month.

SSF 1423 at Geneva
A South City car resting at Geneva (now Cameron Beach) Division, 1920. Originally posted to Facebook on 21-May-2020. Original Photo by John Henry Mentz, SFMTA Archives. Charles Smallwood collection.

Car 705 in front of Kentucky car barn
Our final installment from the cover of the White front cars: Car 705 in front of Kentucky Car House, 1930. The 30, a money losing line with an interesting history. one of the original holders of the franchise of this line was William Randolph Hearst. I wonder if he ever thought of this obscure line at all after he sold his interest after about a year. Originally posted to Facebook on 22-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Big Sub 4 at Holy Cross
Big Sub #4 at Holy Cross, 1906. Originally posted to Facebook on 23-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Car 216 at Sutro Yard
Sutro Yard, United Railroads car 216. 1914. Good cars, lasted over 35 years. At the Ferry, you could get on this car on its home line, the 2 and go to the end and end up at Sutro Baths. Originally posted to Facebook on 24-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Car 1685 at Beach
It's Memorial Day. what to do in 1911? go to the Beach and all its concessions: and Sutro Baths and the Cliff House, just up the hill. Here we are where the 5 trolley bus later turned around, next to Playland. Hop on for a virtual journey back in time. If you look carefully, you can still see "Park & Ocean RR" on the roof..... Originally posted to Facebook on 25-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Sight Seeing Car at Affiliated Colleges
Did you ever wonder what tourists did before the Grey Line? they took the Observation cars! At Affiliated Colleges (UCSF) in 1908. Originally posted to Facebook on 26-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Car 1562 at Turk and Eddy barn
Here's a Turk & Eddy car sticking its nose out of the Steiner Street door of the Turk and Fillmore Car House. No that's not me as a child there.....lol..... Originally posted to Facebook on 27-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Car 1082 rebuilt from cable car
Omnubus cable car extended 9'. Rebuilt 1900. Wrecked in 1908. These cars only had hand brakes, and were difficult to stop. they were only on the streets of SF from 1900 until about 1910. The Boeings lasted longer..... In other words, pretty, but an operational menace / lemon. Originally posted to Facebook on 28-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Car 130 Land's End
Here's the OTHER car 130, here with the United Railroads. almost new here, on the Private right of way approaching Sutro Baths.

side note: Both cars 130, (this and Muni's) were built by the same builder: Jewett. this one in 1911, and Muni's in 1914. what a difference 3 years made in style Originally posted to Facebook on 29-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Car 2002, 32nd Avenue and California
Well what have we here? A Market Street Railway Blue and Gold Diamond Anniversary streetcar; as hand colored from memory by Charles A Smallwood (1912-1986). There were 12 of these cars so painted.

Market Street railway wanted to change its color scheme to this in 1925, but it became a property of the Byllesby firm in late 1925, and the Byllesby people chose to return to the former color of green / red / grey, with the ends illuminated and painted white, thus the White Front cars.

A big mystery was why did Byllesby do this? The patent never limited the color to white; it was about the illumination of the front. they could have used yellow...... on the same token, Muni NEVER needed to repaint the white fronts, simply remove the light bulbs, and poof! no illumination. and the covers were removed anyway, but Muni's repainting was unnecessary, as was the limitation of the fronts to white by MSRy. .....oh well, one of those unsolved mysteries...... Originally posted to Facebook on 30-May-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

No post on on 31-May-2020.

Car 1215, Powell and Jefferson
Another car rebuilt from an Omnibus cable car, in fact the last of this type built in 1902. Here at Powell & Jefferson, 15 line later on. This color scheme lasted only a year or two anf only on fiftteen cars. Originally posted to Facebook on 01-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

No post on on 03-June-2020.

Car 959 in front of Kentucky car barn
Yet another 40' car rebuilt from an Omnibus cable car, this time at Kentucky Barn. Pretty, long and hard to stop. They were one of our more attractive cars. No surprise that none made it past 1910. Originally posted to Facebook on 03-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

No posts on 03, 04, 05, 06, 07-June-2020.

Big Sub 1 at Geneva and Mission
Big Sub # 1 on Geneva at Mission posing for the birdie.... 1916 Nuf sed. Three years before from 1906 until 1913, San Francisco had 5 cars # 1:
- Castro Cable
- Big Sub
- Muni
- Cal Cable
- Presidio & Ferries

Originally posted to Facebook on 08-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

No posts on on 09, 10-June-2020.

Big Sub 1 at Geneva barn
What can I say? Charlie liked Big Subs. Here's one at Geneva. Originally posted to Facebook on 11-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

URR 683 crossing SP tracks
This is San Jose Ave crossing over I 280. Then the SP Xing. Two of these cars became party cars: the "San Francisco" and the "Sierra."

The Sierra sat on a farm in Paso Robles until it was dismantled in 1982 after it began to collapse. The San Francisco rests in Rio Vista Junction waiting for a wealthy techie railfan to endow it.......

This car and the rest of its class were scrapped. Tomorrow, we wander around a bit, as Charlie did......

Originally posted to Facebook on 12-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Sacramento car 104
Today, we beginto wander around, as did Charlie. Charlie was an expert in traction all over the West, so if the admins will allow, we can see Charlie's works coloring systems here in the bay area and a few places farther afield. Today finds us in Sacramento with Traction Company (Central California Traction) # 104 in that city. CCT ran mostly between Sacramento and Stockton with a branch to Lodi. Their last streetcars ran in 1947.

Originally posted to Facebook on 13-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

No posts on 14, 15-June-2020.

Sacramento car 104
Today we bid a fond farewell to the Peninsular Ry back in the 30s. It's the last day for the "Pallies" and soon they will be no more. A passenger brings flowers for the occasion...... A car identical to this (painted red) is at the Western Ry Museum.....

Originally posted to Facebook on 16-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Sacramento car 104
Why does this look like a runaway URR car down there? well, they were corporately related. Both owned by California Railway & Power, a subsidiary of the conglomerate United Railways Investment Corp. M & PG's (Monterey and Pacific Grove) main offices were at 58 Sutter in SF, same as URR. URR ran it operationally as their most far flung division......

Same color scheme as URR. M & PG had to have some of the ugliest streetcars in the west: some rebuilt from horsecars, and not very pretty.......

Originally posted to Facebook on 17-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Los Angeles Pacific car 21
Here Charlie pays a visit to the Southland for a spin along Redondo Beach....Now that would have made a spiffy URR car......lol (This car belonged to Pacific Electric predecessor Los Angeles Pacific Railway -- thank you to Steven Struman - JT)

Originally posted to Facebook on 18-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

San Diego Electric car 411
Charlie's southernmost wanderings take us to San Diego and a San Diego Electric Railway Birney at the Santa Fe Depot. Rail transit has since returned to SD and the new line comes to this area......

Originally posted to Facebook on 19-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

No posts on on 20, 21-June-2020.

Petaluma and Santa Rosa car 67
Petaluma and Santa Rosa car 67 in Petaluma. an identical car to this car is at Rio Vista Junction's Western Railway Museum.

Originally posted to Facebook on 22-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Coeur d'Alene and Spokane Railway car 8
Charlie's farthest afield is this, way up in Spokane, Washington State. Tomorrow we return closer to home..... (Coeur d'Alene and Spokane Railway - JT)

Originally posted to Facebook on 23-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

Key System car 601
Here is a former SP dinky in service on the Key's 32 line, a franchise run to Berkeley and back on Key Rails. These did not last long on the KEY. when Key went 1-man, these cars didn't fit in......

Originally posted to Facebook on 24-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

No posts on on 25, 26-June-2020.

Key System car 800
Here we see Key Streetcar 800, I believe at the Central Car House in Oakland.

Well here we are at the conclusion of our excursion into the world of Charles A Smallwood through his colorized photos, over 30 in all. If you knew Charlie, you'd be even more amazed as he had those hands like giant paws: big and strong. Hard to believe those big strong hands produced works so delicately executed.

I know of 2 more images: One of A San Jose Railroads streetcar, which I have but can't locate right now but when I find it I will post it here.

The other is of MSRy car 1424 at Geneva at Mission in 1934, which i saw, and was supposed to get in a purchase, and it suddenly "disappeared"....If I ever see it I will post it. If anyone reading this knows its whereabouts I'd like to know, Pls PM me if so......

I'd like to thank Charlie Smallwood, Richard Schlaich, Emanuel Mohr, Don Olsen and Rudy Brant, all deceased, for the slides of these images.

Originally posted to Facebook on 27-June-2020. Charles Smallwood collection.

After presenting the photos colored by Charles Smallwood, Emiliano presented a series of photos that he had digitally colorized. "Thank you all who enjoyed the series I just finished of Charlie Smallwood's classic hand tinted photos. As a small tribute, a few years back, I digitally colorized a few images, using the 1990s and early 2000s software available. Any imperfections are mine. Hope you enjoy....."

URR car 562 at Fulton and 36th
Fulton Extension car # 562 (sister to 578) at Fulton & 36th with the Cairns Hotel behind. An old roadhouse with the usual checkered history..... Still standing. I colored this in 2003

Originally posted to Facebook on 02-July-2020. Emiliano Echeverria collection.

R P O car "A" at Hayes & Stanyan, laying over, 1904. From: San Francisco's Street Railway Octopus, the Market Street Railway of 1893 available at the SF Railway Museum, or available from Market Street Railway.

Originally posted to Facebook on 03-July-2020. Emiliano Echeverria collection.

MSR car 1571
Now here's close to home. I lived around the corner from here in the mid 80s this is the 9 line when it went up Cortland to Folsom, here. 1937. colored by me in 2009. another White Front classic from long ago......

Originally posted to Facebook on 05-July-2020. Emiliano Echeverria collection.

URR car 1031
Here's car 1031 at 24th & Utah Car House in 1911. the next year it would be renumbered into the 661 class and run a few more years. A sister to this car is car 578. but a closer sister was the car that became the last Sutro Wrecker, car 0103. This car was part of the original Mission Street fleet of 1894. It also was in the group that opened service on Third Street. Colorized by me in 2011.

Tomorrow, we will begin a few collaborations i did with the late Val Golding, of the "Oak & Broderick Gang" a few years back. Val Golding was a real cool guy, and really knew his stuff....

Originally posted to Facebook on 07-July-2020. Emiliano Echeverria collection.

"Val was a Jazz buff and musician, as well as a dedicated railfan. In fact, I helped Val hire Barbara Dane for an engagement in Seattle. And Barbara Dane,at 93 performs at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer. Both Barbara and this streetcar date from 1927!"

MSR car 403
Rail Sedan on Howard (South Van Ness) and 14th in 1937. These fine cars ran only a few yraes in San Francisco. There were only five of these and they only ran on this line the 35 Howard / South Van Ness & 24th St line. We have 2 more collaborations with Val and that will be it.....

Originally posted to Facebook on 08-July-2020. Emiliano Echeverria collection.

MSR car 944
Today marks our final installment of historic images colored by Charlie Smallwood, Val Golding and myself. Here we find ourselves at the North Terminal of the ferry building and 16 car 944 ready to take another trip to North Beach, the retail district, the South of Market, The Potrero, Dogpatch, the Bayview, all the way to Visatacion Valley and the county line. the date is 1938 and we even have a Yellow Cab!

This was a collaboration with the Late Val Golding.

At this time I'd like to thank Charllie Smallwood for making most of these images. Charlie, Richard Schlaich, Rudy Brant, Val Golding, Emanuel Mohr, Don Olsen, and Jack Tillmany for copies of these images that I may be able to share them with you. There are a couple outstanding aware from that Charlie did that i don't have, but when i do, I will share them here. And thank you all for enjoying them, too.......

Originally posted to Facebook on 09-July-2020. Emiliano Echeverria collection.

MSR car 1511
Another collaboration with the late Val Golding, charter member of the Oak & Broderick Gang, with Chicago car 1511 on the 21 line, along with the 5 a regular assignment for over 25 years. Both lines lived at McAllister Division Car House. 1937. Fulton and 5th Avenue.

Originally posted to Facebook on 09-July-2020. Emiliano Echeverria collection.

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Last updated 01-August-2020