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 Post subject: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
United Traction Company, Albany NY Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Preservation Project

Looking for information on lattice-type streetcar line poles: Who were the manufacturers, what were some of the U.S. streetcar lines which used them, when did manufacturers stop making this type of pole, etc.?

We are preserving a lattice-type pole which was part of the United Traction Company's "Belt Line" in Albany, New York. This and another pole we preserved in 1990 are, sadly, the last surviving pieces of UTC infrastructure in Albany (the UTC stopped running streetcars in 1946).

The orphaned pole was on the site of a city sewer line project and was in danger of being scrapped. We had the pole carefully removed and placed in storage while we raised money for its restoration and re-installation. So far, of the total project cost (about $10,000), we have raised all but $2,000. We expect to soon establish a crowdfunding site which, along with a couple of small grant applications, will help raise the balance.

Historical information on lattice-type trolley line poles will be helpful in supporting grant applications and in providing interpretation at the pole when it is re-installed.

Any help will be appreciated.

Tim Truscott
empirestate@att.net


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:06 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2091
Location: Northern Illinois
Search for info on Bates Expanded Metal poles.

https://books.google.com/books?id=_EI_AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA370&lpg=PA370&dq=bates+expanded+metal+pole&source=bl&ots=jhWy7MoIYL&sig=OVzIIv7IsdNBFbzkDx85V_IeXP8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiSgsXx2dLSAhVnwYMKHTu3BOwQ6AEIIjAD#v=onepage&q=bates%20expanded%20metal%20pole&f=false

On Edit:

I haven't found the patent, but did find an announcement of a patent issuing, U.S. Pat. No. 1,200,453 in October 1916. That would tend to indicate, unless the Bates Co. licensed the technology, which I doubt, that they were the sole manufacturer for at least the next seventeen years.

https://books.google.com/books?id=V4ofAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA745&dq=bates+expanded+metal+pole+patent&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjvldeS5dPSAhVMxoMKHUnwAmg4FBDoAQguMAQ#v=onepage&q=bates%20expanded%20metal%20pole%20patent&f=false

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Dennis Storzek


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 513
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Salt Lake City has lattice style poles running along East South Temple Street from the intersection of State Street. These look very much like the poles in the Electric Railway Journal article. There are street lights mounted on top, but when you look at some of the poles, there appears to be a mounting point for overhead span wires. Also, the poles are generally mounted on the curb-line apposite each other. I recall these poles from my time when I was assigned to the former Fort Douglas, now called the Stephen Douglas Armed Forces Reserve Center.

However, upon further review... It appears from a google earth search that the poles along S. Temple Street are not the Bates design but appear to be two steel channels with cross bracing riveted to the channels to form the truss that looks similar to the Bates design.

Thanks!

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Jim Vaitkunas
Minnesota Streetcar Museum
www.trolleyride.org


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Pittsburgh
Those Salt Lake City poles are pretty nifty looking!

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7693471 ... 312!8i6656

Are they similar to the Albany poles?

/s/ Larry
Lawrence G. Lovejoy, P.E.


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:25 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2091
Location: Northern Illinois
I didn't think that riveted lattice poles were that common; a lot of fab work for little gain. It would be nice if the OP would return with a photo of their historic pole.

Bates poles were used by properties large and small. The Chicago Rapid Transit had them along the gauntlet track on the north side "L" freight track; also had some in the yard at Skokie Shops. Years ago there were a pair in Lemont, IL, left over from the Chicago & Joliet. One held a red warning beacon for the fire station, while the other still had an abandoned wood strain insulator hanging from it.

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Dennis Storzek


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
These are not Bates expanded metal poles. The first person I talked with in looking for information on these poles was Nick Kallas at the Illinois Railway Museum, and he suggested the Bates expanded metal poles. However, when I sent him a photo of one, he said it was not a Bates.

This pole is of the type Jim Vaitkunas suggests: Two pieces of channel iron with the small diagonal cross-pieces riveted between the channels. I will post a photo as soon as I figure out how to do that ("Help!").

These poles must have been relatively expensive to produce, as all those rivets were very labor-intensive. This method of girder technology was also in use in buildings before the steel I-beam was developed. The last buildings to be built in the Albany area where I have seen lattice girders used was the Delaware & Hudson's Colonie Shops, built about 1911-1912. So I think lattice girder construction probably ceased just before World War I. I don't know exactly when lattice girders first came into use and when their use actually ended.


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
I agree, those Salt Lake City poles look pretty sharp. I'm guessing they are a little bit newer than the ca. 1890 Albany girder poles. Perhaps around 1900 or shortly thereafter? The design looks a little more refined than that of the Albany poles.

Does a streetlight mounted on the trolley pole indicate that the streetcar line was owned by the local electric utility?

I was planning to go to the New York State Library today and look at the Street Railway Journal for 1890 to see what I can find. It was common for this publication to carry detailed articles on every streetcar line, when it was opened. But we're in the midst of the biggest snowstorm of the season, so all state facilities are closed and my trip to the State Library needs to be postponed. I'll let you know what I find out tomorrow or Wednesday.

Sadly, none of the United Traction Company's electric streetcars survived. However, back when Henry Ford was collecting "stuff", he acquired a horse-drawn streetcar which had belonged to the Albany Railway Company, one of the predecessors to the United Traction Company. That car was in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn for decades, until they suddenly decided to deaccession it (along with some other items) 15 or 20 years ago. My friend who was the Transportation Curator at the New York State Museum at the time called me in a panic: The Albany Horse Car was available and the State Museum didn't have any money to buy it!

I prevailed upon a state legislator I knew, who told me the chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee ("Finance") owed him a favor. Within a few days we had the money we needed to purchased the car and have it shipped to Albany. Sometimes the problems which look like the most difficult to solve turn out to be pretty easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
Attachment:
image1.JPG
image1.JPG [ 113.24 KiB | Viewed 1831 times ]


Attached is a photo of the trolley pole of present interest. The photo needs to be rotated clockwise 90 degrees for best viewing.

To orient the viewer, the pole is laying down on its side inside the building where it is being stored. The bottom of the pole is closest to the viewer, with the top of the pole in the distance.

The photo should give a pretty good idea of the two pieces of channel iron with the diagonal cross-pieces riveted between them.


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:22 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Northwest Indiana
Is that the same thing the South Shore line used?
Go to 11:28 in this video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNNgdl57Gf8
Good Luck with your project.

Steve A W




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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
Those South Shore poles look like a similar lattice-type technology, however the South Shore poles look like they are four-sided with the diagonal cross pieces on all four sides. They probably would have been constructed from four pieces on angle iron with the lattice attached to each angle.

Our pole is constructed of two pieces of channel iron with the lattice between the free edges of each channel. So there are two lattices on each pole.

I recall seeing the type pole you mention along the right-of-way of the former New York Central Hudson Division in the vicinity of Harmon Shops. They were probably used to carry electric power lines, though I don't think they are in use now. They were still standing not that long ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
Historical research in the 1890 edition of the Street Railway Journal has shown that the steel lattice-type trolley line poles of the Albany Railway Company (predecessor to the United Traction Company) were manufactured by the Hilton Bridge Company of Albany, New York. Hilton Bridge was later consolidated with other bridge building companies into the American Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, today the largest bridge construction company in the world.

In 1890, according to the Albany City Directory, Hilton Bridge had offices at 38 State St. in Albany, with its shop on Bridge St.


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 11:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
We have finally set up a crowd-funding site to collect money for the trolley pole restoration. You can donate as much or as little (well, the system has a Five Dollar minimum) as you wish. You can also donate anonymously, if you like, or provide your name with your donation. I'm not sure right now if you can do it, but it would be nice if you could include the city where you are located, whether you give your name or donate anonymously.

We'll be adding more historical and other information as time passes.

Here's the link to the site:

https://www.gofundme.com/albany-trolley ... eservation


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 Post subject: Re: Lattice-type Streetcar Line Pole Albany, New York
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:10 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:49 pm
Posts: 13
I'm happy to say that we have been fairly successful with our crowdfunding efforts for this project and we only need a few hundred dollars more. We have $1,506 at this point.

If you would like to read a brief description of our project, or if you would like to make a donation, click on the link below:

https://www.gofundme.com/albany-trolley ... eservation

All donations for this worthwhile historical project are appreciated!


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