Pacific Electric Railway Company

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The Pacific Electric Railway was established in Southern California by railroad and real estate tycoon Henry E. Huntington in 1901; by 1911 it was the largest interurban electric transport system in the nation with over 1000 miles of track. The first interurban line constructed by the Railway ran from Los Angeles to Long Beach, and opened in 1902. In 1905, Huntington opened the Pacific Electric Building at 6th and Main Streets in Los Angeles which served as the terminal for many of the interurban routes. Twenty years later, the Pacific Electric opened the Subway Terminal Building at 4th and Hill Streets, and completed a mile-long subway (the "Hollywood Subway"). By the 1920s, ridership on the Pacific Electric's lines was down; the last Pacific Electric line in operation, the Los Angeles to Long Beach trolley, ceased operation on April 8, 1961.

From the description of Pacific Electric Railway Company Photographs [graphic], 1870s-1950s, (bulk 1910s-1940s) (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 79429129

Biography / Administrative History

The Pacific Electric Railway Company (PERy) was created by Henry Huntington in 1901 who sold his shares in the company to Southern Pacific in 1910. PERy grew to connect various cities across the Los Angeles metropolitan area. PERy vehicles were commonly referred to as the Red Cars, distinguishing them from the local routes operated by the Los Angeles Railway. As patronage on passenger rail lines declined, PERy began converting rail routes to bus service. Eventually, in 1953, PERy sold its passenger operations to the Metropolitan Coach Lines. Pacific Electric was later abolished by Southern Pacific in 1965.

From the guide to the Pacific Electric Railway Company records, 1908 - 1964, 1915 - 1955, (Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archives.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Pinckard, Hattie. To and from California, 1906 Jul 6-Aug 21. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Barry, John,. John Barry streetcar and bus memorabilia. California State Library
referencedIn Union Pacific Railroad Company. Union Pacific Railroad Tidelands records, 1940s-1950s. University of Southern California, USC Libraries
referencedIn Pinckard, Hattie. To and from California, 1906 Jul 6-Aug 21. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Blaine, David G. Pacific Electric Railway equipment diagrams / [collected by] David G. Blaine. Northwestern University Transportation Library, Transportation Library, NUTL, JCR, IEN-Tr
referencedIn Metropolitan Coach Lines records, 1953-1958 Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archives.
creatorOf Southern Pacific Company. Right-of-way maps of Southern Pacific Company, 1914-1960. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Railroads and trolleys in the United States and Mexico : photographs, 1889-1972. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Barry, E. F. Trade catalogs of travel, 1881-[196-?]. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Collection of Panoramic Photographs., 1851-1995, (bulk 1920s-1930s) The Huntington Library
referencedIn Strain, Numa Alonzo. Materials on early San Marino, Calif., 1960-1969. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Hinshaw, Gloria L.,. Oral history interview with Gloria L. Hinshaw, 1989 Mar. 22. Sierra Madre Public Library
referencedIn Union Pacific Railroad Tidelands records, 1940s-1950s USC Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn La Habra Old Settlers Historical Society collection, 1896-1964 La Habra Old Settlers Historical Society
referencedIn Fitzhugh, Thornton, 1864-1933,. Historical Society of Southern California Collection - Thornton Fitzhugh Collection of Architectural Photographs and Ephemera [graphic], ca. 1895-ca. 1928 Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Huntington, Henry Edwards, 1850-1927. Papers of Henry Edwards Huntington, 1794-1970 (bulk 1840-1927). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Pacific Electric Railway Company. Pacific Electric Railway Company Photographs [graphic], 1870s-1950s, (bulk 1910s-1940s) Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Bailey, Charles Z. Collection of Panoramic Photographs [graphic], 1851-1947. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Series 5, Subseries 1. Agreements, 1891-1965. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Railroads and trolleys in the United States and Mexico : photographs, 1889-1972 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Los Angeles Railway Corporation Collection of Photographs, 1851-1939 The Huntington Library
creatorOf American Potash and Chemical Corporation (Trona, Calif.). Southern California arbitration case files, 1937-1948. California State University, Northridge
referencedIn Roscoe Pound papers, 1888-1964 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Banning Company. Records of the Banning Company, 1859-1948. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Jenkins, Arthur C. [Arthur C. Jenkins papers, 1940-1976] / Arthur C. Jenkins. Institute of Transportation Studies Library, ITS Library, U.C. Berkeley
creatorOf Pacific Electric Railway Company. [Pamphlets. Economic aspects.]. Yale University Library
creatorOf Pacific Electric Railway Company records, 1908 - 1964, 1915 - 1955 Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archives.
referencedIn Arthur C. Jenkins Papers, 1940-1976 (bulk 1955-1965) The Institute of Transportation Studies Library
referencedIn Asbury Rapid Transit System records, 1935-1958 Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archives.
referencedIn Leach, Walter Barton. W. Barton Leach Papers. 1920-1971. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Lewis, Edwin L. Los Angeles Railway Corporation Collection of Photographs [graphic] , 1853-1939. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Asbury Rapid Transit System corporateBody
associatedWith Bache, A. D., (Alexander Dallas), 1806-1867 person
associatedWith Banning Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Barry, John, person
associatedWith Bates, Francis E. person
associatedWith Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. corporateBody
associatedWith Casa Verdugo (Glendale, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fitzhugh, Thornton, 1864-1933, person
associatedWith Hancock, Henry, 1822-1883 person
associatedWith Hansen, George, 1824-1897 person
associatedWith Hinshaw, Gloria L., person
associatedWith Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Huntington, Henry Edwards, 1850-1927. person
correspondedWith Jenkins, Arthur A. person
associatedWith Jenkins, Arthur C. person
associatedWith La Habra Old Settlers Historical Society corporateBody
associatedWith Leach, W. Barton (Walter Barton), 1900- person
associatedWith Lewis, Edwin L. person
associatedWith Lippincott, Joseph Barlow, 1864-1942 person
associatedWith Metropolitan Coach Lines corporateBody
associatedWith Mission Inn corporateBody
associatedWith Motor Transit Co. (Los Angeles, Calif.) corporateBody
associatedWith Pacific Greyhound Lines corporateBody
associatedWith Pinckard, Hattie. person
associatedWith Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964 person
associatedWith Southern Pacific Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Strain, Numa Alonzo. person
associatedWith Union Pacific Railroad Company. corporateBody
associatedWith U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
San Pedro (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Sierra Madre (Calif.)
Santa Ana (Calif.)
Glendora (Calif.)
Sawtelle--California
Glendale (Calif.)
Redondo Beach (Calif.)
Santa Monica (Calif.)
Pomona (Calif.)
California--Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Riverside County (Calif.)
California
Venice (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Long Beach (Calif.)
Los Angeles--California
Whittier (Calif.)
Covina (Calif.)
Laguna Beach (Calif.)
Monrovia (Calif.)
San Bernardino County (Calif.)
Lowe, Mount (Los Angeles County, Calif.)
Newport Beach (Calif.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Pasadena (Calif.)
Subject
Electric railroads--Design and construction--Photographs
Electric railroads--Photographs
Parks--Photographs
Railroads--History--20th century--Photographs
Railroads employees--Photographs
Scenic railways--Photographs
Hotels--Photographs
Electric railroads--Maintenance and repair--Photographs
Soldiers' homes--Photographs
Industries--Photographs
Missions--Photographs
Railroad bridges--Photographs
Subway tunnels--Photographs
Business districts--Photographs
Strikes and lockouts--Railroads--Photographs
Electric railroads--Substations--Photographs
Buses--Photographs
Railroads--Track--Photographs
Commercial buildings--Photographs
Railroad stations--Photographs
Railroads, Cable--Photographs
Resorts--Photographs
Railroad repair shops--Photographs
Electric railroads--Cars--Photographs
Railroads--Buildings and structures--Photographs
Railroad terminals--Photographs
Amusement parks--Photographs
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1914

Active 1960

Information

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