CC Cinema: We’re Looking for Trolley Operators – Circa 1947

I came across the below interesting, short twenty-two minute industrial video on Youtube the other night – it’s a recruitment film made in 1947 by the Los Angeles Transit Lines (LATL), the predecessor to today’s LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), to recruit new operators.  It’s interesting on a couple of levels; it’s in color and shows some great street scenes from that era, and it highlights operation of a trolley car, and both diesel and electric trolley buses.  If you’re a trolley or bus fan, grab your change maker and operator’s cap and pull up a chair…

As was mentioned in the film, the trolley is a Saint Louis Car Company H4 model.  It was in service with LATL from the late 1920’s to 1955.  It had four electric motors, hence the H4 designation.  It was 41 ft long and could seat 44 passengers.  Fortunately, several have been preserved at various railway museums.

1941 GM (Yellow Coach) TDH 4502 (Canted Windshield)

1940 GM (Yellow Coach) TDH 4501 (Flat Windshield)

The gas/diesel bus looks like a 1941 or immediate post-war 1945 GM TDH 4502 Old Look.  While it could be had with a gas engine, after 1940, most came with the more economical 6-71 inline diesel.  These pre and immediate post-war  models had “bug-eye” extended headlights rather than the flush-mounted ones seen on updated post-war versions introduced after mid-1946.  The later post-war models also had a vent above the front route sign for the “Thermo-Matic” heating and ventilation system.  For more on the Old Look, check out Paul Niedermeyer’s superb post here.

Brill TC-44 in service in Dayton

The trolley bus is a ACF-Brill TC-44, forty of which LATL bought in 1945/46, and served faithfully until 1963, where still going strong, they were sold to Mexico City.  There they trundled along the streets for another decade.