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William B. Young Collection of the Connecticut Company

 Collection
Identifier: 2012-0077

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains research materials collected and created by William B. Young pertaining to the five decades of transportation operations of the fourteen divisions of the Connecticut Company, which controlled all street railroads in the state of Connecticut, from its inception in 1905, to its peak in 1912 with 2232 trolleys, and to its demise in 1948. The trolley car data Mr. Young collected for a database is available in two reports: a 57-page Car Summary report and a 327-page Car History report showing over 4500 reportable events of trolley cars and related rolling stock, sorted by car number. The details include dates of acquisition and disposition, manufacturer, type of body, trucks, motors and controllers. In addition, there are six Company Rosters that show the equipment consists at different dates: 1900, 1908, 1916, 1930, 1940, and 1948. (This 6 MB database was donated in electronic form to the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven, Connecticut, in 2011). In addition, there are many other types of materials providing historical information about the divisions of the Connecticut Company, including 413 postcards showing stations, trolleys and/or trolley tracks in virtually every Connecticut town that offered trolley service; pictoral railroad and trolley travel guides that were used to promote ridership; system appraisals, car rosters, photos, maps and track diagrams. There is also a complete set of Connecticut Company timetables from 1904 to 1947 and a set of New Haven Railroad (including some predecessor railroads) timetables from 1877 to 1910.

Dates

  • undated, 1872-2012

Access

The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from this Collection must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.

Biography/History

This biographical sketch was provided in June 2012 by Lucy and Mary Young, William B. Young's sisters, and edited slightly by the collection curator.

William Berkeley Young (1942-2010)

William B. Young was born October 25, 1942 in Alton, Illinois, son of Karl Young Jr., a petroleum engineer at Shell Oil Company, and Cynthia Berkeley Noland Young. His father was a veteran of World War II who served as Commanding Officer of a US Naval Reserve unit in New Haven, Connecticut, and retired with the rank of Commander. His grandfather, Karl Young, was Sterling Professor of English at Yale University.

Mr. Young attended grammar schools in Stamford, Connecticut, and moved to Roxbury, Connecticut, in 1954, where he started devoting many hours to his railroad hobby, including exploring local trolley rights-of-way, collecting railroad documents and memorabilia, taking photos, riding trains and making road trips to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, and other historic railroad sites. He graduated from Booth Free School in 1956 and Washington High School in 1960, where he managed the league champion baseball team and achieved the highest sales in the magazine drive.

Most importantly, his father, who grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, bought him a membership in the Branford Electric Railway Association, East Haven, Connecticut, in November 1956. Now known as the Shoreline Trolley Museum, it runs on former Connecticut Company tracks. Thus began his lifelong interest in the Connecticut Company.

With an encyclopedic memory, Mr. Young could easily recall the details of his epic train trips: “In July 1955, at age 12 1/2, I rode the train from New Milford, Connecticut, to Grand Central Terminal to Chicago. The purpose of the trip was to ride trains and visit my Uncle George. I rode the Illinois Central electric around Chicago. Staying with relatives in Hammond, Indiana, I went alone to watch trains at State Line Junction where three railroads cross each day. I rode the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio to Alton, Illinois, to visit family friends. I then rode the New York Central home from St. Louis on a 4-6-4 steam locomotive as far as Matoon, Illinois; everything else was dieselized. In August, I had to return to New Haven instead of New Milford after the flood [had destroyed railroad bridges]. I bought tickets, which were umpteen coupons long, for the entire trip in advance at the New Milford Train Station. I did not use any sleeper berths!”

“In 1958 at age 15, I rode the train from Norfolk to Petersburg to Richmond/Washington, caught the Cleveland night express on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, rode on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, took the overnight to Cincinnati, then took an all-day train from Cincinnati to Atlanta on the Louisville & Nashville, then Atlanta to Gainesville, Georgia. I spent the night in a local hotel by pre-arrangement. I wrote ahead to the Gainesville Railroad which was still running steam engines. I rode from Gainesville to Spartanburg then over Saluda Hill to Asheville and Knoxville, changed in Knoxville, Tennessee, and rode to Roanoke, Virginia, staying in the Roanoke Hotel which overlooked the Norfolk & Western Railway yard and engine shops; spent a day there, then rode back to Norfolk to rejoin my family. I used the Official Guide to Railways to plan my trips.”

“In June 1960 at age 18, [after high school graduation and before entering Yale University], I rode with my sister Ann to Chicago, taking the New Haven Railroad to Grand Central Terminal, then the famed New York Central 20th Century Limited from New York to Chicago, complete with red carpet service, finger bowls, orchids for ladies at dinner and mums for men's lapels at breakfast! We rode coach as the train had been downgraded from all Pullman sleepers. I also rode the Electroliner on the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee interurban trolley to Milwaukee, ate an “Electroburger”, and visited Trains magazine headquarters where I met with the editor.”

In the fall of 1962, he left Yale to work at the Railway Express Agency on the midnight shift, loading and unloading at the New Haven train station. He then became a delivery truck driver. He was secretary of his Brotherhood of Railway Clerks local. He lived at the Orange St. Railroad YMCA from the fall of 1962 through early 1964, then returned to Yale.

“In October 1963 at age 21, I rode the train from New Haven to Baltimore to ride trolleys, then took the Baltimore & Ohio National Limited to St. Louis and rode the last trolley line in St. Louis, as I knew trolleys were dying,” he recalled. He rode in a reserved Parlor Car seat on the New Haven Railroad back to New Haven.

Upon the advice of his friend Bill Riccitelli at Branford, he got hired as a Conductor on the Chicago Transit Authority during the summer of 1964, where he belonged to the Amalgamated Association of Street & Electric Railway Employees and Motorcoach Operators, now called the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), and was invited back for the summer of 1965. He worked on "spam cans" or streamliners. He took a Transportation Economics course at Northwestern during swing time. He served as an extra man or booster collector for large crowds at the Merchandise Mart. He collected two old North Shore line signs, and gave one to the Illinois Railroad museum. “At the end of the summer, I rode a B&O sleeper back to Washington, DC with a single bed, dome car, unlimited salad bar, and movie in the dining car, and then rode a through train to New Haven,” he recalled.

He graduated from Yale in June 1966 with a BA degree in history. After a lackluster start, his passion for transportation history had propelled him to the Dean’s List. Term papers he wrote included "George Washington and Inland Navigational Progress"; "United by Cause, But Divided by Pride: The Southern Sectional Conflict as Seen by its Railroad Promotion, 1821-1850, and the Effect Thereof on the Outcome of the Civil War"; and "Brothers of Dixie: Southern Railway Labor, from Appomattox to Prohibition”.

With the war in Vietnam underway and at his father’s suggestion, he completed the Naval ROTC program at Yale and was commissioned an Ensign, US Naval Reserve in September 1966. He rode the train from New Haven to Navy flight school in Pensacola, Florida. He completed advanced jet training and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1968 in Kingsville, Texas. He continued flight training at NAS Miramar, San Diego, California, qualifying to fly the F-8 Crusader fighter jet. He was then assigned to Fighter Squadron 51 which deployed to the Western Pacific in 1969 on board the USS Bon Homme Richard, including line periods on Yankee Station (Tonkin Gulf). He was awarded two Air Medals for combat and was designated a “Centurion” after 100 carrier landings. The ship called at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Cubi Point, Philippines; Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan; and Hong Kong. In 1970-71 he served as a basic jet flight instructor in Meridian, Mississippi, and Beeville, Texas. In 1973 he served as a utility pilot in Fleet Composite Squadron 10 at NAS Guantanamo (Cuba) flying the F-8 Crusader and S-2 Tracker aircraft. After serving as an instrument instructor in Fighter Squadron 43 at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, from 1974 to 1977, he left active duty and entered the US Naval Reserve. He was assigned to the Naval Eastern Oceanography Center, NAS Norfolk, Virginia, 1981-1985, where he served as Executive Officer. He retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Commander in 1993.

Wherever he served or wherever his travels took him, he pursued his love of railroads and volunteered generously at trolley museums. He became an expert in track construction and wrote the booklet “I Don't Build Track for a Living” for the Association of Railway Museums in 1971. In 1987, he was hired to supervise construction and operation of a temporary trolley line in Albany, NY for filming of the movie “Ironweed”, for which he borrowed Connecticut Company open trolley #1425 from Branford’s collection.

With pilot jobs becoming scarcer, he transitioned into the computer field and became a database programmer. He used these skills over the ensuing decades to build the extensive Connecticut Company trolley car roster that comprises the heart of this collection.

He was also a passionate proponent of light rail transportation. In his last assignment before his death on December 15, 2010, he was a volunteer operator for the McKinney Ave. Transit System in Dallas, Texas.

This biographical sketch was provided in June 2012 by Lucy and Mary Young, William B. Young's sisters, and edited slightly by the collection curator.

William Berkeley Young (1942-2010)

William B. Young was born October 25, 1942, in Alton, Illinois, son of Karl Young Jr., a petroleum engineer at Shell Oil Company, and Cynthia Berkeley Noland Young. His father was a veteran of World War II who served as Commanding Officer of a US Naval Reserve unit in New Haven, Connecticut, and retired with the rank of Commander. His grandfather, Karl Young, was Sterling Professor of English at Yale University.

Mr. Young attended grammar schools in Stamford, Connecticut, and moved to Roxbury, Connecticut, in 1954, where he started devoting many hours to his railroad hobby, including exploring local trolley rights-of-way, collecting railroad documents and memorabilia, taking photos, riding trains and making road trips to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, and other historic railroad sites. He graduated from Booth Free School in 1956 and Washington High School in 1960, where he managed the league champion baseball team and achieved the highest sales in the magazine drive.

Most importantly, his father, who grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, bought him a membership in the Branford Electric Railway Association, East Haven, Connecticut, in November 1956. Now known as the Shoreline Trolley Museum, it runs on former Connecticut Company tracks. Thus began his lifelong interest in the Connecticut Company.

With an encyclopedic memory, Mr. Young could easily recall the details of his epic train trips: “In July 1955, at age 12 1/2, I rode the train from New Milford, Connecticut, to Grand Central Terminal to Chicago. The purpose of the trip was to ride trains and visit my Uncle George. I rode the Illinois Central electric around Chicago. Staying with relatives in Hammond, Indiana, I went alone to watch trains at State Line Junction where three railroads cross each day. I rode the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio to Alton, Illinois, to visit family friends. I then rode the New York Central home from St. Louis on a 4-6-4 steam locomotive as far as Matoon, Illinois; everything else was dieselized. In August, I had to return to New Haven instead of New Milford after the flood [had destroyed railroad bridges]. I bought tickets, which were umpteen coupons long, for the entire trip in advance at the New Milford Train Station. I did not use any sleeper berths!”

“In 1958 at age 15, I rode the train from Norfolk to Petersburg to Richmond/Washington, caught the Cleveland night express on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, rode on the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit, took the overnight to Cincinnati, then took an all-day train from Cincinnati to Atlanta on the Louisville & Nashville, then Atlanta to Gainesville, Georgia. I spent the night in a local hotel by pre-arrangement. I wrote ahead to the Gainesville Railroad which was still running steam engines. I rode from Gainesville to Spartanburg then over Saluda Hill to Asheville and Knoxville, changed in Knoxville, Tennessee, and rode to Roanoke, Virginia, staying in the Roanoke Hotel which overlooked the Norfolk & Western Railway yard and engine shops; spent a day there, then rode back to Norfolk to rejoin my family. I used the Official Guide to Railways to plan my trips.”

“In June 1960 at age 18, [after high school graduation and before entering Yale University], I rode with my sister Ann to Chicago, taking the New Haven Railroad to Grand Central Terminal, then the famed New York Central 20th Century Limited from New York to Chicago, complete with red carpet service, finger bowls, orchids for ladies at dinner and mums for men's lapels at breakfast! We rode coach as the train had been downgraded from all Pullman sleepers. I also rode the Electroliner on the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee interurban trolley to Milwaukee, ate an “Electroburger”, and visited Trains magazine headquarters where I met with the editor.”

In the fall of 1962, he left Yale to work at the Railway Express Agency on the midnight shift, loading and unloading at the New Haven train station. He then became a delivery truck driver. He was secretary of his Brotherhood of Railway Clerks local. He lived at the Orange St. Railroad YMCA from the fall of 1962 through early 1964, then returned to Yale.

“In October 1963 at age 21, I rode the train from New Haven to Baltimore to ride trolleys, then took the Baltimore & Ohio National Limited to St. Louis and rode the last trolley line in St. Louis, as I knew trolleys were dying,” he recalled. He rode in a reserved Parlor Car seat on the New Haven Railroad back to New Haven.

Upon the advice of his friend Bill Riccitelli at Branford, he got hired as a Conductor on the Chicago Transit Authority during the summer of 1964, where he belonged to the Amalgamated Association of Street & Electric Railway Employees and Motorcoach Operators, now called the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), and was invited back for the summer of 1965. He worked on "spam cans" or streamliners. He took a Transportation Economics course at Northwestern during swing time. He served as an extra man or booster collector for large crowds at the Merchandise Mart. He collected two old North Shore line signs, and gave one to the Illinois Railroad museum. “At the end of the summer, I rode a B&O sleeper back to Washington, D.C., with a single bed, dome car, unlimited salad bar, and movie in the dining car, and then rode a through train to New Haven,” he recalled. He graduated from Yale in June 1966 with a BA degree in history. After a lackluster start, his passion for transportation history had propelled him to the Dean’s List. Term papers he wrote included "George Washington and Inland Navigational Progress"; "United by Cause, But Divided by Pride: The Southern Sectional Conflict as Seen by its Railroad Promotion, 1821-1850, and the Effect Thereof on the Outcome of the Civil War"; and "Brothers of Dixie: Southern Railway Labor, from Appomattox to Prohibition”.

With the war in Vietnam underway and at his father’s suggestion, he completed the Naval ROTC program at Yale and was commissioned an Ensign, US Naval Reserve in September 1966. He rode the train from New Haven to Navy flight school in Pensacola, Florida. He completed advanced jet training and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1968 in Kingsville, Texas. He continued flight training at NAS Miramar, San Diego, California, qualifying to fly the F-8 Crusader fighter jet. He was then assigned to Fighter Squadron 51 which deployed to the Western Pacific in 1969 on board the USS Bon Homme Richard, including line periods on Yankee Station (Tonkin Gulf). He was awarded two Air Medals for combat and was designated a “Centurion” after 100 carrier landings. The ship called at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Cubi Point, Philippines; Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan; and Hong Kong. In 1970-1971 he served as a basic jet flight instructor in Meridian, Mississippi, and Beeville, Texas. In 1973 he served as a utility pilot in Fleet Composite Squadron 10 at NAS Guantanamo (Cuba) flying the F-8 Crusader and S-2 Tracker aircraft. After serving as an instrument instructor in Fighter Squadron 43 at NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, from 1974 to 1977, he left active duty and entered the US Naval Reserve. He was assigned to the Naval Eastern Oceanography Center, NAS Norfolk, Virginia, 1981-1985, where he served as Executive Officer. He retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Commander in 1993.

Wherever he served or wherever his travels took him, he pursued his love of railroads and volunteered generously at trolley museums. He became an expert in track construction and wrote the booklet “I Don't Build Track for a Living” for the Association of Railway Museums in 1971. In 1987, he was hired to supervise construction and operation of a temporary trolley line in Albany, New York, for filming of the movie “Ironweed”, for which he borrowed Connecticut Company open trolley #1425 from Branford’s collection.

With pilot jobs becoming scarcer, he transitioned into the computer field and became a database programmer. He used these skills over the ensuing decades to build the extensive Connecticut Company trolley car roster that comprises the heart of this collection.

He was also a passionate proponent of light rail transportation. In his last assignment before his death on December 15, 2010, he was a volunteer operator for the McKinney Ave. Transit System in Dallas, Texas.

THE CONNECTICUT COMPANY, written by Bill Young

[note: this history of the Connecticut Company is provided courtesy of the donors, and was not edited by Archives & Special Collections staff]

Our “home town team” The Connecticut Company operated most of the trolleys and buses in Connecticut. It was born of monopoly, in innocent, pre-antitrust (and pre-Blumenthal) days, to concentrate all travel in Connecticut under one owner. At its peak it rostered 2232 trolleys on nearly 800 miles of track in and between 12 major Connecticut cities. It fell into decline due to auto competition and overcapitalization (“watered” stock), long before any evil machinations of General Motors could come into play.

Connecticut had been a pioneer in electric railways: a line was opened in Meriden in 1888, Van Depoele’s tiny locomotive (now at BERA) hauled freight cars in Derby, and Frank Sprague (“Father of Electric Traction”) was born and raised in Milford. The Connecticut Company was part of the New Haven Railroad’s “buy everything” strategy. The New Haven operated a spiderweb of lines in Connecticut, with many short-haul passenger trains that were vulnerable to trolley competition: trolleys were smoke-free, ran frequently, and represented “progress” in general; as an example, in 1904 (when trolley purchasing began) the New Haven scheduled 11 trains northbound and 9 southbound between New Haven and Wallingford, 7 trains each way between Bridgeport and Derby, 7 trains each way between New Haven and Cheshire, and 10 trains each way between Waterbury and Watertown, and Sunday service was considerably sparser. The buying up of trolley lines was accomplished by the Consolidated Railway Company, which started life in 1901 as the Thompson (CT) Tramway Company and changed its name in 1904. The Consolidated bought every Connecticut trolley line, operating or not, that it could get between 1904 and 1907; not wishing to buy the Connecticut Railway & Lighting system (operating trolleys in Bridgeport, Derby, New Britain, Norwalk, and Waterbury) because the stock was too watered even for the New Haven’s taste, it leased those lines in 1906 for 999 years. The Consolidated was merged into the New Haven on May 31, 1907. The Connecticut Company itself started in 1905 as the Thomaston Tramway Company, and the name was changed on May 31, 1907. On February 28, 1910, all New Haven-owned electric-railway properties were conveyed to the Connecticut Company, whose stock was owned by the New Haven; the Connecticut Company then operated 584 miles of first main track, in and between 12 cities (Bridgeport, Derby, Hartford, Meriden, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Stamford, Torrington, and Waterbury).

In 1907 the new Connecticut Company boasted 629 miles of track and 1428 passenger cars (683 closed and 745 open), 87% and 90% respectively of all trolley lines in Connecticut. Financially, things looked promising: for the year ending June 30, 1910, the Connecticut Company earned $2.87 million on revenues of $7.94 million (63.8% operating ratio). For the year ending June 30, 1912, the Connecticut Company earned $2.92 million on revenues of $8.08 million, boasting an operating ratio (63.9%) that ranked 23rd among trolley companies nationally, and $10,145 revenue per mile of track and $7.92 revenue per dollar of interest and rentals (40th and 7th respectively). The company was paying 3¾% dividends -- but the company’s $82.1 million in stock ($49 million) and debt resulted in $11.17 of capitalization (stock and bonds) per dollar of gross revenue, a burden that would grow heavier in future years.

Connecticut was a growing state. Manufacturing abounded in the major cities, with such names as Sargent (hardware), Remington (guns), Winchester (guns), Pratt & Whitney (engines), Corbin (locks), General Electric (electrical equipment), Safety Electrical Equipment (trolley hardware), and Yale & Towne (locks) boasting Connecticut headquarters. Machine-tool companies were widespread, and the brass industry dominated Waterbury. Hartford was the insurance capital of America, with Travelers and Aetna sporting headquarters there. The Pope automobile company started up in Hartford in 1897; the first Navy submarine was built by Groton’s Electric Boat in 1900; the Coast Guard Academy was moved to New London in 1910 (and, maybe coincidentally, the Connecticut College for Women was opened in New London in 1911). Connecticut passed the first auto speed-limit law in the United States in 1901, and in 1905 a public-accommodations act required full and equal service for everyone at all places of public accommodation. This economic activity meant that people had to get to work, and also that there were goods to be carried to customers, so the trolleys flourished carrying both passenger and freight. Total Connecticut ridership (all companies) grew from 127.7 million in 1906-7 to 138.5 million in 1907-8.

The Connecticut Company grew quickly, from 1793 cars in 1907 to 2232 by 1912. There were major shops in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury. In addition to extensive operations in the major cities, a network of intercity lines had been completed. The company’s express operations, with express cars based in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury, operated to and from towns outlying those cities, as well as operating a “hub-spoke” arrangement centered on New Haven, where express cars (sometimes hauling trailer box cars) operated to and from New Haven day and night (2 a day from Hartford and Waterbury, 3 a day from Bridgeport). The growth in operations, unfortunately, meant accidents could and did happen: BERA’s car 775 was rear-ended by an open car outside Waterbury on a foggy October morning in 1917 while waiting to meet an express car, and 1602, inbound from Lake Quassapaug (Middlebury), rear-ended a similar car on the Fourth of July 1916. In 1916, the Connecticut Company had gross revenues of $9.6 million and net income of $2.6 million (operating ratio 72.9) – but in 1917, $10 million gross revenue only brought $0.4 million income (operating ratio 84.0).

World War I brought increased ridership, but with even-more-increased costs. In 1919 the company took in $11.04 million in gross revenues, but the operating ratio of 83.4 meant an operating profit of $1.8 million and an operating loss of $124,796 (adding non-operating income produced a small profit of $108,035). By 1920, jitney competition had become a problem in all the company’s cities, with Bridgeport being such an extreme case that at one point the company ceased trolley service and ran all the trolleys to New Haven. The company tried to modernize its service, with 409 new cars purchased and 100 older cars rebuilt between 1915 and 1923, but ridership kept dropping. A few weak lines were abandoned in the 1920s, as well as the entire Putnam and Torrington divisions. By 1925 the company was down to 1747 cars; by 1930 the fleet totaled 1421, and by 1934 only 1198 cars were rostered; 673 cars were scrapped between 1935 and 1937. Trolley operations were abandoned on several divisions in the 1930s: Middletown, Meriden, Stamford, New London, and Norwalk; the Bridgeport, Derby, New Britain, and Waterbury divisions were turned back to Connecticut Railway & Lighting in late 1936 and trolley service was ended by CR&L in 1937.

The New Haven Division was the largest Connecticut Company division, and the company was headquartered in New Haven. Its origins were a number of small horsecar companies, which were consolidated into the Fair Haven & Westville Rail Road that was bought up by the Consolidated Railway in 1904. New Haven grew quickly, from 108,027 in 1900 to 162,537 in 1920 (estimated 2005 population: 123,626). In 1912 the division rostered 586 cars (26% of the company’s fleet). There were lines along every major thoroughfare (Dixwell Ave., Grand Ave., Congress Ave., Edgewood Ave., Whalley Ave., Chapel St., Whitney Ave.) as well as lesser streets such as Second Avenue and Sylvan Avenue (the trolleys live on in the route letters of some CTransit lines, such as B-Whalley Ave. and F-East Haven). The last trolleys ran in New Haven on September 25, 1948.

Our own line was built in 1900 as part of the Branford Electric Railway, owned by the Branford Lighting & Water Company. Opened on July 31, 1900, the company was sold to the Consolidated Railway on September 19, 1905. Service under the Connecticut Company was every 24 minutes (later every 30 minutes) to Branford, with every other car continuing to Stony Creek. The line was cut back gradually: Branford –Stony Creek in 1937, and then bit by bit to the Short Beach post office by 1946; BERA took possession of the 1.375-mile section between East Haven and Short Beach on March 9, 1947.

BERA has 14 cars from six divisions of the Connecticut Company: New Haven (500, 614, 775, 865, 401(923), 1414, 1425, 1602), Hartford (1802), Waterbury (1330, 1911), Middletown (2350), Norwalk (1199) and Torrington (3000). In addition, a number of Connecticut Company cars are preserved at the Connecticut Trolley Museum and the Seashore Trolley Museum.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Transportation Bulletin (Connecticut Valley Chapter NRHS); Electric Railway Journal; Connecticut Company records; Connecticut Company roster; Weller, John L., “The New Haven Railroad, Its Rise and Fall”; “Report of the Joint Commission on the New York, New Haven & Hartford R.R. Co.”, 1911; Connecticut Public Utilities Commission reports

Extent

12 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection consists of correspondence, maps, photographic images, car rosters, administrative reports, and other materials about trolley and street railroad cars and the history of the Connecticut Company, which controlled fourteen divisions of street railroad companies across the state of Connecticut from 1905 to 1948. These documents were collected by William B. Young who compiled this information for a comprehensive database about the company's trolley cars.

Arrangement

The collection consists of materials William B. Young gathered or created in his study of the Connecticut Company.

Series I: Printout of the database listing cars owned by the Connecticut Company, meticulously compiled by Mr. Young, with a guide created by his siblings to aid the researcher in deciphering the abbreviations, headings and codes of the database. Car summary, car history and company roster database printouts were provided by the Shore Line Trolley Museum from reports generated from the database. The car summary is organized by car number, owner, purchase cost, weight, roof, type, builder, year built, and its history of owners. The car history report is organized by owner, the dates the car was acquired, building, first in service, had an accident, left the division, etc., motor type and numbers, compressor type, and controller. The rosters give snapshots of the cars owned by the company in 1900, 1908, 1916, 1930, 1940, and 1948. An electronic version of this database is hosted by the Shore Line Trolley Museum.

Series II: Research materials about the Connecticut Company. This series consists of many different types of documents that provided the raw information needed by William B. Young in his study of the history of the Connecticut Company and its divisions and allowed him to create his authoritative database of the company's trolley cars, available in Series I. A large component of the series is correspondence conducted with other Connecticut Company historians, railfans and enthusiasts, who shared their knowledge with Mr. Young. This series is described on a box level and researchers are advised that box level scope and contents notes provide information for items of special interest only.

Series III: Timetables are for the Connecticut Company and for the New Haven Railroad (lines west and east) and the predecessor railroad lines of the Old Colony Railroad, the Housatonic Railroad, and the New York, Providence & Boston Railroad. Both sets of timetables are arranged chronologically.

Series IV: Travel guides are divided into trolley and railroad excursions. Almost all of these excursions are in New England with a very few in New York State.

Series V: Postcards, consists of 413 postcards created in the early 1900s showing trolley scenes in Connecticut. They are arranged alphabetically by Connecticut town.

Series VI: Photographs, consists of approximately fifty images in various sizes and in formats including photographic prints, photographic negatives, glass negatives, printouts of images and images on pages from books, almost exlusively of trolley cars of the various Connecticut Company divisions. The images are organized in as close to the groupings as they came to the archives, with some sorting into general categories. Many of the images are not identified.

Custodial History

The materials were collected and owned by Mr. William B. Young during his lifetime and were part of a much larger collection of railroad memorabilia. After his death in December 2010 his twin sisters, Lucy and Mary Young, realized the comprehensive, complete nature of the Connecticut Company materials and proceeded to curate, assemble and catalogue a separate collection prior to its donation.

Provenance and Acquisition

In order to honor his stated wishes, Mr. Young’s five siblings, including Lucy Young, Mary Young, Ann LaFiandra, Betsy Young and Douglas Young, donated the collection to Archives & Special Collections in loving memory of their brother in June 2012. Immediately previous to donation, ownership is attributed to Lucy Young.

Mary Young donated a small set of photographic prints, slides and a negative, in October 2014.

Mary Young donated the items in Accession 2015.0130 in August and September 2015.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to the railroad history of southern New England. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Title
William B. Young Collection of the Connecticut Company
Status
Published
Author
Archives & Special Collections staff
Date
2012 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

Contact:
University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US
860-486-2524