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Pacific Electric Railway Company Photographs: Finding Aid
photCL 91  
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The collection consists of 3396 black and white photographs (many with corresponding original and copy negatives), 116 unprinted glass plate negatives, memos, correspondence, press releases, and notes related to the Pacific Electric Railway, ca. 1870s-1950s. The collection provides a comprehensive overview of the routes and areas served by the Railway during the years of its operation, and thus a picture of the growth of Southern California during the first half of the twentieth century.
The Pacific Electric Railway was established by railroad and real estate tycoon Henry E. Huntington in 1901; it grew out of Huntington’s early ventures in both real estate and transportation in the Los Angeles area. In 1898, Huntington and a group of investors purchased the financially strapped Los Angeles and Pasadena Electric Railway; this company operated the first interurban rail line in Los Angeles, running between Central Los Angeles and Pasadena. Huntington, seeing an opportunity to invest in the still small public transportation market in Southern California, began buying land in growing areas not yet reached by existing public transportation. The Pacific Electric was designed to serve these areas.
27 boxes (21.59 linear ft.)
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