For all you history buffs!

Back in the good old days of the 1950s in South Boston (and other neighborhoods), electric trolleys were a popular mode of transportation.  These two videos show some great shots of the neighborhood captured in the background of the footage of these “Post-War” PCCs (Presidents’ Conference Committee) electric trolleys in South Boston.

Here’s one of the trolleys in South Boston in the 1950s. This clip focuses on the #10 streetcar line from City Point to Dudley Street in Roxbury via Andrew.

This one showcases Broadway, Summer Street and City Point.

Back in 1948, Foster Palmer began shooting 16mm color and black & white movies of trolleys + street cars –  Type 4s, Center Entrance, Type 5s, and the PCC cars. These films give you a glimpse into old-school Boston through the backdrop of cars, buildings, and neighborhoods of the trolley action!

13 Comments

  1. Kevin Conroy July 5, 2023 at 11:04 am - Reply

    WOW! Things are definitely different,

  2. Mike Thomas July 5, 2023 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Great to see a glimpse of old Southie, each frame of that film can be made into poster sized prints
    (if you have some know how) for the conversation it would provoke.

    This is the good side of CIS !
    Thanks for sharing.
    OFS ’61

  3. Tommy July 6, 2023 at 8:50 am - Reply

    All the houses at P & 4th look the same. The building on the corner was Jerry’s Market, later owned by my aunt and uncle. The back of the old store now has windows facing P Street and houses Linda’s hair salon. Those three family houses all look the same. Built to last. There’s another video that hasn’t been posted that shows Farragut Road and Summer Street. Hopefully this YouTube guy puts that one on there too. I say we should bring back the street cars.

  4. Mary J July 6, 2023 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. Just realized I had smiled all the way through.

  5. Karen Morris July 6, 2023 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    They should have a trolley to the Seaport

    • Stringer Bell February 28, 2024 at 9:16 am - Reply

      Yes. The City needs to say thanks but no thanks to those inefficient and infrequent buses – reminder that MBTA is State controlled.

      Those “dedicated” bus lanes on Summer are pointless. Does the bus even run on Sundays?

      City Councilor Flynn doesn’t have a grip on the transit needs of his constituents without any imagination to force necessary changes. The easiest thing to do (and done in the other neighborhoods) is to dedicate and protect bike lanes on Summer and 10x blue bike docks, there are only 3 on the whole east side of Boston. For a neighborhood where the vast majority of residents are able bodied folks in their 20s and 30s this is a no-brainer and VERY cheap. A couple flexi posts, some road painting is short money. Plus this puts the squeeze on the bus and increase the congestion to force the State/MBTA to actually react for a better solution for the 7 route (I.e. team/trolley with light priority). Blue bike docks can basically be added or removed at will.

    • Stringer Bell February 28, 2024 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Yes. The City needs to say thanks but no thanks to those inefficient and infrequent buses – reminder that MBTA is State controlled.

      Those “dedicated” bus lanes on Summer are pointless. Does the bus even run on Sundays?

    • Stringer Bell February 28, 2024 at 9:18 am - Reply

      City Councilor Flynn doesn’t have a grip on the transit needs of his constituents without any imagination to force necessary changes. The easiest thing to do (and done in the other neighborhoods) is to dedicate and protect bike lanes on Summer and 10x blue bike docks, there are only 3 on the whole east side of Boston. For a neighborhood where the vast majority of residents are able bodied folks in their 20s and 30s this is a no-brainer and VERY cheap. A couple flexi posts, some road painting is short money. Plus this puts the squeeze on the bus and increase the congestion to force the State/MBTA to actually react for a better solution for the 7 route (I.e. team/trolley with light priority). Blue bike docks can basically be added or removed at will.

  6. Joe Cappuccio July 8, 2023 at 11:50 am - Reply

    The least polluting means of mass transit.

  7. mplo July 13, 2023 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Street cars, especially the trackless trolley street cars, should be brought back everywhere. Although I grew up in an idyllic suburb roughly 13 miles northwest of Boston and Cambridge and Somerville during the 1950’s and 1960’s, I remember not only seeing, but commuting by trackless trolley to Cambridge or Boston, on occasion. Trackless trolley cars are also good, as well as the regular MBTA cars, because, unlike cars, trucks and regular buses, they don’t sit stalled in rush-hour traffic.

  8. JUSTYN August 3, 2023 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    I remember well the Orange Trollies! In 1954 my sister was hit by one at the Corner of N and Fourth Sts (Haydens Bakery). She got a broken arm and some scratches. We were playing with a ball on the sidewalk and the ball went into the street and she went looking for it without looking. She now lives in NY with 2 grown adult kids.

  9. Marie August 16, 2023 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    what a great memory I rode the trolleys many times with my mother and later on alone. we would get out of high school at Nazareth and get the bus to go to work in Jordan Marsh in Boston. thank you.

  10. Justyn Tyme August 24, 2023 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I grew up at P and 4th St. At that time (1958) the Store was owned by a woman named ROSE and I believe her husband. My Aunt would send me there with a note to give to Rose along with some money. Rose would put A PURPLE BOX that said NAPKINS on it in a bag and I was told not to look in it. I saw her putting it in anyway.
    I finally realized as I grew older the Napkins were NOT for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Leave A Comment