Finding aid for the Los Angeles Railway Records

Denise Villegas
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
One Gateway Plaza
15th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952
Phone: (213) 922-4859
Fax: (213) 922-7955
Email: library@metro.net
URL: http://www.metro.net/library
© 2013
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. All rights reserved.

Finding aid for the Los Angeles Railway Records

Collection number: 73-DPGTL

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive Research Library and Archive

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Los Angeles, California
Processed by:
Denise Villegas
Date Completed:
May 16, 2013
Encoded by:
Denise Villegas
© 2013 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Los Angeles Railway records
Dates: 1890 - 1946
Bulk Dates: 1890 - 1930
Collection number: 73-DPGTL
Creator: Los Angeles Railway
Collection Size: 53 boxes 14.6 linear feet
Repository: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952
Abstract: Los Angeles Railway Corporation (LARy) operated local streetcar service from 1895 to 1945. Originally owned and expanded by Henry Huntington, the Los Angeles Railway was sold to National City Lines in 1945, becoming the Los Angeles Transit Lines. The records in this collection were created between 1890 and 1946 and consist of correspondence, reports, contracts, deeds, photographs, maps, and employee news magazines.
Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Please contact the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive for information on collection access and restrictions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement that may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive collections.

Preferred Citation

Los Angeles Railway records, 73-DPGTL. Dorothy Payton Grey Transportation Library.

Acquisition Information

The Los Angeles Railway Corporation established an employee library in 1890. This material was passed through a series of mergers and legislation from the Los Angeles Railway to Los Angeles Transit Lines to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, to the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD). Material held by the SCRTD and the Rail Construction Corporation was passed on to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) after LACMTA was created by the California State Legislature through a merger of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission and the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Custodial History

Los Angeles Railway had an employee library, and some of the material from that library became part of the library established by the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) in 1971. SCRTD's library and its materials were retained by the successor agency, Los Angeles County Transportation Authority.

Biography / Administrative History

The Los Angeles Railway Corporation (LARy) began as the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway (LACE). LACE was incorporated in 1890 and soon began converting cable car and horse car lines to electric streetcar lines. In 1895, LACE bondholders renamed the company, the Los Angeles Railway Company. Complete electrification of the LARy system was reached in early 1896. Distinguished from the farther reaching Pacific Electric Railway (PE)Company's streetcars by vehicle color, LARy was also known as the Yellow Cars of Los Angeles. Service was largely focused in downtown Los Angeles. In 1898, Henry Huntington became the biggest investor in LARy and continued to expand the streetcar system. To compete against growing bus companies, LARy and PE created the Los Angeles Motor Coach Company to provide bus service throughout Los Angeles. Henry Huntington died in 1927 but controlling interest in LARy remained part of the Huntington estate until 1945 when the Fitzgerald Brothers purchased those shares. LARy became part of the National City Lines, was renamed the Los Angeles Transit Lines (LATL).

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection is comprised of documents generated by the operation of Los Angeles Railway Corporation from 1890 to 1946. This includes drafts and final copies of trust deeds/mortgages, contracts made with stockholders, banks, and other corporations such as the Southern California Power Company. Also included are check stubs, correspondence, accounting documents, and handwritten notes.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in fifteen series. 1. Board of Directors and Stockholders, 1895 - 1899. 2. Contracts, Decrees, Deeds, and Agreements, 1890 - 1943. 3. Construction, 1898. 4. Corporate Culture, 1898 - 1942. 5. Correspondence, September 1894 - January 1899. 6. Divisions, Yards, and Shops, n.d. 7. Equipment, 1939 - 1940. 8. Female Employees, 1942 - 1945. 9. Financial Records, 1895 - 1943. 10. Maps and Routes, 1932 - 1945. 11. Public Relations, 1921 - 1944. 12. Reports, 1930 - 1946. 13. Tickets and Transfers, 1940 - 1941. 14. Two Bells, 1920 - 1944. 15. Miscellaneous, 1890 - 1898.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Los Angeles Railway
Los Angeles (Calif.)--1880-1890.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed container list is available in this repository.

Related Material

Materials created by and related to the Pacific Electric Railway Company, Los Angeles Motor Coach Company, and Los Angeles Transit Lines may be found in this repository.

Collection Contents

Box: folder 1:1-2, 18:3

Series 1. Board of Directors and Stockholders 1895 - 1899

Series Scope and Content Summary

Stockholder's meetings notices, Board of Directors meeting announcements, correspondence appointing proxies for meetings, 1 report written by a bondholder's committee in 1897 detailing the true financial condition of the Los Angeles Railway Company.
Box: folder 1:3-17, 2:1-22, 18:4-18, 19:1-13, 20:1-9, 21:1-9, 22:1-10, 23:1-9, 24:1-8, 25:1-8, 26:1-9, 27:1-8, 28:1-7, 29:1-24, 31:, 53:

Series 2. Contracts, Decrees, Deeds, and Agreements 1890 - 1943

Series Scope and Content Summary

Documents regarding land rights for divisions and substations, documentation of the transfer in name from the Los Angeles Consolidated Electric Railway to the Los Angeles Railway, debt certificates, documentation of the consolidation of smaller streetcar companies into the Los Angeles Railway, contracts with power and electric companies, deeds, and contracts with groups of employees.
Box: folder 8-15:, 29:25

Series 3. Construction 1898

Series Scope and Content Summary

Track work specifications, estimates of costs associated with replacing cable tracks with tie construction, field and level books detailing proposed changes to Los Angeles Railway property with drawings and measurements.
Box: folder 3:1-4, 29:26-27, 53

Series 4. Corporate Culture 1898 - 1942

Series Scope and Content Summary

Los Angeles Railway bylaws, a history of the Los Angeles Railway and its predecessors as written by Garfield Sorensen in 1939, photographs depicting Los Angeles Railway headquarters, employees, and company sports teams.
Box: folder 2:23, 3:5-12, 53:

Series 5. Correspondence 1894 - 1899

Series Scope and Content Summary

Correspondence between the Los Angeles Railway and banks, the Southern California Power Company, bondholders, and the Union Trust Company of San Francisco
Box: folder 3:13-15, 53:

Series 6. Divisions, Yards, and Shops n.d.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Photographs depicting Los Angeles Railway divisions and shops.
Box: folder 3:18-26, 4:1-8, 29:28, 53:

Series 7. Equipment 1939 - 1940

Series Scope and Content Summary

Documentation of one-man operation safety features, use of specific dash signs, data books and bus diagrams, vehicle decals, photographs depicting Los Angeles Railway streetcars, motor coaches, and nonrevenue vehicles.
Box-Folder 4:9

Series 8. Female Employees 1939 - 1940

Series Scope and Content Summary

Documentation of one-man operation safety features, use of specific dash signs, data books and bus diagrams, vehicle decals, photographs depicting Los Angeles Railway streetcars, motor coaches, and nonrevenue vehicles.
Box: folder 4:11-18, 5:1-10, 6:1-4, 29:29-30, 32, 30:1-5, 33:, 34:, 53:

Series 9. Financial Records 1895 - 1943

Series Scope and Content Summary

Account sheets, statements of allotment of shares, minutes of meetings and cash account, check book stubs, vouchers for cash and bonds, statements of business of operation, valuation report for the Los Angeles Railway and some transit companies that were incorporated into the Los Angeles Railway.
Box: folder 6:5-9, 30:5, 53:

Series 10. Maps and Routes 1932 - 1945

Series Scope and Content Summary

Route maps and ride guides created for Los Angeles Railway passengers.
Box: folder 6:10-15, 7:1-5, 30:6, 53:

Series 11. Public Relations 1921 - 1944

Series Scope and Content Summary

Informational newsletters for Los Angeles Railway passengers.
Box: folder 7:6-8, 17:

Series 12. Reports 1930 - 1946

Series Scope and Content Summary

Reports on patronage, transportation requirements, and a housing survey created by or for the Los Angeles Railway.
Box: folder 7:9-19

Series 13. Tickets and Transfers 1940 - 1941

Series Scope and Content Summary

Tickets and transfers used by passengers of the Los Angeles Railway.
Box: folder 7:11-12, 16-17:, 35-52:, 30:

Series 14. Two Bells 1920 - 1944

Series Scope and Content Summary

Issues of Two Bells, the Los Angeles Railway employee news magazine from 1920 - 1944.
Box: folder 7:13-15, 30:7

Series 15. Miscellaneous 1890 - 1898

Series Scope and Content Summary

Photographs depicting Downtown Los Angeles, stills from the film "Syncopation", blank company stationary