Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
Related materials in the Huntington Library
Overview of the Collection
Title: Los Angeles Railway Corporation Collection of Photographs
Dates (inclusive): 1851-1939
Collection Number: photCL 58
Lewis, Edwin L.
1261 photographs and negatives + ephemera and paper files in 28 boxes
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Abstract: The collection consists of 1164 black-and-white photographs, 97 glass negatives, clippings, correspondence, manuscripts, notes,
a card file, and a
ledger book related to the Los Angeles Railway, 1851-1939, collected and created by Edwin L. Lewis, a longtime employee
of the Los Angeles Railway Corporation. The
collection provides a broad pictorial overview of the development of the railway systems in Los Angeles, California, in
the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as well
as information on the physical development of the city itself.
The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please visit the Huntington's website:
All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or
imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Los Angeles Railway Corporation Photographs. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
Donated to the Huntington Library by Edwin L. Lewis, June 1939. The collection includes a number of manuscripts and scrapbooks,
which are in the custody of the Manuscripts Department.
The collection was rehoused in 2005 by Jessica Gambling, which included sleeving all photographs and preservation photocopying
clippings. Duplicate photographs
(some are contemporary to the collection, others are copy photographs) have new numbers based on the existing system
(e.g., 75a, 75b, 75c, etc.). Original clippings
are in boxes 21 and 22; preservation photocopies of these clippings have been inserted into the original locations within
the collection. This finding aid was created in
January 2006 by Sue Luftschein.
The Los Angeles Railway Corporation (LARy) was the product of mergers and consolidations of numerous local and interurban
railways in Los Angeles and adjacent communities.
In 1910, Henry E. Huntington yielded his interests in the Pacific Electric Company to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company,
which subsequently controlled the interurban
lines, and he incorporated the Los Angeles Railway Company and other railway interests to form the Los Angeles Railway Corporation,
which operated the Los Angeles city lines.
This collection was compiled by Edwin L. Lewis (died 1943), who began working for the Los Angeles Cable Railway Company in
1888. Lewis became vice-president and manager of
the Los Angeles Railway Land Company and manager of the Los Angeles Railway Building in 1921. He retired in 1939. Lewis
collected the material as background information
for his proposed book on the railway systems of Los Angeles. The two-volume history was never published, but exists in manuscript
form and is housed in the Huntington's
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of 1164 black-and-white photographs, 97 glass negatives, clippings, correspondence, manuscripts, notes,
a card file, and a ledger book related to the
Los Angeles Railway, 1851-1939, collected and created by Edwin L. Lewis, a longtime employee of the Los Angeles Railway
Corporation (LARy). The collection provides a broad
pictorial overview of the development of the railway systems in Los Angeles, California in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, as well as information on the physical
development of the city itself.
Lewis began collecting the photographs and related clippings and correspondence as background information for his history
of the railway systems of Los Angeles. The materials
depict and describe views of Los Angeles, primarily downtown, but also some of the neighborhoods that grew as a result of
the construction of the street car system; methods
and modes of transportation and transportation-related subjects, primarily with regard to the Los Angeles Railway; and employees
of the Railway and of the Los Angeles business
community, and individuals who were in some way connected with the development of the railroad in Southern California.
The collection is particularly strong in city scenes and panoramic views, primarily of downtown Los Angeles. These include
"then and now" comparisons of various Los Angeles
neighborhoods; business districts; hotels; city halls; school buildings; commercial and industrial buildings; post office
buildings; churches; hospitals; holiday celebrations;
and outlying areas (such as Catalina Island and San Diego). The transportation images include, but are not limited to, views
of the railway; railway, street and cable cars;
stations and station locations; and maps of rail lines. Also included are images of bicycles, carriages, and automobiles.
The material related to individuals consists of biographical files and includes biographical sketches, notes on interviews
conducted by Lewis, and/or correspondence, and
describes LARy and other railroad employees, individuals who worked in industries connected with transportation, and business
leaders in Southern California. The interviews
are essentially oral histories, and provide a great deal of information on the development of both the railways in Los Angeles
and the development of the city itself. The
photographs included in the biographical files are portraits.
The majority of the photographs are annotated on the reverse with location information, a short description, and/or identification
of individuals. Some images include
annotations on the front. Many of the photographs have clippings taped to the reverse. Some of the photographs exist in
duplicate form; however, many of the duplicates
are annotated with information not found on the original copy. Some photographs are missing.
The original arrangement of the collection is numerical (see the Container List), based on Lewis's numbering scheme. Each
photograph is inscribed with a number that corresponds to
the numbers in Lewis’s original ledger (located in box 21). The collection remains in numerical order, and is described
at the folder level. Lewis also created a card file
(box 27) arranged by subject, which was used to describe and access specific photographs. Item-level access is available
through this card file in consultation with the Curator of Photographs.
Every attempt has been made to be as inclusive as possible in the description of the folder contents; however, some folders
contain images that span two or more subjects.
In addition to
photographs, each folder may contain correspondence, clippings and/or notes, and their presence is noted. The biographical
files contain primarily textual materials; if photographs are present,
they are noted.
The collection has also been intellectually described in four broad subject areas in the Subject List following the Container
Views of Los Angeles and vicinity; Transportation;
Individuals; and Miscellaneous. Within the Views of Los Angeles, Transportation, and Miscellaneous subject areas, the
arrangement is numerical. The individuals are
The majority of the clippings and printed materials included with the photographs are preservation photocopies.
Related materials in the Huntington Library
Beaudry, Prudent, d. 1893
Bicknell, John D., d. 1911
Child, Ozra W.
Clark, Eli P., 1847-1931
Crank, James Fillmore, d. 1935
Downey, John Gately, ca. 1827-1894
Eaton, Frederick, 1855-1934
Garland, William May, b. 1866
Griffith, Griffith Jenkins, Colonel, 1850-1919
Harriman, Edward Henry, 1848-1909
Haynes, John Randolph, b. 1853
Hellman, Isaias W. (Isaias William), 1842-1920
Hollenbeck, John Edward, 1829-1885
Howland, Charles H., d. 1894
Huntington, Henry Edwards, 1850-1927
Kuhrts, George J., 1869-1932
Mellus, James J., d. 1935
Pontius, David W.
Robinson, Henry Mauris, 1868-1937
Sachse, Richard, b. 1881
Sherman, Moses H., General, 1853-1932
Weid, Ivar, 1837-1903
Weid, Otto, d. 1934
Widney, R. M. (Robert Maclay), 1838-1929
Workman, Boyle, b. 1868
Workman, Elijah H., 1835-1906
Workman, William H., d. 1918
Los Angeles Railway
Pacific Electric Railway Company
Business districts -- California -- Los Angeles
Cable cars (Streetcars)
Cityscapes -- California
Church buildings -- California -- Los Angeles
Commercial buildings -- California -- Los Angeles
High Schools -- California -- Los Angeles
Hotels -- California
Panoramas -- California -- Los Angeles
Railroad stations -- California -- Los Angeles
Railroads -- California
Railroads -- Photographs
Street-railroads -- Buildings and structures
Street-railroads -- California -- Los Angeles
Street-railroads -- Employees
Street-railroads -- California -- Los Angeles -- Employees -- Biography
Street-railroads -- Design and construction
Street-railroads -- Maintenance and repair
Vehicles -- California -- Los Angeles