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This car is a PCC Streetcar numbered 1449 that ran in Pittsburgh in 1959. I never actually rode on this car. On its sides, it advertised the 1959 Allegheny County Fair with special guests Sky King & Penny and Annie Oakley & Tagg. They were the stars of two VERY popular TV shows of the time.
Gene Autry and Gail Davis (c. 1956)
Grant and Gloria Winters as Sky King and Penny
The PCC (Presidents’ Conference Committee) is a streetcar design that was first built in the United States in the 1930s. The PCC car has proved to be a long-lasting icon of streetcar design, and many are still in service around the world.
The "PCC" initialism originated from the design committee formed in 1929 as the "Presidents' Conference Committee". The group's membership consisted primarily of representatives of several large operators of U.S. urban electric street railways plus potential manufacturers.
PCC's goal was to design a streamlined, comfortable, quiet, and fast accelerating and braking streetcar that would be operated by a seated operator using floor mounted pedal controls to better meet the needs of the street railways and appeal to riders. PCC prepared a detailed research plan, conducted extensive research on streetcar design, built and tested components, made necessary modifications and revisions based upon the findings, and ultimately produced a set of specifications for a standardized and fixed design. It included a modest list of available options with ample room for customer customization, but was to be built with standard parts as opposed to a custom designed carbody with diverse parts added depending on the whims and requirements of the individual customer. Numerous national and international users operated large fleets of PCC cars for many years.
A significant contribution to the PCC design was noise reduction with extensive use of rubber in springs and other components to prevent rattle, vibration, and thus noise and to provide a level of comfort not known before. Wheel tires were mounted between rubber sandwiches and were thus electrically isolated so that shunts were used to complete ground. Resilient wheels were used on most PCC cars with later heftier cousins known as "Super-Resilient".
Gears were another source of considerable noise, solved by employing hypoid gears which are mounted at a right angle to the axle, where three of the six teeth constantly engaged the main gear, reducing play and noise. All movable truck parts employed rubber for noise reduction as well. "Satisfactory Cushion Wheel of Vital Importance; Develop New Truck Design; Generous Use of Rubber" are headings within a paper that Chief Engineer Clarence F. Hirshfeld both presented and published.
Brooklyn received its first car #1001 on May 28, 1936, the Pittsburgh Railways Company (PRCo) took delivery of car #100 on July 26, 1936, and Baltimore received its first car on September 2, 1936. The first car to be placed in a scheduled public service was PRCo #100 in August, 1936.
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