Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tram Tuesday - Schenectady, NY

Schenectady, New York had a streetcar system from 1886 until 1946. General Electric bought the streetcar company in 1896 and then set up a GE manufacturing plant in Schenectady. They then extended the streetcar loop to the GE plant to transport their 3,000+ employees to and from work.

There was also an electric interurban that brought people into Schenectady from the smaller towns of Gloversville, Johnstown, Amsterdam, and Scotia where they could then get on the New York Central train. Traveling glove salesmen from Gloversville used the trains to make their sales calls.

This view shows State Street and the Lorraine Block, demolished in the 1960s. The little building next to it may have been some kind of entertainment venue; there are two signs advertising Lew Dockstader, a Vaudeville entertainer. There's also a big sign for Stoll Famous Lager.

 The message on the front of the card, sent to Miss Lillian Wyckoff in 1907 reads:

I am having a dandy time. my address is 8 Romeyn Pl Schenectady N.Y. with this about the entertainment.
Your friend Nettie

Here's the back of the card.


  1. Nettie sounds to have been enjoying herself :)
    Interesting cancellation with the flag with 13 stars.

  2. Dandy! now there is a great word we should bring back to use. And as usual I love Tram Tuesday. Love the trams and the old town views.

  3. i am always amazed how the adressee name ,city and state were all that was needed!
    i have old letters my parents kept...same thing..name,city and state!!..and they probably got them lots quicker than we get mail today!

  4. I think "dandy" is a dandy word too! In Japan, a "dandy" is a complimentary word denoting a fashionable middle-to-older-aged man with fairly good looks, who takes a great deal of care about his personal appearance, and has an air of confidence. So I checked the American-English definition of the word, and it says much the same thing, but with less praise: "A man unduly devoted to style, neatness, and fashion in dress and appearance." How that has ANY connection to the alternative meaning of "excellent," as used in this card, is a mystery to me. Sorry to go on about that, but language fascinates me....

  5. Debbie,
    Language fascinates me too. I think the history of the word Dandy is much like the word Dude, although Dude doesn't have those negative connotations anymore. I looked into this for some previously-posted trade cards featuring The Dude. I can't put a live link in the comments, but if you want to copy and paste, this is where it is: http://postcardparadise.blogspot.com/2010/06/ostrich-dude-again.html

  6. I'm actually sort of surprised that Schenectady even had a tram in 1886, since the population was only about 15,000, although it had doubled by the turn of the century. Perhaps it had something to do with only being about 15 miles from the state capitol of Albany.

  7. A classic card. The long, almost deserted street, the hand coloured buildings, the message that could easily be a modern-day text message (I will include the word "Dandy" in the next text message I send, I like to feel of it)

  8. I'm having a dandy time too. Testing a live link (it works on my blog if you use html code for a link)



Related Posts with Thumbnails