• Peckham Trolley builder

  • General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.
General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by pablo
 
I am perpertually working on a book on a specific trolley line, and the line in question owned 6 Peckham trolleys of a variety of styles.

I checked on Google and couldn't find a whole lot. Is there anyone here that can point me in the right location or direction for more information on this builder?

Thanks so much in advance.

Dave Becker

  by Otto Vondrak
 
If this was the same Peckham Company of Kingston, NY, you may want to try the Trolley Museum of New York to see if they have any information. Are you sure Peckham built complete trolleys, or just trucks and other equipment?

-otto-

  by pablo
 
I know they have trucks and what not, but two different sources state that the trolleys were "Peckham" trolleys, and this includes newpaper accounts of the era.

I do appreciate the idea, and I will give them a shout this week.

Please udnerstand, one and all, that it appears these were new trolleys and not rebuilds, and were delivered as such.

Thanks for the help, and more help is appreciated.

Dave Becker

  by JimBoylan
 
http://www.bera.org/cgi-bin/viewcar.pl?car=5

The above link about Montreal double end trolley rotary snow plow 5 at the Shore Line Trolley Museum, Branford, Conn. says the entire car was built by Peckham. The car was last used in 1951 and still works, but has been a termites' delight for about 50 years.

If the link doesn't work, try bera.org, choose Collection on the lower left side, then at the bottom, use 5 as the search term.

  by 3rdrail
 
For what it's worth, I checked Middleton's "The Time of the Trolley" listing of principle trolley builders. It's not listed. As this is a pretty comprehensive list, it sounds as if, as suggested, Peckham may have manufactured parts, or may have been a small producer of whole trolleys. I know that they developed a fairly common truck seen on many cars, but I myself, do not recall any large orders of "Peckham trolleys" anywhere. Could they have been a builder of specialty cars such as work cars ?

  by Leo Sullivan
 
Paul, I think you're right, they probably made a few plows or sweepers as did the Taunton Locomotive works. Taunton actually made many as they really had a product that was the best in early trolley days. Russell also was a work car builder of high repute and some of their products are still around.
Those companies were also successful at marketing steam road plows and flangers. Peckham was an ironworks so, probably didn't want to bother with much woodwork.
  by n2xjk
 
To touch on the Kingston connection mentioned above: Kingston NY was the home of Peckham's truck building operation. I wasn't aware of them building entire trolley's, but I wouldn't be surprised either. Perhaps the car body assembly was subcontracted out to other builders?

TMNY actually has very little in its collection relating to Peckham--the odd photo or two and some truck blueprints. The truck operation left Kingston many decades before the museum came to town. We did make some inquiries to Huck Manufacturing (who occupied the same building) to see if they had any Peckham records, but they claimed to have none.

  by Leo Sullivan
 
I checked the Peckham Company in England to see if they had supplied any complete cars, possibly to Canada etc. but, there also, they seem to have supplied only trucks. so, no help there.

  by 3rdrail
 
Maybe one of the Seashore shop guys could fill us in on what rides on Peckham trucks.

  by Gerry6309
 
Boston 396 has Peckham 14B4 trucks, a equal wheel maximum traction design. A Peckham single truck was acquired for the City of Manchester, but it remains on a Brill 21E.

As far as I know, that's it.

  by pablo
 
It was likely a very small scale operation, since a work car wouldn't (hypothetically) need the same riding dynamics as one that carried apssenger. In fact, the trolley line(s) in question actually did build cars later after receiving the first one, or so it seems.

This is just one of those minor details that I'm hoping to track down.

David Becker

  by Gerry6309
 
Boston had a couple of Peckham double truck designs, under as many as 200 of their 1200 25 foot closed cars from the 1890s. They mostly used West End Swivel Trucks, plus some other double truck designs, and two six wheel radial designs. The Peckhams were used on the newest cars of the lot from 1899 and 1900. 12 Bench open cars mostly used Brill 22E trucks as on Biddeford & Saco 31 at Seashore.

  by pablo
 
I wonder if many of Peckham's designs were more appropriate for single truck cars that were more common early in the trolley era, and the designs did not translate well to later heavier cars that operated at higher speeds. How many of these were double truck designs for interurbans?

Dave Becker

  by n2xjk
 
Peckham pretty much had trucks comparable to anything Brill put out to fit the smallest 2 axle cars to the largest interurbans.

  by pablo
 
OK, well, that theory is out the window. Where'd they go, then?

David Becker