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Photo of the Month -
Indiana Columbus & Eastern
Traction Co. (IC&E) interurban #71 is all painted up to protest the
unfairness of tax payers building roads for cars, trucks and busses while
the interurban companies and steam railroads built and paid for their own
roadways. To add insult to injury the railroads had to pay taxes on
their property as well.
Besides this message - "Is road
wear paid for in proportion to use?" - other interubans carried the
message "Do private automobile taxes help passenger busses?" and "Highway
travel cost includes road upkeep -- who pays it?". Sadly for the
interurbans and later the steam railroad passenger trains this protest
will be a lost cause. The interurbans will be mostly gone by the 1930's and
the privately operated steam railroad passenger network by the 1960's.
The interstate highways and jet airplanes saw to that.
The IC&E served Columbus from
the west. It looks like #71 is being towed perhaps to the shop to
get its damaged sign repaired. While it is in the shop they should
touch up its bent pilot as well. This photo was probably been taken
in the late 1910's or 20's. The location is unknown.
Photo from the Donald A. Kaiser Collection