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What Color Were Those Streetcars?

        I don't have a complete answer to this question, but what I have learned so far places 1940's Columbus' streetcars among the most colorful of streetcars. 

        During some part of the horsecar era each car was permanently assigned to a route.  Each route had its own color.  For example the High Street horsecars were painted white.  That was one way the passengers know which car to take.

        Colored postcards from the 1910 era show a two tone scheme brown-yellow with possibly a dark green.  In 1926 when the 701-723 Kuhlman cars were purchased they were painted OSU scarlet and gray.  That was changed to the traction orange (Cadmium Yellow) and chromium yellow with maroon window sash and stripes seen at the end of the streetcar era.  Here are some color slides from the AJC Collection that show Columbus' colorful streetcars.  Unfortunately the slide colors have faded over the last 60 years making it uncertain as to the exact shade of orange, yellow and maroon.  The photos are from the time when the Columbus & Southern Ohio Electric Co. owned and operated the streetcar system.

        Any information readers have about color would be much appreciated.  Send your comments to columbusrr@att.net .

Click to enlarge c&soe co. 857

Streetcar #857 on Kelton Avenue in front of the Kelton Avenue shops in August 1948. 

Click to enlarge c&soe co. 714

C&SOE Co. car #714 at the east end of the Main Street line in front of the Drexel Theater in Bexley on the eastside of Columbus.  Photo taken September 1945.



Click to enlarge c&soe co. 710-3

#710 at the end of the Neil Avenue line near Ohio State University.  Hamilton Hall is in the background.  Photo taken August 1948.


Click to enlarge c&soe co. 713

#713 at Front and W. Broad Streets.  The photographer is facing north.  Photo taken August 1948.


Click to enlarge c&soe co. 853

#853 in front of the paint shop at the Kelton Avenue shops.  Photo taken August 1948.


Click to enlarge c&soe co. 808

This photo of #808 shows that not all streetcars received the "sun burst" end treatment.  This  photo was taken on Kelston Avenue in front of he shops in August 1948.


Click to enlarge c&soe co. 432

A 1938 Brill model 44SMT trolley coach on the Cleveland Avenue Line.  Columbus trolley coaches were also painted in the orange and yellow scheme.  #432 had a dark red stripe for accent.  Trolley coaches started replacing streetcars in 1933 and finished the job in 1948.  The photo was taken July 1958.