Municipal Street Railway System Annual Reports, 1919-1936  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Seattle (Wash.). City Clerk
Title
Municipal Street Railway System Annual Reports
Dates
1919-1936 (inclusive)
Quantity
.2 cubic foot, (1 box)
Collection Number
1802-H4
Summary
Annual reports of the Municipal Street Railway, 1919-1936.
Repository
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
98124-4728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-233-7807
Fax: 206-386-9025
archives@seattle.gov
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Municipal Street Railway System was formed in 1919 when the City purchased the dilapidated rail lines of the Puget Sound Traction, Light and Power Company. The price of $15 million was the subject of controversy amid City Council members; Oliver Erickson, who opposed the purchase, estimated the true value of the lines at closer to five million. However, Seattle citizens supported purchase of the rail lines by an overwhelming margin, and the ordinance authorizing the purchase was passed in March of 1919. Allegations of bribery for City Council votes in favor of the purchase continued for several years; Mayor Hugh Caldwell, elected in 1920, initiated an investigation, but the suspicions were never proven.

The Municipal Street Railway System was bogged down by debt and other issues from its outset; for example, the first annual report (1919-1920) complains of too much interference from the City Council, presses for regulation of "jitneys," which were railways' major competitors for business, and demands that the City refuse to recognize the rights of railway employees to organize.

The System was administered by the Department of Public Utilities until 1932, when the Department was abolished; it then came under the authority of the Board of Public Works. With a $10 million loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the system was able to purchase buses and pay off the Puget Power debt, and was reorganized as the Seattle Transit system in 1939 (see record series 9380 and 9379).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The annual reports for the Municipal Street Railway System date from 1919 to 1936, although reports do not exist for every year. Two reports exist for 1919; the second is a report on the finances of the Municipal Street Railway System by the Comptroller. The reports include financial information (in its first year of operation, the System operated at a loss of $18,000) and information on routes, including schedule changes and revenue, as well as other operating statistics.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Municipal Street Railway System Annual Reports, Record Series 1802-H4. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Municipal Street Railway System Annual Reports, 1919-1936Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Municipal Street Railway (Comptroller/Financial) Annual Report
1919
1/1
Municipal Street Railway Annual Report
1919
1/1
Municipal Street Railway, Automobile Expense Report
1919
1/1
Municipal Railway Division of Department of Public Utilities Annual Report
1920
1/2
Municipal Street Railway Annual Report
1921
1/2
Municipal Street Railway Annual Report
1922
1/2
Municipal Street Railway Annual Report
1923
1/2
Municipal Street Railway Annual Report
1925
1/3
Municipal Street Railway Annual Report
1934
1/3
Municipal Street Railway Annual Report
1936

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Local transit--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Street-railroads--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Annual reports
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Seattle Municipal Street Railway (creator)