Cover image for Chicago Transit : an illustrated history
Chicago Transit : an illustrated history
Young, David, 1940 September 22-
Publication Information:
DeKalb, Ill. : Northern Illinois University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
viii, 213 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HE4491.C5 C8788 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Combining nostalgia and historical detail, David Young tells the colorful story of transportation in Chicago, from the plank roads of the 1850s to the streetcar straphangers of the 1920s to the articulated buses of the 1990s. Illustrated with more than 90 photographs and maps, Chicago Transit reveals the political shenanigans, business deals, and technological changes behind the transportation system that made Chicago "the city that works."

Author Notes

David M. Young , former transportation editor for the Chicago Tribune, is author of several books on transportation in Chicago.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Young's book is much more than the title suggests; this handsomely produced volume offers an excellent discussion of urban transit in the Windy City. Young traces development of how Chicagoans moved about from the earliest trails and plank roads through the era of animal cars, cable cars, and electric trolleys, to the elevated railways, or "El's," steam, later diesel-powered commuter trains, and the motor age with its automobiles and buses. Chicagoans encountered every form of transport, in part because "Nature's Metropolis" provided opportunities for investor success. Still, public conveyances did not always mean profitability. At times owners struggled to avoid red ink, often made difficult by residents who viewed private-sector firms as greedy and arrogant. Eventually, as in other cities, local government absorbed street transit and the rail commuter operations, realizing that the public interest must be protected. This thoughtful and pleasantly written book is greatly enhanced by a rich variety of high quality photographs, including numerous historic images from the personal archive of George Krambles, former head of the Chicago Transit Authority. All levels. H. R. Grant; Clemson University