Traction modelers interested in prototype ideas for turn-of-the-century structures, rolling stock, and street scenes will enjoy Mountain View Trolley Line, by William E. Rogers, Jr. The latest book in Arcadia Publishingís Postcard History Series, Mountain View Trolley Line is filled with postcard photographs from a time when streets were empty and the hills werenít filled with tasteless MacMansions.
The emptiness of the streets and the openness of the Delaware Water Gap landscape reinforce the importance of the Mountain View Trolley Line and its role in bringing vacationers to the great hotels of the area. When a vehicle is shown on a downtown street in Stroudsbourg, PA, or in a rural setting, itís usually the only vehicle in the picture, and itís typically dwarfed by the adjacent trolley.
The hotels, however, are huge and their grounds are immaculate. Roadside clutter and sprawl hadnít been invented yet: the the farms appeared prosperous and well-kept.
Every Arcadia book has a photograph or 2 of exceptional interest. On page 92 of this volume, for example, thereís a great photo of a wye turnout in the middle of Lower Maine Street in Stroudsburg, a photo with a great deal of perspective that draws your eye into the tree-shaded streets. The lack of people and traffic, plus the deep perspective looking down the throat of the wye turnout that allowed cars to pass, is hauntingly beautiful.
Many of the 3 story buildings shown lining the streets would make excellent shallow, background, structures.
My favorite photo, however, is on page 72. It shows a huge, four bay, covered bridge across the Delaware River. The sides of the huge bridge are covered, top to bottom, with signs advertising Coca-Cola! I never realized that covered bridges were an early form of billboard! This is the type of photographic detail that is rarely shown, but would certainly add a lot of interest to model of a covered bridge.
Another great rescue of great photos by Arcadia Publishing, useful to modelers around the country who want to turn their modeling back to the pre-World War l era.
Mountain View Trolley Line, by William E. Rogers, Jr, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishingwww.arcadiapublihing.com or (888) 313-2665.