The yellow trolley cars of Columbus Circle

In the 1930s, New York was still a city of trolley cars—like the yellow trolleys whizzing (or lumbering?) through Columbus Circle in this 1931 postcard.


By 1956, the last Brooklyn trolley lines bit the dust, victims of the popularity and ease of cars and buses as well as the difficulty of maintaining tracks on city streets.

But this postcard freezes the New York trolley in time, with embedded metal rails crisscrossing one of Manhattan’s few traffic circles.

Looking east, we’re at the doorstep of Central Park, and steps away from the wealth and glamour of then-new hotels like the Pierre and Sherry-Netherland on Fifth Avenue.

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2 Responses to “The yellow trolley cars of Columbus Circle”

  1. George Quinn Says:

    I once was on a trolley with my grandma. I was about 3 or 4. The trolley stopped short and I slid off the seat and under the seat in front of us. OK, that’s about it.

  2. All the ways to get to Columbus Circle in 1910 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Trolley cars would continue at least through the 1930s. Horse-drawn wagons had another decade before they were banished to a few quiet side streets or out of the way neighborhoods. The automobile heading downtown would soon dominate city streets. […]

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