In 1993. member Kevin Marks began transforming the Society’s newsletter into a publication called “Live Wires”. Presented in a magazine format semi-annually, Live Wires is a gathering of personal recollections of and historical facts about The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company, Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad, and other transit systems across the country.
Price for each issue is: Members $5.00; Non-members is $8.50 plus $1.50 shipping. If more then one issue is purchased must contact Charles Damaske at 920-262-1918 for charges.
Other Items Available
Milwaukee Electric Publications Available thru TMER&THS
THE MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC RAILWAY & LIGHT CO. 1898 MAP
In 1898, people interested in the Milwaukee area could receive a brochure from TMER&L Co. entitled “Scenic Trolley Rides.” The brochure came in an orange envelope, and told of the wonders of the TMER&L Co. the places one could ride to and the marvelous sites to see.
In addition to the brochure there was a map, neatly folder to fit into the envelope. The map measured 23 ½” X 30” when unfolded, and was a pictorial representation of the system.
This map has been reproduced and is available. The map was digitally scanned, and the damage due the fold-line areas was retouched so that the map looks like it would have when unfolded for the first time in 1898. The pictorial style, typical of the period, can best be described as an artist’s interpreted bird’s-eye view of Southeastern Wisconsin. With Milwaukee in the foreground, the view stretches off to the horizon, and the area around Oconomowoc and Lake Geneva. Car lines are highlighted, as are the interurban routes (including several planned but not yet built). The predominant colors are earth-tones-brown, green, blue and black- and have been printed to exactly match the original.
– $15.00 Member/ $20.00 Non-member (Shipping $7.00 Media Mail)
1898 Map Companion Book “Scenic Trolley Ride”
The original booklet came with a folded-up copy of the 1898 System Map inside the back cover. Readers could study the sites and attractions shown along the TMER&L Co. system- parks, beaches, churches and other landmarks—then chart a self guided tour using the route information on the back pages. Printed on archival paper, with the same size and image quality as the original, this booklet has been meticulously reproduced.
– $5.00 Member/$7.00 Non-member
Completed in 1953 by George Gloff, this reproduced map is a wonderful example of the art of pen and ink draftsmanship. The map illustrates, in meticulous detail, the “West Side Rapid Transit Line.” from the Public Service Building to West Junction, as well as the lines to Waukesha and Hales Corners. These were the lines that comprised speedrail. Every detail of the right-of-way is shown, with an extensive Key identifying all of the major features along the lines. They include all connecting streetcar and bus lines, city streets, railroads, industries, parks and more— everything along these lines as it existed in the Speedrail era. Mr. Gloff was an employee at Speedrail, and went on to work for Kalmbach Publishing Co., were he eventually retired as Art Director at Model Railroader. This color map is a unique creation that’s of interest to railfans, historians and map collectors. The map measures 22” x 38” and comes in a mailing tube.
– $25.00 Member/ $30.00 Non-Member(Shipping $7.00 Media Mail)
TM TALES: The Inside Story of TMER&L by Charles Cahill published in 2009.
This soft cover book covers topic’s on the Milwaukee Electric. Employees describe the system at its peak during the 1920’s and 1930’s. It also highlights interurban and streetcar lines operated by Tm. Each chapter is brimming with operational vignettes never previously described and of particular interest to electric railway fans. The background history clarifying and lending continuity to personal memoirs.
Books of TMER & L Co.
Milwaukee Electric Photo Album #1 by Charles H. Damaske published in 2010
This photo album includes work equipment, streetcars starting with low numbers up through the 900’s, interurbans- just about every one that ran on the system, street scenes in Milwaukee and surrounding area, private right-of-ways, rapid transit line construction and operations and more. This album has 1,259 photos on 180 pages.
– $22.95 (Shipping $5.00 Media Mail)
Milwaukee Electric Photo Album #2 by Charles H. Damaske published in 2011
This album covers just about every phase of electric railroading in Milwaukee and surrounding area. Again this book covers work equipment, streetcars starting with low numbers up through 900’s, interurbans-just about everyone that ran on the system, street scenes in Milwaukee and surrounding area, private right-of-ways, rapid transit line construction, accidents, views of bridges from above and below, Public Service building and the construction of the Express Terminal Building and more. This album has 144 pages and 990 photos and are different from album #1.
– $21.95 (Shipping $5.00 Media Mail)
MILWAUKEE PHOTO ALBUM #3
This photo album covers just every phase of electric railroading in Milwaukee and surrounding area and are similar as 1 and 2 but different photos. This also includes a study done for the City of Milwaukee in 1948. The study is very detailed and relates to the recommendations to convert streetcar lines to PCC cars, trackless trolley or motor buses. This album has 192 pages and 897 photos.
MILWAUKEE PHOTO ALBUM #4 (INTERURBAN LINES)
This book covers the Burlington, East Troy, Watertown, Milwaukee-Northern and Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha Lines with all points in between. The book has 162 pages and 792 photos plus key dates and information of interest about each line. It covers a period from 1896-1952.
MILWAUKEE’S TRACKLESS TROLLEYS DEVELOPMENT-OPERATIONS-DEMISE, 1931-1965
This book is very different than other books published on Milwaukee’s Trackless Trolleys. It covers the development years of the system that was behind the scenes; to its daily operations dealing with the everyday problems, to its reasons for its final demise & conversion to diesel buses. The book is 130 pages and has 97 photos.
MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC ACCIDENTS, 1866-1965, “From Horse Car to Trolley Buses”
This book covers actual newspaper articles covering that period of time with a total of 158 pages. Many of the photos are from the newspaper one of the kind and other sources not seen before. This books looks at the system for mass transportation with the different kind of streetcars operating and with the automobiles was no match. There is a total of 173 photos.
A DIARY OF MILWAUKEE TRANSIT HISTORY 1859-1958
This book is different than any other books on the transit system in Milwaukee. Other publications cover at a level of general information on equipment and lines. This book covers how it became what it was and the struggle the transit industry had in Milwaukee. These are actual newspaper articles. At its peak in the early 1940’s ridership was at 406,192,707 for the year and by the 1950’s there were only 50 streetcars, 410 trolley buses and 144 diesel buses in operation. Learn and understand how this public corporation was fighting the automobile and what they did to combat the transportation needs in the metro Milwaukee area. There are maps of routes, cartoons, cars and a different view of the system with a total of 144 photos/images on 312 pages.
ALONG THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO EAST TROY 1903-2012
This book starts with the early history of the East Troy line with actual newspaper articles on the development and operations. It does not just stop at 1939 when interurban service ended but continues with the Village of East Troy operating the freight line into the days when The Wisconsin Electric Railway Historical Society operated their cars on the line through the days when Paul Averdung of Midwest Trolley Museum took over the railroad in 1985 until it was called East Troy Electric Railroad. This publication has 170 photos some in color and 212 pages.
ALONG THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO WATERTOWN
This 251 page book contains newspaper transcription from the Watertown Daily Times and the Oconomowoc Enterprise from the late 1800’s to the demise of the Electric Railroad in 1941 from Waukesha to Watertown. Personal anecdotes along with historical sketches of Waukesha Beach, Delafield, Pabst Farms, St. Johns
Military Academy, Oconomowoc, and Watertown are included with 89 photos.
REMEMBERING MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC
This 68 page book recaps important events and people that made the history of the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company system. This book includes: John I. Beggs, Devils Teapot, 100th Anniversary of the East Troy Automated Sub-Station, Horse car service in Milwaukee, Lakeside Power Plant and Belt line, Muskego Beach Amusement Park and Streetcar service in Watertown.
BOB McLEOD PHOTO COLLECTION- TMER&LCo.
This photo album is from the personal collection of Bob McLeod. During the late 1940’s, Bob made it his mission to photograph every streetcar and work equipment by number owned by the company. Some of his photos he shared with other traction fans, but 90% of the photos never saw the light of day. After his death in June, 2016, I was in contact with his wife and was able to acquire the entire collection. This book has a total of 470 photos plus a description of each series starting with the 500’s through the 900’s. This is just a small portion from the collection.
THE MILWAUKEE RAPID TRANSIT & SPEEDRAIL CO.
September 2, 1949, was the start of a new transit company in Milwaukee started by Jay Maeder from Cleveland, Ohio. He purchased the old rapid transit line from Milwaukee to Waukesha and Hales Corners, hoping to turn it around to make it profitable. Ridership was 5,000 to 9,000 people daily. On September 2, 1950, a bad head-on accident on the Hales Corners line made the line questionable to unsafe. Also liability insurance was a major factor finding companies to insure the line after the accident. Many attempts were put on the table to keep the line functioning but all failed. Ridership dropped to around 3,600 daily by June of 1951. In Federal Court on June 19, 1951 the line was ordered to abandon service on June 30, 1951 with claims amounting to 2.3 million dollars. This book goes through a detailed history until 1957 when part of the right of way was converted into a freeway system.
CHICAGO, NORTH SHORE & MILWAUKEE HISTORICAL BOOK
This book covers actual newspaper and Railway Journal articles covering a period from 1893-1964 with the development and operations of the North Shore line from Milwaukee to Chicago. There are a total of 316 pages with 205 photos of which 24 are in color.