Cincinnati Car Company

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Cincinnati Car Company
Industry Streetcar builder
Founded Cincinnati, Ohio (1902 (1902))
Defunct 1938 (1938)
Headquarters Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Cincinnati Car Company or Cincinnati Car Corporation was a subsidiary of Ohio Traction Company. It designed and constructed interurban cars, streetcars (trams) and (in smaller scale) buses. It was founded in 1902 in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1928, it bought the Versare Car Company.

The company was among the first to make lightweight cars. Its chief engineer Thomas Elliot designed the curved-side car, a lightweight model that used curved steel plates (not conventional flat steel plates) in body construction. Instead of the floor, the side plates and side sills bore the bulk of the weight load. Longitudinal floor supports were no longer needed, which made the cars lighter than conventional cars. The first cars of this type were sold in 1922.[1] For instance, the Red Devil weighted only 22 tons.[2] Curved-side cars were also called "Balanced Lightweight Cars".[1]

In 1929, the company designed new lightweight partially aluminum low profile high-speed coaches for the electrified Cincinnati and Lake Erie Railroad interurban that operated between Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo. Twenty were purchased, painted bright red, and called Red Devils by the C&LE. These interurban cars, whose open country speed could reach 90 mph (140 km/h), were a forerunner of today's high-speed trains. Both the carbodies and new design small wheel low ridingtrucks were well adapted for high-speed running on light rail rough track. In 1939, the C&LE abandoned operation, and the Red Devils were sold to the CRANDIC interurban in Iowa and to the Lehigh Valley Transit in Pennsylvania. They continued to operate successfully and well into the 1950s.[3]

Cincinnati Car Company ceased operations in 1938, but several of its original streetcars are preserved, for instance at the Saskatchewan Railway Museum, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal and the Seashore Trolley Museum.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Historical Sketch" in "Cincinnati Car Corporation Collection, 1902-1931; 1965, Collection Guide" (PDF). Indiana Historical Society. 2000-09-20. Retrieved 2012-11-05. 
  2. ^ J.L.Koffmann 1980: Der Rollenstromabnehmer in Amerika. Der Stadtverkehr 4/1980, s. 182-184.
  3. ^ William D. Middleton (1961). The Interurban Era, Kalmbach Publishing Co.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wagner, Richard 1965: Curved-Side Cars Built by Cincinnati Car Company: Railway Cars of Distinctive Lightweight Design Built in the 1920's Becoming Popularly Known as "Rubber Stamp Trolleys", Cincinnati, ASIN B00161UA7K