Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday's postcard: New Jersey trolley line in 1907

This postcard was postmarked September 3, 1907,1 in Ocean City, New Jersey. The front of the card states "Fast Shore Line between Ocean City and Atlantic City, N.J."2

Whoever produced the card transposed two words. It was actually called the Shore Fast Line. According to Wikipedia:
"The Shore Fast Line was a line of fast trolley cars running from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Ocean City, New Jersey, by way of the mainland communities of Pleasantville, Northfield, Linwood and Somers Point. The line ran from 1907 until 1948. The company that operated the Shore Fast Line was called Atlantic City and Shore Railroad."
More history on this trolley line can be found in Mervin E. Borgnis' 1979 book "We Had a Shore Fast Line."

Also, here's a headline and excerpt from a related article published by The New York Times on March 2, 1907:

The Pennsylvania Planning a
Line from Sandy Hook
to Cape May.
Trip May Then Be Made in Five
Hours Without Change
of Cars.

ATLANTIC CITY, March 1. -- Pennsylvania Railroad capital is back of a plan to link all resorts on the Jersey Coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May by trolley. Railroad engineers assert that within three years it will be possible to go from New York to Sandy Hook by steamer and ride without change of cars to the southernmost point of New Jersey.
This postcard was sent between two of my ancestors. It was mailed by Edgar Chandler Gause to Miss Edna Chandler in Wilmington, Delaware. Here's the note Edgar wrote on the back:

So, my ancestors had more house parties than I do.

And they also used the word "dandy."3

Finally, the 1¢ stamp on this postcard features Captain John Smith. It was one of the Jamestown Exposition stamps of 1907, a commemorative set for a world fair that was held that year.

According to, this stamp is exceptionally difficult to find well-centered. For more information, check out the website's article titled "Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1907."

Other New Jersey related posts

1. One day later, on September 4, 1907, composer Edvard Grieg went to the big Hall of the Mountain King in the sky.
2. Side note: Less than one year before this postcard was mailed, 53 people died in an Atlantic City train wreck involving the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad on October 28, 1906. And as a further side note, according to Wikipedia:
"The accident resulted in what is regarded as the first press release when public relations expert Ivy Lee, working with the Pennsylvania Railroad, parent company of the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad, convinced the company to present a statement to journalists at the scene of the accident. The New York Times printed the release word-for-word on October 30, 1906."
3. Now, the people who know my own fondness for the word "dandy" will understand that it's in my family blood. I clearly cannot help it.


  1. Thanks for this post!

  2. My Grandfather worked for the Shore Fast Line. After he married my Grandmother, he went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad as her two brothers worked there. He eventually ended up in Key West as a Conductor working for Henry Flagler on the Florida East Coast Railway.