2024 Meetings

George Gula

April 19, 2024

Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company (PRT) car 1732 on Market Street at 8th Street in Center City Philadelphia on March 3, 1909. Photo from the George W. Gula Collection

The April program will be presented by George Gula. This program is a fascinating travel through time titled Philadelphia’s Streetcar History: 1858 to 1968. It covers the development of the city’s transit operations from the early horsecars through cable and electric operations and describes how the system evolved into the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company and then the Philadelphia Transportation Company. The program ends with the formation of SEPTA. George’s presentation not only covers a photo parade of horsecars, cable cars, early electric cars to Philadelphia’s famous Nearside cars up to one of North America’s largest PCC car fleets, but also traces the tumultuous economic, social and labor history surrounding Philadelphia public transit development.

George W. Gula was born and raised in Scranton and Philadelphia, PA. It was in the early 1950’s in Philadelphia that he acquired his interest in transit and trolleys. After graduating from Penn State University in 1975 with a degree in Business Logistics and Transportation, George worked in the public transit industry beginning with two years at Scranton’s newly formed County of Lackawanna Transit system. He came to the Port Authority of Allegheny County in February 1975 where he worked in Scheduling and Operations until his 2009 retirement. Since joining the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in 1975, he has served as a streetcar operator, conductor and docent in the Operations Department. He is also actively involved in assisting, organizing and maintaining the museum’s archives and researches the state’s eastern streetcar systems. Since 2002, he has delivered many of the museum’s public programs.

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