Trolley Trolley Trolley

photo credit flickr/ray.dio.active

After my last trolley post I started digging around in all of the recordings from that day.  I had forgotten, but I must have recorded about 10- 15 pass-bys that day.  These old trolleys made such beautiful sounds that I couldn’t resist posting another recording.  From the wheels on the rails to the cables sizzling overhead it was just all really great stuff.

This is a long in and away that I like quite a bit.  I also love the wood paneling creaking and shaking while moving down the tracks.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This was recorded with my Schoeps MS rig with an MK4 as the mid.

Read More

Cockadoodle Trolley

It is time to visit some of the archives again at fieldsepulchra.  In March, I posted a transfer register I recorded from a turn-of-the-century trolley that I recorded back in 2003.  One of my favorite moments from that day was doing some onboard recording.  The sequence was: ding the bells, get up to speed, apply the brakes, come to a stop, then open and close the door.  The one thing that I didn’t anticipate was the rooster that lived somewhere along the tracks.  It was late morning and I have no idea what this rooster was doing vocalizing.  Maybe he didn’t like the trolley moving through its turf?  He did like ruining my recordings!  Now, only 6 years later, can I laugh about it.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This was recorded with my Schoeps MS rig with an MK4 as the mid.  It was also recorded before the 744T was in my hands, and I was still running around with a Tascam DA-P1.  I used a Sound Devices MP-2 as a front end because the Tascam sounded like shit.  The batteries on that recorder were also damn awful, which meant I had to run around with these small lead acid batteries on my belt, but it got the job done!  Just don’t forget to tighten your belt.

Read More

Transfer Register

Back in 2003 I was hired to record several late 19th century and early 20th century trolleys out in Connecticut for a Smithsonian exhibit on public transportation.   When I arrived, I thought  I was in the wrong place because the museum was at the end of a suburban street and it wasn’t until I saw the Trolley tracks in back that I knew I was in the right place.   The museum is essentially a station house with a few garages that house all of the trolleys.  I met two jovial museum directors in the morning and they were anxious to get out and drive.

After a long day of recording trolly pass-bys, bell dings, door closes, and on-board movement, I was invited to check out some the other trolleys that were parked in the garages along side the tracks.  There were several other trolleys being resotored inside and one of the guys asked me if I ever heard a transfer register before.  I said, “no” and boy was I glad I did.  It sounds pretty awesome.  Trolley operators used to ring them to acknowledge  a transfer fare; they sort of look like little cash registers.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This was recorded with my Schoeps MS rig with an MK4 as the mid.  It was also recorded before the 744T was in my hands, and I was still running around with a Tascam DA-P1.  I used a Sound Devices MP-2 as a front end because the Tascam sounded like shit.  The batteries on that recorder were also damn awful, which meant I had to run around with these small lead acid batteries on my belt, but it got the job done!

Read More
about to call navigation