The Central Electric Railfans' Association is one of the nation's premier railfan organizations, hosting regular programs and events about electric railroading (both past and present). CERA also publishes books like none other about the history and operations of our great rail history. Help support CERA by becoming a member today! CERA publishes "bulletins" from time to time—typically a hardcover book, annually—and Active members are entitled to at least one bulletin per membership year.
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This is the Year of the Horse, and for our March program, CERA takes a look back at horsecars, the beginnings of street railways.
Our feature presentation is Harold Lloyd's "Speedy," (1928) a silent comedy about a fictional last horsecar line in New York city. In real life, the last horsecar in New York ran in 1917.
In the film, Harold Lloyd is in love with the daughter of the operator of a horsecar line. Traction magnates need his franchise to achieve transit unification, and want to put him out of business. Despite their sabotage, Harold (aka "Speedy") rises to the occasion, in a frantic attempt to complete the horsecar's required franchise run. Don't be surprised if Harold saves the day and gets the girl in the end.
Babe Ruth makes a cameo appearance, and we also get to watch him hit a home run against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
"Speedy" was filmed on location in NYC in 1927, and besides the horsecars, there are plenty of views of vintage streetscapes, streetcars, elevated trains, Coney Island, and even the late, lamented Penn Station, subject of a recent American Experience documentary.
As added attractions, we will watch two shorts- "The Bellboy," (1918) starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Buster Keaton (which also features a horsecar), and we will go back to the beginnings of railroading circa 1830 with "The Iron Mule" (1925) starring Al St. John, with an uncredited appearance by Buster Keaton.
Come join us for what promises to be a fun evening. It's a horse of another color at CERA!Get more details in Calendar.
Admission is free for current CERA members. There will be a $5.00 Admission charge for non-members.