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tmariar

"Houston Electric"

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This book has been mentioned previously here and there on HAIF, and the author (Steven M. Baron) has posted on HAIF a few times as "baron", but I don't think there's been a thread about the book itself.

I bought a copy a couple of months ago, and have so far only looked through the photos and read chapters here and there. But the historic photos are great, and the chapters I've read have been very well researched. While the focus is the history of Houston's streetcar system - an interesting enough subject in and of itself - the parts I've read have touched on many other aspects of Houston history.

This isn't much of a review, and maybe I can write more when I'm finished with the book. But while I was thinking of it, I thought I'd recommend it to others. It's bigger, heavier, and slicker (and just overall nicer) than I expected from the author's website - not that I expected it not to be nice. It appears to be self-published, and so I'll give Mr. Baron the credit for not cutting corners. And I got it very promptly after ordering it.

Thanks, Mr. Baron, if you happen to read this - I'm really enjoying the book.

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Added by Editor:

Dirty Amazon link (helps support HAIF): Houston Electric: The Street Railways of Houston, Texasir?t=haif-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0965382818

Clean Amazon link (does not support HAIF): http://www.amazon.com/Houston-Electric-Str...s/dp/0965382818

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I've often thought about putting together a HAIF Bookshelf page for people to find the best books on Houston. Maybe this is an opportunity to do that.

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I've often thought about putting together a HAIF Bookshelf page for people to find the best books on Houston. Maybe this is an opportunity to do that.

That's a good idea, editor...I would like to add that streetcar book to my collection. In the "Houstorian" link, where all the good maps are posted for us (thank you again tmariar), there is one early map that lists info. on the street car lines. Very interesting.

link to 1913 map: http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/maps/images/map0435.jpg

link to "Historian" maps: http://houstorian.wordpress.com/old-houston-maps/

I refer to these maps all the time, great reference material.

Edited by NenaE

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I've often thought about putting together a HAIF Bookshelf page for people to find the best books on Houston. Maybe this is an opportunity to do that.

If you make one, I'd have some suggestions from my Houston bookshelf. I think Sevfiv had a list of recommended books on Houston history somewhere, too, but I couldn't find it quickly.

In the "Houstorian" link, where all the good maps are posted for us (thank you again tmariar), there is one early map that lists info. on the street car lines. Very interesting.

Glad its useful! I like having links all in one place like that. I need to add links on that page to the historic aerial maps someone pointed out recently - I've had lots of fun with those.

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Well thanks so much for the kind words about my book. I finished it over 10 years ago and it's gratifying that folks still find it interesting. I had a great time putting it together.

Yes, it was self-published. I had looked into having it published by one of the "railfan" specialty publishers, but in the end I decided that the economics worked out better to do it myself. It was printed by a company in Iowa that specializes in yearbooks, hence the nice glossy paper and high-quality binding. Incidentally, there are only about 150 unsold copies left. I sell them direct or you can usually find them at Brazos Bookstore.

You might recall a news item from the Chronicle a few months ago about the discovery of some of the old corporate records of the streetcar company. I'm going through these materials now. Most of it is pretty dry corporate and financial stuff, but there are some interesting tidbits. When time permits, I hope to add some of this information to my web site as a sort of addendum to the book. Eventually, the original materials will all be going to the HMRC at the public library.

I really enjoy keeping an eye on the HAIF message boards, sorry that I don't post more often.

Steve Baron

This book has been mentioned previously here and there on HAIF, and the author (Steven M. Baron) has posted on HAIF a few times as "baron", but I don't think there's been a thread about the book itself.

I bought a copy a couple of months ago, and have so far only looked through the photos and read chapters here and there. But the historic photos are great, and the chapters I've read have been very well researched. While the focus is the history of Houston's streetcar system - an interesting enough subject in and of itself - the parts I've read have touched on many other aspects of Houston history.

This isn't much of a review, and maybe I can write more when I'm finished with the book. But while I was thinking of it, I thought I'd recommend it to others. It's bigger, heavier, and slicker (and just overall nicer) than I expected from the author's website - not that I expected it not to be nice. It appears to be self-published, and so I'll give Mr. Baron the credit for not cutting corners. And I got it very promptly after ordering it.

Thanks, Mr. Baron, if you happen to read this - I'm really enjoying the book.

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