Here's the story: between 1913 and 1915, Philadelphia Transit Commissioner A. Merritt Taylor was charged drawing up a proposal for several mass transit lines to connect metro Philadelphia. At the time, development of the Market-Frankford line was slowly coming along, and it would be another 10 years before Philly saw the start of construction on the Broad Street Line. Still, A. Merritt Taylor's proposal in many ways represents the subway system of Philadelphia's dreams: look at the extension into Queen Village! The 16th and Passyunk Spur! The Northeast Elevated! Franklin Square! Although the majority of these locations currently boast decent bus or trolley coverage, come on. This plan, which represents the first of several transit schematics Merritt Taylor would commission in his lifetime, would have been so great.
Fast forward to 2002, Michael Krasulski, blogger at Philadelphia Studies and librarian and professor at the University of the Sciences gets this digitized map of Merritt Taylor's original city transit proposal dropped in his PhilaU inbox. He writes:
A fellow on the Main Line, whose name I have long forgotten, made this for my website. The map is, mostly, based on the original 1913 plan. He added the airport connection "just because." Here's where we come in: let's find the mystery map-maker. Everyone who has dabbled lightly in cartography or graphic design could take a wild guess at the number of hours this "fellow on the Main Line" dedicated to bringing Merritt Taylor's 1913 plan into the 21st century. Email us, or leave a comment below so we can give this dedicated "train geek" a well-deserved moment in the sun.
A. Merritt Taylor's original proposal, from his Report of Transit Commissioner, City of Philadelphia:
· Obsession Of The Moment: The (Much, Much Better) Philly Subway System As Proposed In 1913 [Philebrity]
· Philadelphia Subway Map Based Upon A. Merritt Taylor's Proposals (1913-1915) [Philadelphia Studies]
· Historical Map: Tentative Location of Future Rapid Transit Lines, Philadelphia, 1913 [Transitmaps]