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St. Louis Car Company

St. Louis Car Company
Industry Manufacturer
Fate ceased operations
Founded April 1887 (1887-04)

William Lefmann, Peter Kling, Juilius Lefmann, Henry Schroeder, Daniel McAllister, Henry Maune,

Charles Ernst
Defunct 1974
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Number of locations
St. Louis, Missouri
Area served
United States; Canada
Key people
George J. Kobusch, Peter Kling, John H. Kobusch, Henry F. Vogel, John I. Beggs, Robert McCulloch, Richard McCulloch, Edwin B. Meissner
Products Railroad passenger cars, locomotives, streetcars, and trolleybuses; automobiles
Parent General Steel Industries (1960–)
Subsidiaries St. Louis Aircraft Corporation

The St. Louis Car Company was a major United States manufacturer of railroad passenger cars, streetcars, trolleybuses and locomotives that existed from 1887–1974, based in St. Louis, Missouri.


The St. Louis Car Company was formed in April 1887 to manufacture and sell streetcars and other kinds of rolling stock of street and steam railways. In succeeding years the company built automobiles, including the American Mors, the Skelton, and the Standard Six. The St. Louis Aircraft Corporation division of the company partnered with the Huttig Sash and Door company in 1917 to produce aircraft. During the two world wars, the company manufactured gliders, trainers, Alligators, flying boats, and dirigible gondolas. Among their most successful products were the Birney Safety Car and the PCC streetcar, a design that was very popular at the time.[1]

The firm went on to build some of the vehicles used in the transit systems of New York City and Chicago, as well as the FM OP800 railcars manufactured exclusively for the Southern Railway in 1939.

In 1960, St. Louis Car Company was acquired by General Steel Industries.[2] In 1964, St. Louis Car completed an order of 430 World's Fair picture-window cars (R36 WF) for the New York City Subway and was continuing work on 162 air-conditioned aluminum cars (PA1/PA2) for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to use on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson line to New Jersey.[3] Also in the mid-1960s, the company completed building the passenger capsules, designed by Planet Corporation, to ferry visitors to the top of the Gateway Arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.[4]

St. Louis Car continued business until 1968 and finally ceased operations by 1974.[5] The final St. Louis Car products were R44 subway cars for the New York City Subway and Staten Island Rapid Transit, and the USDOT State of the Art Car rapid transit demonstrator set whose design was based on the R44.

The St. Louis Car assembly plant and general office at 8000 Hall Street, St. Louis is now the St. Louis Business Center, a mixed use industrial and commercial complex redeveloped starting in 2005.[6]


See also


  1. ^ Andrew D. Young and Eugene Provenzo, The History of the St. Louis Car Company (Howell North Books 1978)
  2. ^ Flagg, James S.; Madison County Sesquicentennial Committee (1962). Our 150 Years, 1812 - 1962: In Commemoration of the Madison County Sesquicentennial. Edwardsville, Illinois: East 10 Publishing Company, Inc. p. 53. 
  3. ^ "Transportation: Back on the Rails". Time Magazine. August 28, 1964. 
  4. ^ Moore, Bob (1994). Urban Innovation and Practical Partnerships: An Administrative History of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 1980-1991. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ Young and Provenzo, 267.
  6. ^ "St. Louis Business Center" Green Street: Portfolio
  • Middleton, William, Jr. The Interurban Era, Kalmbach Publishing, Milwaukee WI.

External links

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