Every Round Trip

One might envy Clifford Dwight Beebe, the electric trolley mogul who summered in Skaneateles at his lakeside Lone Oak estate, but his working life was no bed of roses. Here’s a sample of what he had to cope with:

 Anti-Spitting Crusade in Syracuse

 “The Beebe Electric Railway System, Syracuse, N.Y., is conducting an anti-spitting campaign upon its lines. For some time the company has carried signs in its cars, stations, waiting-rooms and shelter buildings, declaring that spitting upon the floor was forbidden and punishable by a fine of $50 ‘by order of the State Board of Health.’ A recent investigation showed that the State Health Law afforded the company no protection.

“As a result, it was found necessary to ask each city that had no anti-spitting ordinance and some 50 villages and townships to adopt a uniform ordinance prohibiting spitting, and providing a fine of $5. Little difficulty in securing the cooperation of the various boards of health has been encountered, and within a month the ordinances will be effective over every line in the Beebe system.

“As soon as the ordinances have all been enacted the companies propose to have their special officers ride on the cars and arrest offenders, who will be prosecuted vigorously. As soon as the campaign was determined upon the management requested the support of each daily and weekly newspaper in the territory served by the company. As a result the campaign was given considerable publicity, and the way was paved for the adoption of the desired ordinances without opposition.

“In order that patrons might have no excuse for expectoration upon the floors of the cars, all cars have been equipped with cuspidors, which are changed at the end of every round trip.”

            — From Electric Railway Journal, April 9, 1910, p. 679

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