Article From the Spring 2001 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation


Many of the people who helped preserve the images and lore of the local trolley era have handed over their transfer and departed on their last ride. Their names survive on the backs of photographs, in collections of artifacts, in books and in our memories. One of the special people in this category—Wally Bradley—left a special legacy. In drawings and water color paintings, he captured the feel of a bygone era. We are proud to exhibit in the Gallery at NYMT a retrospective of his work for the present generation to enjoy.

Among Wally’s many interests were photography, history and trolley cars, but most Rochesterians remember him for the warm, witty cartoons he produced during his forty-year career with the Rochester Times-Union. A sampling of his cartoon commentaries on local events, history and sports are included in the exhibit. Wally’s water color paintings accurately depict the streetcars and interurban trolleys that were once the primary means of local mobility. Trolleys that connected Rochester to such distant points as Manitou Beach, Sodus, Geneseo, Syracuse and Geneva are revealed by the artist’s talented hand and his accurate memories of days gone by. Other works in the show include an unusual U. S. Mail trolley from early Rochester, a mounted city policeman, and the old Red Wing Stadium.

This view of Fishers station on the original route of the New York Central is from the T-U’s 1972 "Whistle Stop" series.

                           Collecton of Tom Kirn

We appreciate the generosity of museum friend Tom Kirn who has graciously loaned us a number of Wally Bradley works from his private collection. He also put in many hours designing the exhibit, writing the captions, and framing many of the paintings. Thanks go also to the Rochester Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. About half of the exhibit consists of Bradley works from their collection, and we appreciate their generosity in loaning these great pictures. Finally, thanks go to local collector Howard Rowe for loaning a nice broadside painting of a Rochester Peter Witt car.

To celebrate the opening of "Wally Bradley Remembered", we held a reception on Tuesday night, May 8. The fifty members and friends who attended had a great time, thanks to all the preparations by Bobbie Corzine, Kathy Mielke, Ruth Magraw and Jim Dierks.

Those of us who knew Wally remember a man who willingly shared his love for trolley history with a wonderful sense of humor and almost total recall. Evenings spent listening to him and former motorman the late George Reinagle as they spun their amusing tales from the "old days" are among the special memories of this writer. We hope museum members and visitors will avail themselves of this rare opportunity to enjoy Wally’s memories through his art work.