Pristine PCCs gliding gracefully with trolley poles down past the White House, ducking under Dupont Circle, cruising through the tree-lined streets of Georgetown - the streamliners of the world's last conduit-powered streetcar system were as much a part of the Capital City in the 1950's as the gleaming marble monuments and sweeping boulevards that framed these evocative scenes, scenes that Raleigh D'Adamo knew were soon to disappear forever.
So beginning in 1956 and continuing through 1961, Raleigh regularly checked the Washington, DC weather reports, and on sunny weekends, he'd load up his black VW and drive down from New York to complete a monumental undertaking - documenting on film the streetcar operations of the entire DC Transit system. Now, over 40 years later, this labor of love is finally captured in Raleigh D'Adamo's Washington Streetcar Films, the latest release from Transit Gloria Mundi. In this DVD, the care and artistry of Raleigh's original film is handled with all the meticulous craftsmanship and technological enhancements you've come to expect from Transit Gloria Mundi. None of this exceptional footage has ever been exhibited publicly before.
Raleigh D'Adamo's Washington Streetcar Films is not a history (that will be the job of another installment of TGM's Capital Series), but rather a snapshot of the system in its final years. Every line was photographed from end to end. All lines are shown from trackside; the long stretches of rural private right-of-way on the 20 and 82 lines were also covered with rock-steady out-the-front shots. Raleigh shot like a pro - with a light meter for spot-on exposures, and using a tripod for every scene. Altogether, the collection includes over 11 hours of 8mm Kodachrome II film.
TGM's contribution was to transfer all the footage digitally, directly to our computer's data drives. From there, it was extensively processed to reduce the grain, increase the sharpness, and further enhance stability. The color and exposure were also conformed to preserve Raleigh's original painstaking effort. Then all the shots were organized line-by-line in geographical sequence.
This DVD will allow you to travel every line in each direction in whatever order you wish. There is an introduction by the photographer, and a quick overview of the entire system. It also includes extra features such as alternate sound mixes (full mix, no narration, no music, sound effects only), and exclusive SynchroMapsTM for every sequence, so you can always find out in an instant where you are. A printed map and instructions are included.
Order code DWS, about 2¾ hours of material, all color
NOTE: The SynchroMap feature is intended to be turned on and off as needed. It is not meant to be left on for the duration of the DVD. Flickering will occur if it is left on while the video is playing.