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The History Page of YESTERYEAR

Welcome to Plainfield Today’s History Page a page of old Plainfield and the Chicago Area photos and articles of yesterday. Please send us your old photos and stories plainfieldtodaysales@gmail.com.


Photo of Plainfield IL Electric Park




Electric Park, Plainfield, IL. (1904-1932)


In the late 1890s the Joliet, Plainfield & Aurora interurban Railroad opened an electric line connecting those three communities. In 1904, the Joliet, Plainfield & Aurora opened Electric Park to the public. Conceived primarily to promote travel on the fledgling railroad, Electric Park quickly became a popular vacation spot.Lavish gardens flanking the banks of the DuPage River, as well as athletic grounds, bandstands, dancing pavilions, a 5,000-seat auditorium featuring a large pipe organ, restaurants, a waterslide, bowling alley and passenger paddle boats.The resort attracted vacationers who relaxed in cabins featuring electric, gas, and water service. But the railroad succumbed to financial difficulties in 1923, a victim of the automobile, and Electric Park ultimately closed in 1932.





Motorola 1952 TV AD

Motorola was an American multinational telecommunications company founded on September 25, 1928, based in Schaumburg, Illinois

Motorola was the first company to produce a handheld mobile phone. On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive, made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment, placing a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs his rival.

Joliet, Plainfield & Aurora
The Joliet, Plainfield & Aurora Railway (JP&A) was incorporated in May 1901 and built the interurban line from Joliet northwest through Plainfield to Aurora.  In November 1905, the Joliet & Southern Traction Company (J&S) was formed by the Fisher Brothers of Joliet (who had ambitious expansion plans) and in 1907 took over the JP&A.  In 1907, the interurban line from Joliet east to Chicago Heights (plans for the extension from Chicago Heights to Hammond, Indiana, never materialized) was constructed.  In February 1922 the J&S was in receivership.  In November 1914 the J&S the divided by a court order sale into two line, with the Joliet & Eastern Traction Company (J&E) taking over the interurban line from Joliet to Chicago Heights, and the Aurora Plainfield & Joliet Railway(AP&J) taking over the interurban line from Joliet to Aurora.  The J&E was in receivership in January 1922 because of the automobile and concrete highways, with abandonment on April 15, 1922. The AP&J became the Aurora Plainfield & Joliet Railroad on September 1, 1920, and all service was abandoned on August 31, 1924 because of automobile and concrete highway competition (the local Joliet line continued to operated for a few months longer).  Both interurban lines were one of the first interurban systems in Illinois to abandon rail service.    #12 in a builders photoCaption data from Stephen M. ScalzoBill Volkmer collection


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