MS 343 - Wilbur Hague Collection
|Title||MS 343 - Wilbur Hague Collection|
|Subject||Business & Commerce|
The Wilbur Hague Papers were donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Wilbur Hague beginning during the 1980s and culminating in a large donation on October 21, 2008. The papers consist of 1.5 linear feet of photographs, indexes, printed material, and research notebooks centered on the interurban transportation network in Northwest Ohio.
No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. Duplication may be permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The register was compiled by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in October 2008.
Wilbur E. Hague was born March 28, 1918 to John William and Grace Opal Hague, in Toledo, Ohio. While growing up Wilbur attended Woodward High School and then Toledo University, from which he graduated in 1942 with a degree in chemistry. From early childhood Wilbur had an interest in railroads in general and the interurban system in particular. His father had worked briefly at the signal tower at Phillips Ave. in Toledo, and other members of his extended family also were employed in various functions in rail transportation, one as a hostler moving the engines from the roundhouse to the tracks and two others as clerks.
After graduation from the university Wilbur was employed as a chemist in Detroit for many years, after which he and his wife moved to Pemberville, Ohio where he continued to pursue his interest in rail travel with research in libraries and historical societies all over the region. Making use of a double-bellows camera and his own darkroom Hague often took copy photos of some material he found or traded items with other researchers. From 1986 until 2001 Hague also served as the editor of “Trolley Wire”, a publication of a local enthusiast group in the Toledo, Ohio area.
|Scope and Content|
The Wilbur Hague Papers consist of loose files and notebooks of material collected in the course of a lifetime of research on interurban rail transportation in Northwest Ohio, including photographs, indexes, printed material, and research notebooks. Much of the information was incorporated in such publications as “The Toledo and Western Railway Company, 1900-1935”, and “The Detroit, Monroe & Toledo Short Line Railway”, both co-authored by Hague and Kirk F. Hise, or used in various issues of “Trolley Wire” which Hague edited after 1986. The various topical notebooks on the different transportation companies are primarily photographic, but include some timetables, transfers, advertisements, receipts, and other printed material pertaining to each particular line. Small handwritten “labels” with explanatory information are included on many pages. The images generally show just the cars and other equipment of the companies, but also visible are several street scenes in such places as Toledo, Bowling Green, and Findlay. Indexes to various Toledo newspapers were created over the years as Hague would search microfilm for articles related to transportation. As he did so he also found articles on local history, obituaries, weather, politics, education, and economics, which he also added to the index providing a timeline for tracking such events as the 1918 flu epidemic, the preparations and local involvement in World War I, strikes, coal shortages, Willys-Overland, and the decline of the street-railroads and interurban lines. Printed material in the collection either provides support for the images or shows the end product of Hague’s research. Loose printed items are generally in envelops, often with an accompanying explanatory sheet from Hague putting the piece in context, such as with various passes, schedules, and transfers. The more significant grouping of printed material is a complete run, with only minor gaps, of the rail enthusiast newsletter, “Trolley Wire”, put out a local Toledo group first under the name Waterfront Electric Railway, Inc. and later as the Toledo, Angola & Western Railway. Wilbur Hague was the editor of this newsletter from 1986 until it ceased publication in 2001 and many photos appearing in its pages are credited to his collection. Loose photographs in the collection are divided into separate envelopes according to the rail company represented. Most of the pictures have some identifying information and dates on the verso provided by Hague. In addition, a number of the images have been used in either “Trolley Wire” or in Hague’s books, or there may be a duplicate copy in one of the topical notebooks.
INTERURBAN COMPANY SUBJECT ALBUMS
POSTCARDS - TOLEDO
WATERFRONT ELECTRIC RAILWAY, INC.
PUBLICATIONS - TROLLEY WIRE