FYI June 27, 2017

1895 – The inaugural run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.
The Royal Blue was the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O)’s flagship passenger train between New York City and Washington, D.C., in the United States, beginning in 1890. The Baltimore-based B&O also used the name between 1890 and 1917 for its improved passenger service between New York and Washington launched in the 1890s, collectively dubbed the Royal Blue Line. Using variants such as the Royal Limited and Royal Special for individual Royal Blue trains, the B&O operated the service in partnership with the Reading Railroad and the Central Railroad of New Jersey. Principal intermediate cities served were Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. Later, as Europe reeled from the carnage of World War I and connotations of European royalty fell into disfavor, the B&O discreetly omitted the sobriquet Royal Blue Line from its New York passenger service and the Royal Blue disappeared from B&O timetables. Beginning in 1917, former Royal Blue Line trains were renamed: the Royal Limited (inaugurated on May 15, 1898), for example, became the National Limited, continuing west from Washington to St. Louis via Cincinnati. During the Depression, the B&O hearkened back to the halcyon pre-World War I era when it launched a re-christened Royal Blue train between New York and Washington in 1935. The B&O finally discontinued passenger service north of Baltimore on April 26, 1958, and the Royal Blue faded into history.

Railroad historian Herbert Harwood said, in his seminal history of the service, “First conceived in late Victorian times to promote a new railroad line … it was indeed one of the most memorable images in the transportation business, an inspired blend of majesty and mystique … Royal Blue Line … Royal Blue Trains … the Royal Blue all meant different things at different times. But essentially they all symbolized one thing: the B&O’s regal route.”[1][2] Between the 1890s and World War I, the B&O’s six daily Royal Blue trains providing service between New York and Washington were noted for their luxury, elegant appearance, and speed. The car interiors were paneled in mahogany, had fully enclosed vestibules (instead of open platforms, still widely in use at the time on U.S. railroads), then-modern heating and lighting, and leaded glass windows. The car exteriors were painted a deep “Royal Saxony blue” color with gold leaf trim.[3]

The B&O’s use of electrification instead of steam power in a Baltimore tunnel on the Royal Blue Line, beginning in 1895, marked the first use of electric locomotives by an American railroad and presaged the dawn of practical alternatives to steam power in the 20th century.[4] Spurred by intense competition from the formidable Pennsylvania Railroad, the dominant railroad in the lucrative New York–Washington market since the 1880s, the Royal Blue in its mid-1930s reincarnation was noted for a number of technological innovations, including streamlining and the first non-articulated diesel locomotive on a passenger train in the U.S., a harbinger of the steam locomotive’s eventual demise.[5]

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1869 – Kate Carew, American illustrator and journalist (d. 1961)
Mary Williams (June 27, 1869 – February 11, 1961), who wrote pseudonymously as Kate Carew, was a caricaturist self-styled as “The Only Woman Caricaturist”. She worked at the New York World , providing illustrated celebrity interviews.

Mary Williams was born in Oakland, California, and began her art training at San Francisco’s School of Design under the esteemed Arthur Mathews and received the school’s “Special Medal for Excellence in Painting” at the local Art Association’s 1891 Winter Annual.[1] From 1891 to 1895 her art received awards at the California State Fair. She exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. After the premature death of her first husband, Seymour Chapin Davison, in 1897 she became, under the sponsorship of Ambrose Bierce, a staff illustrator of portrait sketches at the San Francisco Examiner.[2]

In 1899 Mary Williams Davison moved to New York City and established a studio-residence on West Twenty-Fourth Street. She was hired by Joseph Pulitzer to publish her caricature drawings and interviews of celebrities under the pseudonym “Kate Carew” for his Sunday World and Evening World, divisions of the New York World. In 1901 she married the Australian journalist and playwright Henry Kellett Chambers. In September 1910 she gave birth to a son, Colin Chambers, and the following year divorced her husband for his infidelities with the Mexican writer, Maria Cristina Mena.[2]

In 1911 she was sent to Europe by the Sunday World to publish the series “Kate Carew Abroad.” She traveled to London and Paris, where she interviewed Pablo Picasso and Rostand, John Galsworthy, George Moore, Émile Zola, Bret Hart (who happened to be in England), Lady Sackville-West, and many others. She wrote about 500 pieces for New York City newspapers and later for the Tatler (London), The Patrician, and Eve.[2]

She was among those who visited `Abdu’l-Bahá, then head of the Bahá’í Faith, during his visit to the States and travelled with him for a number of days. On April 16, 1912 with Mary Williams still travelling with him, `Abdu’l-Bahá visited the Bowery.[3] Mary Williams noted that she was impressed with `Abdu’l-Bahá’s generosity of spirit in bringing people of social standing to the Bowery as well as that he then gave money to the poor rather than accepting it.[3][4][5]

She became severely ill in December 1913 and returned to the States after surgery. While conducting interviews in Hollywood for the London Strand she met and married the British-born John A. Reed in November 1916.[6] The following spring they moved to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She became an exhibiting member of the Carmel Arts & Crafts Club and staged a solo exhibit at Monterey’s Hotel Del Monte with over two dozen caricatures, including Woodrow Wilson, Mark Twain, and Ethel Barrymore, to rave reviews.[7] [8] Beginning in the early 1920s, when a severe wrist injury temporarily limited her career, the Reeds resided primarily at Guernsey in the Channel Islands or in France. She exhibited at the Salon des Artistes of Paris in 1924 and 1928; on the latter date she displayed Farm at Hyeres.[9] In June 1938 they returned to the Monterey Peninsula. John Reed died in June 1941 at a sanatorium in St. Helena. Mary Williams returned to Monterey in the spring of 1943, purchased the former home of the painter Lucy Valentine Pierce, and devoted herself to seascapes and landscapes.[10] She died at the age of 91 in a Pacific Grove rest home and is buried in Oakland.[2]




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