Curb Clues

There are many historic pictures of Charleston from days gone by that offer some telling information about locations in the past. This picture is at the West end of Broad Street at the turn of the 20th century. The absence of motor vehicles along with the bicycles, telegraph poles and trolley tracks is a good clue to the time frame, as autos did not appear in any great number until the early 1900’s, when bicycling was all the rage and the poles give away that the trolleys were electric-powered, which didn’t happen until the 1890’s. The various signs show that this part of the city was very commercial with retail shops that had been offices for brokers earlier in the city’s history, and the road surface is creosote blocks, which became very popular in the late 1800’s and where replaced by Macadam surfaces by the 1920’s.

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