Watercolor… Quakertown Trolley Barn, South Elevation. This “Coca Cola” advertisement has been painted on the rear, south brick wall of the former Quakertown Traction Company (QTC) Trolley Barn and Powerhouse, for as long as I can remember. This trolley maintenance barn and power generating station was constructed in 1897, with some evidence that Lansdale architect, Milton Bean had some influence in the design. The Lehigh Valley Transit Co. (LVT) absorbed the QTC in the early 1900’s… and the structure was abandoned to the commercial and retail markets about thirty years later. The Coca Cola Company was founded in the late 1880’s and I don’t know when this hand painted advertisement was created… but it has been fading slowly, toward eventual oblivion over these many years. I decided to paint it before it’s completely gone. The ad is oriented to catch the attention of riders, on northbound Philadelphia & Reading Railroad (RDG) passenger trains, when that service existed between Philadelphia and Bethlehem. This color sketch is intended as a sparse imagining of the site and building, as it may have appeared after the south rail yard was pulled up and eventually turned into a parking lot. The trolley barn came under new ownership in 2017 and is being redeveloped as a public market hub, with eateries and a micro brewery. I hope this collection of “Coke” slogans will be stabilized and preserved as an example of early Twentieth Century, American Advertising.
Size of Painting: 9" x 12"