Life on Edgewood Avenue during the 1940s

by Jeannette Holland Austin


The trolley on Edgewood Avenue near the car barn. Not too much time has passed before we boarded trolleys to go downtown and shop in one or two stores, Richs or Davisons. There were few automobiles and no expressways or ells. In Atlanta, it was simplier times, with Piedmont Road a far distance away. Little did I know but what after the war, we were transitioning into a new era. Certain laboring jobs like ditch-diggers gave way to modern equipment. When we visited the country, tractors were rusting in the year. Although black coal continued to be dumped down the coal shute, and the ice man delivered his hunk of ice, an era of hard physical labor was depositing a visual of poorer times with unpainted houses and the paperboy on a bicycle. Too, the dismal display of black smoke puffing out of the furnace, train tracks, overhead trolley lines and telephone polls delivered the general impression of a colorless world. Inside, homes were paneled with dark wood, or decorated with floral wallpaper, a ceiling light of one or two bulbs lit by a ""punch button." Downtown, Five-Points was a conglomeration of tracks where five trains met. A great tragedy was citizens jumping from the windows of the Kimball House as it burned down. Does anything last? No. However, it still lives in our memories.