Norman Carlson: 2017 David P. Morgan Article Award
Cover of A Transportation Miracle, edited by Norman Carlson. Cover paintng by Mitch Markovitz
The David P. Morgan Article Award for 2017 goes to A Transportation Miracle, an issue-length article about the International Eucharistic Congress held in Chicago in 1926. It was edited by Norman Carlson, president of the Shore Line Interurban Historical Society. The award is given for an outstanding article or paper published one to three years before the year of the award.
"Among other things, we were impressed that so much information and so many photos would have been retained in various archives for around 90 years," the committee said. "This is an issue-length soft-cover booklet (99 pages) which covers the transportation aspects of the XXVIIIth International Eucharistic Congress which was held in Chicago from June 20 through June 24 back in 1926. The primary Mass closing the Eucharistic Congress was celebrated in Mundelein, Illinois, which is north of Chicago, and on that day, around 275,100 arrived and departed Mundelein on the various railroads and interurban serving that community. The North Shore Line invested $150,000 in two terminals to handle these huge crowds, and one of them was used for just one day! The other terminal was used only for special occasions. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (June 20 – 23), the Chicago streetcar lines safeley carried about 15 million people. Numerous special trains were operated to and from Chicago, including the “Red Train” that carried Cardinal Bonzano, the Papal Legate, between Chicago and New York."
Carlson was born in the Illinois Central Hospital in Chicago, then owned and operated by the railroad. Railroads have been a part of his life since birth. For the last 45 years he has been a writer, photographer, and publisher of railroad history, especially electric interurban railroads. In his professional career he served railroads and trucking companies and industrial suppliers to those industries. He was the worldwide managing partner of the transportation practice of an international professional services firm. He is the chairman of the board of directors of Metra, the commuter railroad in Northeastern Illinois, a member of the Business Advisory Committee to the Northwestern University Transportation Center, and member of the board of directors of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art.
The full citation will appear in Railroad History.