What About the Trolley's on Mister Rogers' Wall?

Growing up with children's programming on PBS as my primary source of TV, I was obviously a big fan of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, especially of the trolley and whenever the show would visit a factory or answer how something like crayons, for example, were made.

After re-watching the show recently, I couldn't help but notice he had prints of trolleys hanging in the house set piece, and had to figure out if they were custom made for the show, or what exactly they were.

"Hundreds of times, Mister Rogers has opened his closet and changed in to or out of his sweater for a daily visit with his television neighbors. Over the course of these visits, framed images of four trolleys are seen next to the closet door." (Neighborhood Archive)

Mister Rogers putting on his trademark knitted sweater, with the trolley prints behind him to his left.

"In the early 1950's, a series of trolley prints were produced by the New York company Autoprints. The set of prints included eight images -- "Color Prints of Early American Trolley Cars." Autoprints also produced a similar set at this time featuring prints of train engines. The four images framed next to Mister Rogers' closet are quickly recognizable from this Autoprints set."

I'm clearly not the only one who was interested in these prints, as they fetch significantly higher prices than other Autoprints' series of transportation and trains.

Cover of Color Prints of Early American Trolley Cars. Image via Pinterest.

Fred Rogers himself was a fan of trolleys and railways, which isn't a stretch given how prominently his model trolley featured in each show. In fact, he visited a trolley museum in one of his episodes.

Thanks as always for reading!

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