Page 5 "Electric Railway Journal" Article
In this age of crass materialism it might perhaps seem unnecessary to decry any efforts made toward the perpetuation of artistic effect and inherent grace of outline. Nevertheless we feel constrained to side with the open advocates of the exclusive use of arched roofs for street cars even though this course may be fraught with danger to higher ideals. That the monitor-deck roof has held its own in the affections of many street railway men during the past few years is evidence that all are not devoid of the desire for beauty in car design. At least this is the reason given, in nine cases out of ten, for the retention on new cars, notwithstanding its greater cost and weight, of the monitor roof, the estimates varying from $50 and 200 lb. to $100 and 500 lb. per car---to say nothing of its cost of maintenance. In the tenth instance the reason given by a railway for adhering to the monitor-deck roof will be the suppositious lack of ventilation in arched-roof cars, but as it will often be found on the same railway that the cars are provided with ventilators in the monitor and that the deck sashes are fixed in place, this reason can hardly be taken very seriously. As a matter of fact, there was every reason for the monitor-deck roof in the days before the development of the ventilator. Now, when there are many thoroughly practical ventilating devices on the market, the reason for its existence has become limited to the fact that its appearance, through habit, is less offensive than that of the plain arch. To adhere to it on such grounds is no more logical than to condemn the small wheel for city cars because it looks insignificant.
This editorial, published at a time when design requirements of the compromise roof cars were in the discussion stage, may have been influential in forming Danforth's rigidly-held opinions. The cost figures shown, projected over the initial minimum of 150 cars, translate to between $7,500 and $15,000 plus added continuing savings in power costs resulting from reduced car weights, estimated at 200-500 Ibs. per car.
(Editorial reprinted with permission, McGraw-Hill, Inc.)