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Look Back: St. Louis' streetcar demise

A streetcar in 1915 on the Bellefontaine line, the longest line in the city. It ran from the Walnut Park neighborhood in far north St. Louis to Virginia and Primm avenues in the far south side. A round trip took 2 1/2 hours. Inside the car is motorman George Lee Stehem. On the cowcatcher is conductor Les Petrie. (Post-Dispatch)

Regarding Benjamin Hochman’s column, “The name of the MLS team in St. Louis should be …” (Aug. 29): As long as names are being vetted for our Major League Soccer team, here’s the best: the St Louis Sparks.

There are three reasons why. First, the name references the city’s great streetcar heritage, with the overhead power lines and occasional sparks. St Louis had the world’s largest streetcar manufacturer (St Louis Car Co.), and one of the nation’s most comprehensive streetcar systems (485 route miles). Second, the name Sparks is an allusion to St Louis-Cortex’s important “sparks of genius” (including many startup businesses and bio-engineering firms). Third, there will be sparks of talent on the field to make the game something exciting to behold. The St Louis’ trolley spark heritage lives on, and our Sparks would confound the competition. We can look forward to that ride.

Andrew Sisk • Kirkwood