Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From the 1908–1955 cartoon featuring a trolley.
- (informal) A trolley, especially one in need of modernization.
1945, Hodgson, J. H., The Heavens Above and the Earth Beneath: A History of the Dominion Observatories, Geological Survey of Canada, page 66:
- Such a car was the feature of a comic strip of those days, "The Toonerville Trolley that Meets All the Trains", and the Farm cars were affectionately known as "The Toonerville Trolley".
1995, Earley, Charity Adams, One Woman's Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC, Texas A&M University Press, page 118:
- [T]he two modes of transportation available were taxicab and the “Toonerville Trolley.” ... The name “Toonerville Trolley” was taken from a popular cartoon of the time because we thought the rock and roll of the streetcar and the uphill and downhill route seemed to be lifted from the cartoon.
2002, Shaffer, Dale E., Salem, OH: A Quaker City History, Arcadia Publishing, page 93:
- The trolley on that route was referred to as “Old Dolly” and the “Toonerville Trolley” (from the comic strip)
2007, “Vermont: Toonerville Trail”, in Rail-Trails: New England, Wilderness Press, page 205:
- The trolley, affectionately nicknamed the “Toonerville Trolley” after a popular cartoon strip that ran until 1947.
2007, Davis, John H., What Do White Americans Want to Know about Black Americans But Are Afraid to Ask, Xlibris, page 86:
- During the period, the area became known as the Toonerville after a local factory. The Pacific electric red car tracks ran through the area, and the local trolley became known as the Toonerville trolley.
2008, Hamm, Jr., Thomas L., A Lifetime Spent Doing What I Loved to Do!: An Autobiography, iUniverse, page 15:
- To travel that mile there was an honest-to-god Toonerville Trolley. A Toonerville Trolley was a very small, one railroad car, featured in a comic strip popular at the time, with one cartoon-type fellow who did all the driving; ....
2009, Grider, Dorothy, “Just Like Paradise”, in Geri Delevich, Marilyn Cichowski, editors, Embraceable You: We're All Part of the Story - New Hope, Pennsylvania, iUniverse, page ??:
- I always loved the first leg of that trip that began with a walk over the bridge that led to Lambertville Station and then a hop on board the little one-coach train called the Toonerville Trolley.
- A noticeably inexpensive trip.
1969, American Flyers Airline, advertisement, Life, volume 67, number 175, page 124:
- Our airline must be something out of the Toonerville Trolley.
- At that point Louis had gone into the dispensary and taken a Tuinal—what his first med school roommate had called Tooners. “Hop up on the Toonerville Trolley, Louis,” he'd say, “and I'll put on some Credence.”