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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CARNAVAL EN LA HABANA, 1941

Greyhound: 1938

Greyhound: 1938

Washington, D.C., circa 1938. "Greyhound bus." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size. Compare and contrast with this Greyhound.

 

Greyhound 743

The 743 model had the headlights slightly lower than the 719 (thus the headlight surround in the cast front end was not as high), the horizontal bars over the air intakes (beside the destination sign) rather than vertical.
The door sheet metal extended below the front step on the 743, no doubt to keep water out. The rear end was quite different with 2 windows instead of 3, and a different pattern in the cast aluminum ventilation openings in the motor doors.

Dwight E. Austin, Designer

The Yellow Coach model 719 was designed by engineer Dwight Austin (Yellow Coach history). You can read the entire 1937 patent and see additional drawings here.

bus_patent
(click to enlarge)

Frosted Glass Tubes

"Frosted glass tubes shed soft, diffused light at night." Fluorescents, perhaps? That would be another state-of-the-art feature of this vehicle. Apparently they first went on the market in a big way this very year, if you can believe Wikipedia. Of course, there's nothing to stop incandescent bulbs from being configured as frosted glass tubes, either.

Bygone era

Even their buses look cool!

Go By Super-Coach

Not only revolutionary in style, this coach introduced innovative features that still form the basic design of modern buses: rear engine, elevated seating platform and baggage storage below. Hopefully Dave has a side view waiting in the wings.


Washington Post, Aug 16, 1936

Greyhound's New Super-Coach
Is Latest Thing in Bus Comfort

New Model Represents Revolutionary Advance in Design
for Vehicles for Long-Distance Travel.

One of the revolutionary new Greyhound super coaches - radically different from any motor bus ever built - will arrive in Washington Saturday at the conclusion of a five-day tour from Cincinnati.
...
Over 300 of the new streamlined super-coaches are making their first appearance in Greyhound service throughout the Nation this summer. Used exclusively by the the Greyhound system, the super-coachh is radically different from all other coaches on American highways in both construction and appointments. The engine has been placed in the rear for more power and smoother operation, also to avoid noise, vibration and fumes. Passengers ride high enough to look over passing traffic, and baggage travels in locked, weather-proof compartments below the floor, instead of over passengers' heads. More passengers are carried, yet the super-coach, of rugged aluminum alloy construction, weights two tons less than older equipment. Deeply cushioned chairs recline at four different angles, and more leg room between the seats has been provided. Frosted glass tubes shed soft, diffused light at night.

1938 Advertisement
1938_supercoach

Service long gone

Back in the late 1950's, my mother and I rode a Greyhound from Eugene to Salem, Oregon. I was very small, but I remember there was a "hostess" on board. She wore a uniform similar to airline attendents (stewardess) at that time. She served small sandwiches and drinks. I became ill and she helped my mom clean me up and brought some soda water. I've often wondered how long they provided this service and why it was stopped. Does anyone else remember these ladies?

Amazing!

I agree with Anonymous DC Tipster, this is indeed a really cool bus! This pic went straight to my desktop!

Riding in Style

They must have hired an industrial designer to produce this streamlined art deco gem. Good looks aside, I wonder if the stripes and the "fins" on the bumper proved to be a maintenance nightmare.

The art of cool

That is one cool bus!

Yellow Coach

Looks like a Yellow Coach 719, a state of the art bus that was sort of a roadgoing equivalent of the DC-3 airliner, in the sense that it represented the advanced engineering that was coming into being in the pre-war era, revolutionizing travel in the US. Pretty cool styling too.

The De Sade Deco Design Team

Seems like that "bumper" was meant to slice and dice anything or anyone it hit! Or, are those raised ridges rubber? Also the sharp looking potentially piercing spear points protruding from each side ... what? They don't appear to be glass (turn signal lights)? Pretty sharp to be door stops. Lots of linear stuff. Art deco stripes, all over, going on.

Awesome!

That's got so much style, I wouldn't mind getting run over by it!

Art Deco Design

I'd wager a guess that Raymond Loewy was responsible for this design. Very hip! A restored example today would go for big money at one of the big name auctions.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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