Vintage / Mod Design: The City Bus


City Bus on Vancouver Street (about mid-1950s)

Distinctive industrial design reveals itself in many ways and, when done well, can be a genuine pleasure to take in.   While the specialness of such design is often difficult to see in our contemporary surroundings, its otherwise subtle impact jumps out when looking back at vintage images. A case in point: the humble municipal bus, operated in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and other cities across Canada.  Over this period theses buses began to display a very mod sensibility as they evolved from the severe boxiness of earlier 1930s and 1940s versions to later, during the 1950s through the 1970s, being adorned with more rounded contours, sleek curves and very stylized lines and chrome elements.

22 responses

  1. Oh, how I wish buses looked like this these days. Granted, I wouldn’t be caught dead in the germ’s paradise of Hep C claptrap public transportation we have here, but I wouldn’t mind looking at it as it drove past. P.S. nice blazing bonfire in the last pic.

    • True on both counts about the bus. That does look like a bonfire but I think it’s one of the big waterfalls near Vancouver. (Another amusing sighting: in the first Vancouver bus photo the theater marquee shows that “Devil Girl From Mars” was then playing, which has since become a campy cult classic.)

  2. Pingback: City Bus: A Delight to See | SIx design hats

  3. The style reminds me of VW vans in the old high school days. I liked the different details you gave us, Brett. Information I would not have known had you not written this post. Smiles, Robin

  4. Pingback: Fred Herzog’s Vintage Vancouver « O' Canada

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