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Happy 94th birthday to the Buzzer!

Happy 94th birthday to the Buzzer!

Images of the Buzzer's first issue! At bottom right is a picture of the jitneys, private cars that competed with the streetcar system. Click for a much larger look!
Images of the Buzzer's first issue! At bottom right is a picture of the jitneys, private cars that competed with the streetcar system. Click for a much larger look!

Happy 94th birthday to the Buzzer!

As you may know, the very first Buzzer appeared on streetcars in June 2, 1916. (See the full first issue here!)

The first Buzzer ran a contest for the newsletter’s name, and when 11 people sent in the winner, the company just split the prize money between them: $2 each! Runners up were “Current Comments” and “Between the Lines.” (Here’s the 2nd issue announcing the winners.)

The Buzzer was originally launched so the streetcars could compete with jitneys, private citizens who patrolled streetcar routes and offered rides for five cents. Jitneys were banned in July 1918, but the Buzzer kept going for another 90 years and counting.

For a Buzzer history treat, have a look at the main Buzzer page on the TransLink website — go to “Related Documents” on the right side, and you’ll find scanned Buzzer issues all the way back to 1960.

Make sure to let me know if you see tidbits to share. More issues from the 1950s will be uploaded soon! You can also see four fun issues from the Buzzer’s 93rd birthday.

Last but not least, here are the PowerPoint slides from the talk I gave to the Vancouver Historical Society last Thursday — you can read the slide notes for a rough outline of its content. Chuck Davis also posted a description of my talk over at the KnowBC blog. Expect video and audio eventually, thanks to Karen and Jason!