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Friday fun post: the 1952 Buzzer bemoans children sitting on transit

For the fun post this week, let’s have a look at the Buzzer from May 9, 1952. Download a PDF version here!

Now it’s totally cliche to say “Wow, times have changed,” but I’m going to do it anyway. For example, did you know that riders REALLY hated when children would get seats on transit? Here’s the article from the back:

Click for larger!

About Offspring

We’ve been receiving complaints that a good many small children are occupying seats while the grown-ups stand. Inasmuch as the grownups pay while young Johnny or Mary ride for free, this arrangement seems rather unfair. So please, parents, see to it that your child doesn’t sit while adults stand. Seat him on your knees or have him hang on to a chair-grip near you. Your fellow passengers will appreciate it. Thanks!

(Gads, that cartoon that accompanies it is so risque! I suppose the Buzzer of the 1950s isn’t for the faint of heart.)

And if this sounds familiar, you may recall that I made reference to the same issue in the Back Issues item from August 15, 2008. A Buzzer from 1925 mentioned that kids shouldn’t be sitting on transit either!

Cartoon from the front of the May 9, 1952 Buzzer.

Anyway, the “times have changed” theme doesn’t stop there. The main article in this Buzzer was a tirade against women fumbling for change in their purse when paying the streetcar! I’d bet my life that there were men with change counting problems too, but they’re not mentioned in the article. Honestly!

However, this particular Buzzer also announced the debut of “Story of a Street,” a regular history feature by local reporter Jim Nesbitt. So to wind this post up, here’s the story of Seymour Street!

Seymour Street
Seymour Street, one of the principal thoroughfares of downtown Vancouver, was named for His Excellency Frederick Seymour, early day Royal Governor of British Columbia. An Englishman, Seymour first came to B.C. in 1864 as Governor of the Crown Colony of British Columbia, the capital at New Westminster. There was also then a Crown Colony of Vancouver Island, the capital at Victoria.
In 1866 the two colonies were merged as the Crown Colony of British Columbia, the capital in New Westminster, and so Seymour lived there. In 1868, after a long and bitter battle between New Westminster and Victoria, the Island city won, became the capital, has so remained ever since. In ’68 Seymour left New Westminster and took up residence in Victoria, at old Cary Castle, B.C.’s first Government House, destroyed by fire in 1898.
In June of 1869 Governor Seymour took a cruise north in H.M.S. Sparrowhawk. A few days after leaving Esquimalt he died suddenly aboard Sparrowhawk at Bella Coola. He was 47. There was a state funeral in Victoria and burial was in the picturesque naval cemetery in the old world, seaside village of Esquimalt.

You can dig up more gems like this in the Buzzer archives online: look at the top right of the page to see historic Buzzers! If you find anything fun, do let me know. Hope everybody has a great weekend!


  • By Dave 2, July 30, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

    Some days I wish people wouldn’t use the ‘jump’ seats on the MK-1 trains if they don’t need to…

  • By Cliff, July 31, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

    I’ve always thought that the honour attached to having a street named after someone should be scaled depending on how large or busy that street got.

    I get a kick when I compare Joe Sackic Way (a two block two lane street crossing Kensington to connect several recreation facilities) in Burnaby to Wayne Gretzky Drive (a multi lane freeway spanning nearly 5km) in Edmonton.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 4, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    Cliff: Well, I agree, if that means anything to anyone :) Street naming has been a bit arbitrary around here though. I once read a book about Vancouver street names which basically said lots of the named streets were just picked by the CP planners in charge, and named after higher-ups in the company, or friends, or patrons. As far as I recall, the tree-named streets in Vancouver were so named because the CP planner in charge was an arborist!

  • By Cliff, August 4, 2010 @ 10:57 am

    I’ve always thought it was kind of weird that the Burrard Peninsula didn’t use the same system as the rest of the Lower Mainland. It’s unbelievably easy to track down an address in Surrey and Delta because of it. With just a street address, one can figure out what cross street, what corner, and even how close to that corner it is by simply glancing at the address.

    In Vancouver you have to subtract 1600 from an address located on a North-South street to figure out what avenue it’s located at. Then you have to remember that Vancouver is divided at Ontario with addresses ascending from that street in either direction. Then add to the fact that Dundas divides Vancouver into north and south sections but it’s in the far north part of the city!

    It gets even more complicated though. Neighbouring Burnaby shares this system but they’re hardly on a grid system! And get this, 1st and 2nd Avenues extend a couple blocks into Burnaby, but then in the southeast corner, New Westminster’s avenues creep up into Burnaby! And even more strange, there are no 1st and 2nd Avenues under their system! What a strange and convoluted coincidence!

    And don’t get me started on the North Shore with its over 20 different sections of Keith Road ranging from Horseshoe Bay to Dollarton!

    Named streets are nice, but give me Corps of Royal Engineers way of numbering streets any day!

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