Sunday, October 4, 2009

Traffic Stopping Bears

Bears and other animals holding up traffic were a popular postcard subject until people realized that such encounters could be dangerous. Most of the postcards I have seen in this category show vintage cars of the 1960s and earlier. This postcard is unusual because of the vintage bus.

A close look at the bus shows some interesting details. One person can be seen hanging out the window, and others can be seen inside the bus through the front window. The bus type, Courier Skyview, can be seen above the front windows. "Skyview" refers to the row of windows near the top of the bus. This type of bus was made by Motor Coach Industries (MCI) whose website has a historical timeline showing pictures of their buses from from the 1930s to the 2000s. The destination, on a sign below the front windows, is Columbia Icefields. Columbia Icefield is on the boundary between Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Canadian Rockies.

This postcard was published and copyrighted in 1957 by Smith Lithograph Co. of Vancouver, Canada. The name of the scene (Traffic Stoppers) and the photographer (Harry Rowed) are shown below the picture. Harry Rowed is known for his photos of the Canadian Rockies.

On the back of this postcard is this description: "The bears of the Canadian Rockies vie with the scenery as traffic stoppers. These natural clowns come in all sizes and a variety of colours, ranging from jet black to cinnamon brown."

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

5th Edition, October 2009: Quadrupeds


  1. Great postcard. Love the vintage bus.

  2. Wonderful postcard. I remember a bear encounter when I was a girl, when we vacationed in Yellowstone Park.

    A bear was attracted to our picnic--Dad says I leaped five feet or more from the picnic table to the car. I remember looking out through the back window of the station wagon--the bear's face inches from mine next to the glass--his paws skittering from the car as Dad pulled away...

    Beautiful postcard!

  3. Hi,
    Check out my blog again on Quimper - Thursday I will have old post cards of the costumes of Brittany and the factory workers!

  4. Great post, as usual.
    There are several bus/bear contemporary postcards being sold around Denali National Park with similar images today.

  5. very good, all your postcards seem so interesting, and a good list of postcard blogs down ths side. thanks. i'll be back.


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