Saturday, March 5, 2011

Griffith's Portland Sightseeing Bus





This postcard of Griffith's Portland Sightseeing Bus (or "Seeing Portland Auto") has a handwritten date of February 22, 1913 along the top of the bus. Griffith's 20 mile tour through Portland is described on the back of the postcard. The picture shows an open air bus, but on the back the car is described as enclosed, steam heated, and as warm and cozy as your own home.

There is another version of a Griffith's bus that appeared on a postcard and is shown by University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division.

I couldn't find any information on this bus, but it appears to be similar the 1909 Seattle World's Fair Bus. That one had a two-cylinder engine mounted beneath the floor, a chain drive, and kerosene front-lamps.

Visit Sepia Saturday for More Vintage Photos




10 comments:

  1. Happy SS! This is really cool. Too think that they had buses like that early on ... this is the first photo I've seen of one.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  2. This puts the UK's open-topped sightseeing buses of today to shame.

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  3. I hadn't heard of this bus before. It's great though. The sender would have fit right in today with text messaging - "2C the sights."

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  4. Marvelous bus and a great postcard. Nice!

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  5. Oh I wonder what they did on those rainy Portland days. They must have had some sort of "window" covering to drop down which have provided a weirdly distorted view of town.

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  6. I wonder if they had a photographer take pictures on each bus tour and then sold the resulting picture - with a pre-printed postcard back, rather like they do in some amusement parks these days. Interesting stuff.

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  7. Fantastic postcard and wonderful bus. I'd have to draw issue with 'enclosed'. Fully heated only for those sitting on top of the steam engine's boiler. Safety doesn't seem to have been much of an issue then either!

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  8. a different looking vehicle for sure. Interesting

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  9. What an interesting bus! They were so fascinating way back when! Nice post, very interesting too!

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  10. OH WOW!!!!! I love this one!! so special!

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