Little Bits of History

And leave the driving to us!

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 21, 2010

Carl Wickman

May 21, 1914: Carl Wickman, a Swedish immigrant, begins driving mine workers from Hibbing to Alice, Minnesota. A one-way fare was fifteen cents, round-trip was a quarter. Wickman was transporting iron ore miners in a 1914 Hupmobile – a seven seat precursor to the SUV. Ralph Bogan was also running a service from Hibbing, but going to Duluth. The two men formed a partnership called the Mesaba Transportation Co. in 1915 and turned an $8000 profit the first year.

At the closing of World War I, Wickman owned 18 buses and quintupled his profits. By 1922 he was partnering with Orville Caesar who owned Superior White Bus Lines. In 1926, two more lines were added to the system – Pickwick Lines and Pioneer Yelloway System. That same year the name was changed to Greyhound Lines and within a year Greyhound buses were traveling from California to New York. The Depression hurt business leaving Wickman $1 million in debt. With improvement in the economy, he was back on his feet and by 1935 showed an $8 million profit.

An Interstate Highway System was built starting in 1956. With improved roads and more people owning their own cars, business lagged. There has been much change at the company, buying, selling, and merging with other mass transit companies. Today, Greyhound still buses people across the country. After 9/11, buses were considered a safer way to travel but many bus stations are in out-of-the-way spaces in the “wrong” parts of town. Today, buses are used as a cheap means of travel as well as chartered vehicles used for sightseeing.

Today’s elite buses can have many amenities. There are buses for charter either for short trips or long. These luxury buses can be rented as tour buses, executive coaches, or party buses.  They have GPS systems, wireless Internet connections, leather seating and activity tables (for your laptop), and if you would rather, you can watch direct TV. Rates depend on distance traveled, type of bus chartered, amenities included, and number of riders and range from mere hundreds to several thousands dollars.

“Never run after a bus or a man. There will always be another one.” – unknown

“Art has to move you and design does not, unless it’s a good design for a bus.” – David Hockney

“Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage.” – Regina Nadelson

“Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.” – Charles Kuralt

Also on this date:
In 1932,
Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, solo.
In 1924, Leopold and Loeb kidnapped and murdered
Bobby Franks.

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