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Mr. Linsky

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    Brentwood, Ca.
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    Unofficial Historian for the former Green Bus Lines, Inc., of Jamaica, NY.<br /><br />Expertise limited to pre 1960 GM, Yellow Coach and Mack equipment.

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  1. Boy, this one rolls back the time machine to 'day one' in the archives of bus transportation as we savor a photo of the very first motorized coach to operate in New York City, New York State or possibly the entire country. Seen in 1905 meandering the paths of Manhattan's Central Park in demonstration service for the Fifth Avenue Coach Company (FACCO) is a 24 passenger open topped double decker modeled as a Type 'D' with a chassis built in France by De Dion-Bouton and carrying a body by J.G. Brill and Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is said that the test trials were so successful and well accepted by customers that the company almost immediately ordered an addition fourteen buses while beginning to make serious inroads into the retirement of their large horse drawn fleet. FACCO continued to do chassis business with foreign suppliers including Daimler of England until World War I halted such overseas shipping forcing the company into its own manufacturing. Of note is the extraordinary (for the time) 10 cent fare which was provided for in FACCO's State Public Service Commission permit. Unfortunately, the black and white film hides the elegant color scheme of the vehicle which was a body of rich cavern green with touches of gold leaf pin striping. Photo courtesy of 'bk.sales' and is available at eBay as item # 390495542900. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  2. When the President of the United States takes the bus, I have to believe that the fleet number changes to Bus Force One! Seen seated in the famous Rosa Parks bus on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan is our Chief Executive Barack Obama who is probably deep in thoughts surrounding the historic events of 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama that turned an ordinary transit bus into a cherished object. The bus, a 1948 36 passenger GM Coach modeled as a TDH-3610 and carrying fleet #2857, was purchased by conglomerate National City Lines (NCL) and, with its standard NCL 'Fruit Salad' livery, saw service in a number of cities before reaching retirement in Alabama. Interestingly, historians are not absolutely certain that #2857 was the actual bus probably because they could find no photographs in which the fleet number was discernible. However, in October 2001, a member of the Museum’s conservation staff personally inspected the bus, ensuring that its markings and identification were original and a certified forensic document examiner employed by the Museum examined scrapbooks of original images and saw no reason to doubt the authenticity of the accompanying notations. Photo and information courtesy of 'cdlocks4all' and is available at eBay as item # 231390290715. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  3. Seen in 1957 at the Transit Authority's East New York paint shop in Brooklyn is fleet # 7000 - a 1957 45 passenger GM Coach modeled as a TDH-5106 and one of two hundred and nine likenesses numbered between 7000 and 7208 delivered to New York City in that year. #7000 is dressed in all gold livery which, according to Greller's 'New York City Transit System Bus and Trolley Coach Fleet', was for a Fifth Avenue promotional parade and I will take that as gospel even though I find nothing published to substantiate the claim. However, as coincidence would have it, 1957 was a milestone year in that it marked the 'Golden' anniversary of fossil fueled rubber tired transit in the city which was led by Fifth Avenue Coach in 1907 (they did dabble in battery cars some years earlier which turned out to be a dismal failure). My only question here is where the bus was painted or repainted to gold; was it a factory order or was it done in Brooklyn? Photo courtesy of 'Vintage-Vault75' and is avail;able at eBay as item # 390967840486. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  4. I title this presentation as 'Off to the Races'! Seen in what appears to be the Chinatown section of lower Manhattan and taken in April of 1972 is fleet # 501 followed by # 502 readying for a trip to Yonkers Raceway and operating for the Avenue B and East Broadway Transit Company (AB&EB) of New York. # 501, probably the most photographed ever of the company's buses, and its sibling are 1958 51 passenger Macks modeled as a C-49-DM's and were originally demonstrators that arrived at AB&EB in 1960 (the year is in question - see below) at which time the company added Thermo Equipment Company (not to be confused with Thermo King) air conditioning systems These buses along with two C-49-DM's from Schenectady and two C-45-DT's from Cleveland were the last used equipment for AB&EB and were followed by new Flxibles and GM's before the company's takeover by MASTOA in 1980. One note concerning #'s 501 and 502; while they were modeled as DM's meaning Diesel/mechanical, they are listed on AB&EB's roster (in parenthesis) as torque converters which would indicate that they were modified somewhere along the line. There is one further conflict in facts; Mack's post war production records show that they were demos sold to AB&EB in 1959 while Martin's 'New York City Transit Buses 1945-1975' indicates that they were purchased from Public Service Interstate Transport of New Jersey in 1960 - the door remains open on that one! Photo courtesy of 'cr-sd80mac' and is available at eBay as item # 231303732188. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  5. 1984, I am unfamiliar with 'Paling' but I assume that with the added word 'refurb' it may be a bus rebuilder such as 'Blitz' is in the U.S. - can you give me more detail? BTW; the location details in your profile description could just as easily be Manhattan, NY or Los Angeles, CA.!! Many regards, Mr. 'L'
  6. Seen at its company facility sometime in 1995 is fleet # 122 - a 1967 45 passenger GM Coach modeled as a TDM-4519 and one of three likenesses numbered from 121 to 123 operating for the Greenfield/Montague Transit Area (GMTA) of Greenfield, Massachusetts. The oddity here is, of course, the very tasteful and professional updating of the lower portion of the front clip including more modern headlamp package and a shock absorbing water filled rubber bumper (it is very much like what GM might have done themselves to jazz up the New Look front end had they continued it in production). Also of note are the sun shaded lights (one to either side of the destination sign) which were probably used in school bus operations and the full glass doors for safer turning ability. BTW; I would say that #122 was still in pretty good shape at the age of 28! GMTA served a route between the Springfield adjacent towns of Greenfield and Montague until 2006 when the Franklin Regional Transit Authority assumed the service as part of an expansion that included forty suburban communities. Photo courtesy of 'windsor74' and is available on eBay as item # 371101554586. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  7. This presentation may answer at least some questions as to where the special 1939/1940 New York World's Fair Greyhound sightseers wound up after the expo ended. The top photo below is representative of the 100 special such vehicles custom built for the Exposition Greyhound Lines division of the Greyhound Corporation by Yellow Coach in 1939 and were exclusively modeled as 1207's The 1207, powered by a 308 cubic inch Chevrolet gasoline engine located beneath the driver's seat, measured 45 feet in length with a 108 inch width and featured two longitudinal back to back wooden benches that sat 50 adults. Road worthy these vehicles were not with only a single forward gear and a 'cruising' speed of about five to seven mph - however, they were ideal for the purpose they were designed for and rumor has it that many although not all found new homes at amusement parks in the southern tier after the fair closed. At least two are known not to have followed the same path as shown below; In September 1942 during World War II the Army Air Forces was assigned its first women as members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), for work in the Aircraft and Warning Service which operated listening posts when enemy attacks on the United States were expected. In the center image a 1207 is seen in 1942 dressed in Army Olive Drab and transporting a group of uniformed ladies presumably within a military compound - it is unclear as to how many of these buses the government bought but you can bet that it was certainly more than one. In a change of pace, the lower frame below shows a 1207 in the service of La Guardia Airport Tours - note that the terminal building still carries the 'New York Municipal Airport' name which would be changed by the Port Authority in 1947. Top photo courtesy of the World's Fair Corporation. Center photo courtesy of Library of Congress. Bottom photo courtesy of Getty Images. Some information culled from Wikipedia and the Motor Bus Society. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  8. This is really a new one on me! The Second World War brought about great hardship for the average motorist when the U.S. Office of Price Administration (OPA) imposed strict rationing of what gasoline supplies it allotted for civilian use thereby forcing John Q. Public to leave his car in the driveway and opt for mass transit. The innovative engineers and mechanics of the Chicago Motor Coach Company, suddenly burdened with throngs of new riders, came up with the idea of the 'standing room only' bus during rush hour operations. It was dubbed a 'stand sit' arrangement in which wooden folding chairs (much like those for a card table) replaced standard seating and when pulled up or closed created over double the rated capacity. Seen below standing at rest somewhere in the environs of the 'Windy City' in 1942 is fleet # 705 - a 1936 36 passenger Yellow Coach modeled as a 731 and showing the unusual seating configuration. It is unclear as to how many of the company's fleet saw this clever modification which was certainly welcomed by its riders. Note the giant 'V' for victory (which was bright red) under the windshield. Photo courtesy of the Motor Bus Society. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  9. This is one Green Line special that even this historian has never seen before! - can you imagine that!? Shown in 1947 at Avenue U and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn trundling its way back to Rockaway Park via the then Marine Parkway Bridge (now Gil Hodges) on the Q35 line is fleet # 607 - a 1937 37 passenger Mack modeled as a 6-CT-3S operating for Green Bus Lines, Inc., then of Cornell Park, New York. # 607 is all gussied up to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary (1897 to 1947) of Far Rockaway High School with the accent being 'Fifty Years of Progress'. It's unfortunate that the photo is not in color because # 607 probably would have been in much brighter hues for the occasion than the company's cavern green and battleship gray of the period - maybe it was in gold such as was the city 5106 # 7000 that celebrated Fifth Avenue's golden anniversary. Note the windshield placard indicating a terminus at 116th. Street probably because the destination scrolls were never updated for the opening of the Q35 line in late 1937. BTW; this writer dated a young lady from Far Rockaway High School that led to a 44 year marriage that could only have been made in heaven! Photo courtesy of 'Vintage-Vault75' and is available at eBay as item # 181379789861. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  10. Back in the late twenties, the fledgling Surface Transportation System (NY) Bus Division of the Third Avenue Railway System welcomed demonstrators from what was then a myriad of manufacturers to find the right fit for their growing needs. One such demo arriving for trials in 1926 was a rather unusual 37 passenger dual rear axle gas/electric model 6HC37 manufactured by the Versare Car Company based just North of Albany in Watervliet, New York. Apparently, preliminary trials satisfied the company and 40 likenesses were purchased in increments between 1928 and 1929 numbered 400 to 439 which includes # 414 pictured below. Versare propulsion systems combining a groundbreaking use individual electric drives for each rear axle proved less than reliable in its infancy and became a nightmare to maintain thus leading Surface to retire the fleet by 1939. The Versares were generally used on the company's #3 Prospect Avenue route in The Bronx but # 414 has been assigned to summer duties in shuttling bathers to Throgs Neck beaches on the #6 line. A very brief history of Versare The Versare Car Company was a bus and trolley bus maker founded outside of Albany, New York in 1925. In 1927 Versare announced a revolutionary type of gas-electric bus with its engine inside the body at the rear (the earliest U.S. example of so-called "streetcar-type" bus construction with the front entrance door ahead of the front axle). There were two electric motors and two driving axles - a concept that proved somewhat more palatable to potential customers, and with interest being shown in the design, the Cincinnati Car Co., an old established streetcar builder, acquired Versare in 1928. A trolley-coach version was marketed as well, initially having the same three-axle layout as the motor bus, but later revised with a single rear axle, and after sale of the company the trolley-coaches were sold under the Cincinnati name. The buses continued to use the name Versare and may have still been built at the original plant in Watervliet, N.Y. Approximately 100 buses and 40 trolley-coaches were produced, and buyers included transit companies in New York, Albany, Montreal, Cleveland, Boston and Salt Lake City. (Coachbuilt) Photo courtesy of 'Vintage-Vault75' and is available at eBay as item # 181330782285. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  11. Annually, I try to come up with an interesting holiday dressed coach to lift our spirits for the coming joyous season. This year's greeting card arrives in the form of a 1952 44 passenger GM Coach Model TDH 4509 and one of five likenesses numbered 355 to 359 delivered to Northern Indiana Transit, Inc., of South Bend, Indiana. Our focus is conservatively attired as compared to the more lavish displays we've seen in the past but still makes its point in bringing cheer to all as it heads to St. Mary's College in the South Bend suburb of Notre Dame. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Peace on Earth to all. Photo courtesy of 'Flickr - The Old Look Bus Pool' and was taken by Bruce K. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  12. Here's an unusual and interesting photo taken at the docks in New York in May of 1955 with the focus being on fleet # 527 - a 1955 45 passenger Mack Model C-47-DT and one of fifty likenesses numbered 501 to 550 that will eventually see service with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority of San Juan, Puerto Rico. # 527 is seen on the end of a crane being loaded on to the USS Elizabeth for its brief ocean going voyage. Aside from a second set of under windshield floor vents, this rare view shows us a little of what makes up the underpinnings of a Mack Bus including its pre air suspension heavy leaf springs and neatly placed fuel tank. Also of note are the fresh air intakes in the windshield eave just under the destination sign. Photo courtesy of 'cootsimagery' and is available at eBay as item # 350908272372. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  13. (see 1 attachment) Sitting at the Company's Corona Yards in 1948 and contemplating its final fate after being retired by the City of New York is fleet #634 - a 1932 36 passenger White Motor Company Model 54A and one of twenty one likenesses numbered 616 to 635 originally purchased in increments between 1931 and 1932 by the defunct North Shore Bus Company of Flushing, New York. Introduced as a parlor car in 1928, the White 54A, powered by a new single block overhead valve gasoline engine with a 519 cubic inch displacement pushing 100 h.p. and featuring all wheel air brakes, gave both Yellow's and Mack's of the same ilk a run for their money with 700 built between 1929 and 1938. These coaches had been purchased for express operations between Manhattan and both Jackson Heights and Jones Beach - services that were less then successful and led to the early sale of most of the fleet to other operators. However, in 1935 the astute North Shore shops converted the Bender bodied #634 for transit operation by cutting away the decorative observation platform at the rear, lowering the roof and adding a bi-fold rear door as well as converting the original sedan door in the same manner (the rear conversion is evidenced by the loss of well over half of the enlarged eighth passenger window). Also on the crusher's list seen in the background of the shot is fleet # 570 - a 1930 Yellow Coach Model Z-BM-617. Photo courtesy of 'Vintage-Vault75' and has been sold on eBay. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  14. (see 2 attachments) While transit buses of yore may not have seemed very comfortable to ride in with their sprung suspensions, some manufacturers more than made up for the deficit by providing 'living room' quality seating as can be seen below in the interior of a 1933 40 passenger Twin Coach Model 40 operating as #233 for Jamaica Buses, Inc. of Baisley Park, New York. Heavily cushioned plush genuine leather seating of what would be of 'Rolls-Royce' caliber today abounds with individually contoured benches amidships which were easily removable to service the underfloor 'twin' engines - certainly, no 'slash proofing' needed in those days!. Of note is the Johnson Model 'J' electric fare box which was one of many that were transferred from the trolley cars of Jamaica's predecessor Jamaica Central Railways. The blurb below, thanks to the Johnson Fare Box Company, illustrates the versatility of their Model J. Photo courtesy of 'Judahpraise' and is available at eBay as item #121176996379. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
  15. (see 1 attachment) Seen in 1912 when new traversing Manhattan's Central Park on its run between upper Riverside Drive and Washington Square via the #5 line is fleet #201 - a 23 passenger De Dion-Bouton demonstrator operating for the Fifth Avenue Coach Company (FACCO) of Manhattan, New York. Specialized chassis for buses were virtually non existent in the U.S. in the earliest part of the twentieth century so FACCO, one of the first (if not the first company) to motorize looked across the seas to already established manufacturers and found both Daimler of England and De Dion-Bouton of France as most likely candidates and, while some Daimler equipment did make the roster, De Dion became the mainstay (bodies for all of FACCO's early equipment were built by the J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). It was the onset of World War I, when shipments of chassis from the two foreign sources were diverted to the war effort, that forced FACCO to began to manufacture their own in their upper Manhattan shops not only for themselves but to any and all takers. Mechanical field tests of #201 in early 1912 proved very favorable but the 23 seat capacity did not so subsequent orders in the 200 series in 1912 and 1913 added a 22 seat second level which began the famous double decked tradition that the company maintained until the last of its late thirties Queen Marys left the road in 1953. The single deck #201 enjoyed its jaunts through Central Park, a privilege not afforded to its double deck cousins due to low overpass heights but that changed in 1914 when #201 was rebuilt to two levels itself. BTW; note that FACCO's fare was 10 cents (twice the going trolley rate) - a lot of money for that day and age! Photo courtesy of 'Forgotten Images' and is available at eBay as item #281177089771. Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York
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