Greyhound: On the Road
through WWII and Beyond

There was no escaping the world war, and America's intercity bus company changed with it like everything else did--while peering through a rose-colored windshield at the promising postwar future on the horizon.

Greyhound bus at the Post House in Florida

Well before the start of World War II, Greyhound terminals dotted the United States from coast to coast. In the 1930s many, like this one in Tampa, Florida, were built in the style architects called "streamline moderne,” featuring extensive use of porcelain enamel panels. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound terminal illustration

The grand opening of a new terminal--this one was at Washington, DC--was a big deal for Greyhound. The company threw money into a gala affair, complete with giveaways and drawings for big prizes such as battery-operated radios. The November 1940 opening of a the terminal in Atlanta drew more than 35,000 people. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound Highway Traveler magazine navy cover

Advertising and marketing were always a big part of the Greyhound business. That didn't change during the war years, though company operations and promotions did change, reflecting the country's immersion in the world war. Here, an issue of Greyhound's bi-monthly magazine The Highway Traveler, essentially a multipage advertisement for the company, features a typical war-related cover. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound army and navy ranks ad

Wartime Greyhound route maps featured handy guides to help cusomters identify soldiers and sailors they might meet aboard a bus by rank. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound battle ad

This 1941 advertisement promoted Greyhound’s role in transporting civilians and and military personnel “between their homes and military camps and bases" while serving "millions of other Americans in their every-day pursuits.” (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound workers

Like military personnel, civilians working in the war effort often traveled Greyhound, especially because gas and rubber rationing made car travel impractical. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound national defense ad

Through the war, Greyhound touted itself as serving more military camps and bases than any other transportation system and reminded civilians to do their traveling on weekdays, so soldiers and sailors would have seats when traveling home for leave on weekends. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Passengers on a Greyhound bus

One of the many publicity photos Greyhound circulated touted the comfort and classiness of its busses. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound station in Michigan

Greyhound terminals remained busy throughout the war. This 1943 postcard shows outside the terminal in Mackinaw City, Michigan. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound tank buster ad

Proud of the more than 5,000 employees who had signed up to fight, Greyhound ran this ad looking to the postwar return to normalcy--and the return of its workers. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound dreams ad

As the war ground on, Greyhound and other companies began painting the rosy picture of a future when the war was finally “won and done.”  This ad harkens to a day when a soldier and his girl find “a place to dream those happy dreams.” (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound aircraft flagger ad

This 1944 ad shows an aircraft flagger participating in a postwar activity with superficial similarity to his wartime duty. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound soldier ad

The film short This Amazing America, part of Greyhound’s efforts to show its cooperation in the war effort, was shown to Allied service people all over the world. This 1944 ad  shows an audience of a US ski trooper, a “lovely senorita from South America,” a shirtless marine, and a Russian soldier--an optimistic take on how well the world would get along when the war ended. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound Airbus illustration

No less optimistic was Greyhound's vision of its own future. The company did serious research into creating helicopters that would operate as flying buses. By 1947, however, it would scrap the idea as impractical. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound bus illustration

Designs for the Highway Traveler bus, which Greyhound promised would herald in a “new era in motor bus transportation,” were more realistic. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound bus travel ad

After the war ended, Greyhound urged the traveling public to break out of the bounds imposed by the war years and enjoy the open road. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound picture map cover

Between the Great Depression and World War II, Americans had slogged through nearly 15 years of economic and social disruption. The war had taken care of the Depression, and now that the four years of fighting had ended, Americans were filled with a giddy sense of hope. Greyhound tapped into the mood, promising new bus improvements and innovations to provide vehicles for Americans to go out and see “This Amazing America.” (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound bus with driver outside

The Highway Traveler went from concept to reality in the 1950s. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)

Greyhound Scenicruiser

The most famous Greyhound bus was the Scenicruiser, a 1949 test version of which is shown here. Debuted for regular use in 1954, 1,001 of them were produced through 1956. Scenicruisers remained on the road well into the 1970s and became an icon of the American highway. (Courtesy of Robert Gabrick)