Pickwick Nite Coach luxury bus tour

Pickwick Nite Coach.jpg

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
January 29, 2014

Pickwick Lines Nite Coach service made its debut at the Pacific Southwest Exposition in Long Beach, Calif., during the summer of 1928. Movie legend Clara Bow was pictured with one of the glistening new coast-to-coast coaches and that picture ran in newspapers nationwide, all heralding the arrival of luxury coast-to-coast bus service.

An excerpt from the Aug. 14, 1928, Madison Wisconsin Capital Times reads: “Newest Motor Coach Is Veritable Hotel on Wheels Has Dining Rooms, Berths and Balcony. $30,000 Vehicle Will Be Used On San Diego, ‘Frisco Trip.”

Blueprints of the monstrous bus show a central walkway down the middle of the bus, halfway between the upper and lower levels. This made it easier to slip down into or step up into the sleeping berths. The driver was situated above the motor, almost eight feet above the roadway. The steward had a small kitchen prep area at the front of the bus that served meals to the 28 guests upon request. Each delivered to your stateroom which incidentally featured running water and electric lighting. Each coach was equipped with two lavatories, too.

This black and white photo postcard was taken on Kersey Coates Drive here in Kansas City. The drive is now part of the western part of the downtown loop. The description of the card reads: “First Motor Bus Compartment Sleeper, The Pickwick Nite Coach is a beautiful streamlined vehicle with 28 air cushioned chairs by day and 28 comfortable berths by night. Hot meals prepared and served on board. Two lavatories, Crew of 3, pilot, steward and porter. In successful use over Pickwick-Greyhound and affiliated lines. Pickwick-Greyhound Lines, General Offices, Railway Exchange Building, Kansas City, Missouri.”

Pickwick Lines operated out of the Pickwick Hotel downtown that doubled as the Santa Fe Trailways Stage Lines Depot. References and information for this column were researched on Coachbilt.com, a comprehensive website archiving buses and motor coaches back to their introduction in the late 1800s.

Comments are closed.

  • Cemetery vaults held waiting bodies in historic cemetery

    November 30th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 30, 2016 In 1888 when the Forest Hill Cemetery was incorporated, it lay outside […]


    Americans give thanks nearly 400 years

    November 23rd, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News November 23, 2016 What we celebrate as Thanksgiving is traditionally tied to a three-day feast […]


    Polished beauty rode the rails

    November 16th, 2016
    by

    Billed as the first streamlined diesel-powered train between St. Louis and Kansas City, the Alton Burlington, Ozark State Zephyr graces the front of this linen era postcard sent to Meyer Supply Company of St. Louis on Feb 23, 1937. Built entirely of stainless steel, the train was the flagship of Burlington Railway…


    Iconic igloo inspires museum memories

    November 9th, 2016
    by

    If you’ve forgotten what the third floor of the Kansas City Museum looked like when your elementary school booked a field trip there, here’s a little refresher for you…


    When the center isn’t really the center

    November 2nd, 2016
    by

    Depending on whom you ask, the geographic center of the United States could be one of four different places, all in various midwestern states.


  • Halloween’s chilling origins

    October 26th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 26, 2016 Halloween traces its origins to the ancient Celtic holiday “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in”), […]


    Missouri army camp trained celebrities

    October 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Camp Crowder in Neosho, originally established as an Army Signal Corps training camp, was made famous by a variety of celebrities who spent time there during World War..


    P&L building lights up KC

    October 12th, 2016
    by

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News October 12, 2016 Arguably one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the […]


    A royal treat since 1899

    September 27th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News The roots of today’s American Royal can be traced to 1899 when the fledgling event was referred to as the National Hereford Show.


    Swope mystery lives on while park thrives

    September 20th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This card, titled “Entrance to Swope Park, Kansas City,” may have been sent by a prominent Kansas City architect of its day.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCPS gets chance to impress DESE with James Elementary tour

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News December 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – James Elementary was one of three buildings in […]

    Mural installation at Scarritt Elementary almost finished

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News December 1, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast News caught up with Kansas City […]

    Robbery suspect dies after officer-involved shooting

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News November 30, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A Kansas City, Missouri police officer shot and […]