How Greyhound Buses Got Their Name

How did the Greyhound bus get its name?

A reporter named Hannah Campbell has the answer, or at least part of it, in her 1964 book Why did they name it… ?, a precursor to ezine listings like Mental Floss (which is a cousin site of the FanSided Network).

Based on the rather scarce information on the dust jacket, this book evolved from a series of articles Campbell had written for Cosmopolitan magazine, and is described as “an entertaining story of the brands that have become an integral part of American homes, exquisitely illustrated with reproductions of advertisements from days gone by.”

The Greyhound Bus Company was formed in the northeastern Minnesota region of the Mesabi Railroad, known to be an economically struggling mining area filled with hockey talent.

How did the Greyhound bus company get its name?

In 1914, a Swedish immigrant named Carl Eric Wickman could not find his fortune in mining, so he tried to become a car salesman at a Hupmobile dealership, where he failed spectacularly without make only one sale.

So he started using one of the vehicles to provide a bus service between the towns of Hibbing and Alice, originally with seven passengers at a time, quickly expanded to ten after getting a blacksmith friend to become his partner. commercial and enlarge the body of the car.

This one-car fleet quickly grew to two, and two years later there were five cars and drivers / operators. In the meantime, they have developed their first long-distance bus line, from Hibbing to Duluth.

The cars were painted a dull battleship gray to hide the dust and grime of the dirt roads traveled, which have since become synonymous with the company.

At one point in those early days, a hotel manager along a route told Wickman his buses looked like “those passing Greyhounds,” and Wickman liked the image enough to make it a slogan. marketing, which eventually became the name of the company.

Now based in Dallas since the late 1980s, the company’s name has become a shorthand in the American lexicon for bus travel, appearing in a variety of pop cultural artifacts. Notable examples with Greyhound scenes include the movies Good luck Charlie: it’s Christmas, Smoke signals, Tin the country of tomorrow, and Sara Evans’ song “Backseat of a Greyhound Bus” from her 2003 Restless album.

It seems likely that real dogs have surely traveled along the road through history at some point, in addition to people, and although it is only very tangentially linked to the canine kingdom, it is still a good anecdote to know.


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