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Dec 04, 2013  |   Comments (9)   |   Post a comment

PHOTOS: 60 Years of School Bus Seats


This innovative display on a retired North Carolina school bus shows the progression of school bus seats over the past 60 years. Photos by Derek Graham and Elaine Darby of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

I remember the top corner of the seat backs with a grip handle to hang onto in the 70's. When I was a kid they packed each bus up with as many kids possible, I had to stand hanging onto those seats the entire way to school! I'm making up for that awkward daily ride with a reserved seat on the bus with a panoramic view!

Victoria DeCarlo    |    Feb 14, 2015 01:26 PM

Picture #3 shows a seat with a metal reinforcement welded to the pipe on the left lower angle. Without this reinforcement many standard lower back seats experienced breakage at the angle on the isle and wall side on seats located mainly from the rear wheel hump to the back of the bus. The cause of the problem was two-fold. Students slouched down in the seat and braced their knees against the back of the seat ahead of them to the point of bending at the angle and secondly buses that were used on rough washboard type gravel roads without students in the seat suffered vibration that also weakened the pipe at the angle.

Dwight -- DSBSI Ltd.    |    Feb 13, 2015 08:51 PM

The metal frame "Fiberglass Seat" was available in several styles. One piece fiberglass seat & back shell probably used where vandalism of seats slashed with knives or punched full of holes with a sharp object was an endless problem. Without padding more seats would also fit into the same size bus. They were available with the optional safety padding across the very top of the seat back & the optional regular padded seat cushion could be specified for comfort and helped to keep students from sliding on the slippery fiberglass seat. Another seat not shown is the Superior Coach Super Padded Seat that became available around the time of crash tests done with two school buses staged in a head on crash resulting in real time data with manikins and slow motion cameras. This seat was the exact opposite of the fiberglass seat by providing the greatest protection available in compartmental seating but resulted in reduced seating capacity.

Dwight -- DSBSI Ltd.    |    Feb 13, 2015 01:32 PM

Bruce Cram .... I was wondering the same thing .... where's the fiberglass bench seats?? NO padding ......... You must have been in the industry for a while ... Timm ...

Timm    |    Jan 29, 2014 03:33 PM

Where's the hard plastic seat? Used on a '69 School Bus.

Bruce Cram    |    Dec 16, 2013 04:07 PM

Excellent. A very good platform to support lots of safety messages and to show parents how the industry and the operators have worked over decades to steadily improve occupant safety for their children. Show at NAPT?

Dan Herman    |    Dec 16, 2013 12:08 PM

It would be great to be able to get a copy of these photos to display.

Diana Hulsey    |    Dec 16, 2013 11:55 AM

Outstanding! Great idea.

Deane McGoldrick    |    Dec 16, 2013 11:48 AM

I think that I have ridden in each of the seats or have driven a bus with one of the seats in it; yes, quite a set of picture. [Currently a Sub Driver Neoga, IL and former driver Unit 5 , Normal, IL

Chuck Bartlett    |    Dec 10, 2013 11:27 PM

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