Introduction of School Buses in Montgomery County

Your parents and grandparents have probably told you stories of walking miles to get to school – uphill both ways of course. Today, most kids take the school bus. In fact, if you were a grade school student the late 1950’s, a Dodge school bus might have been your ride. The first school buses used around Rockville (and in Montgomery County) were furnished by Reed Brothers Dodge.

From The Montgomery County Sentinel, May 21, 1959:

First School Buses

In the 1940s, the school bus started to become a profitable trend, so other companies began to jump on the bandwagon to create their own versions. Fifty years prior, Wayne Works and Blue Bird were the main producers, but around this time mainstream companies like Ford and Dodge used their vast resources to further innovation.

Following the end of WWII, the number of children exploded in America, and that necessitated another redesign for buses. This time they didn’t get wider or safer; this time they got a lot longer. Adding all that length increased overall capacity to around 100 students. It was around this time that the infamous yellow paint job became a national standard as well, so this is the beginning of the school buses we know today.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

One response to “Introduction of School Buses in Montgomery County”

  1. Edward F Hyman says :

    Interesting Maryland school bus story. And great shot of the Dodge bus too. But any story like this should mention the train-crossing crash behind St Mary’s Church in 1935. Across the street from Reed Bros. Dodge. Maybe too dark a story though.

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