From The New York Times:
A question came to mind as school bus drivers prepared to start their engines on Wednesday on 7,700 public-school routes in New York City and end their monthlong strike: Why are most school buses yellow?
The answer is Frank W. Cyr, a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, who became known as the “father of the yellow school bus” for research he led in the 1930s.
Then, in the spring of 1939, he called together educators, school bus manufacturers and paint experts for a conference that approved the nation’s first school bus safety standards — 42 pages covering everything from axles, batteries and emergency brakes to the inside height of the passenger compartment to, yes, the color that the world saw outside. The standards were published in a booklet with a yellow cover: the yellow was the color the group had chosen.
“They wanted a color that would stand out, that other drivers could see from a distance and that would be identified with a school bus so whenever we saw it, we’d think, there’s a group of kids going someplace,” said Frank Cyr’s son, William. “Before that, they sent kids to school in anything.”
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