Friday, October 4, 2013

WWI Dazzle-Painted Cafe Buses

Camouflaged British café buses (1933)
Years ago, we ran across a news photograph (above), with a note explaining that, after World War I, unemployed British navy veterans were given jobs as servers on mobile café buses. As a reminder to the public, these buses were painted in striped ship camouflage patterns. Last week, we found a brief news article in the La Porte City (IA) Progress Review (dated June 15, 1933, p. 9) with a headline that reads CAFÉ BUSES CATER TO MOTORIST TRADE. Part of the rest of the article reads—

Traveling cafes on British roads are the latest development in catering for motorists, says Answers Magazine. A scheme for a fleet of these has been worked out as a means of providing employment for retired naval officers.

These traveling cafes are really super coffee stalls, fitted out with the most up-to-date equipment for providing refreshment for hungry wayfarers. The first of them are already on the road and may be recognized by their blue and white exteriors, in the style of the wartime "dazzle" camouflage for merchant ships. 

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