[PW] Name for the sign board on a public transit bus?

Robert robert.verde at gmail.com
Mon Nov 30 13:21:18 PST 2015


Doug;

According to various online resources, the term for transit bus destination
signage is "rollsigns," or sometimes, headsigns.  There seems to be quite a
collectors market for vintage destination rolls.

I haven't seen any specific name, like an inventor's name, attached to the
mechanism or the signs, the only name-specific reference I ran across is to
the Luminator, the first electronic bus signs, introduced in the mid-70's.

Robert V.

On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 3:11 PM, Doug Anderson <andersdo at acdl.info> wrote:

> Our patron seems to recall a specific name for the sign board on a public
> transit bus that shows the bus route or destination.
>
> The name he remembers sounds something like "McCattern" (rhymes with
> "pattern", with the stress on the middle syllable) or "MacCaddern" or
> similar.
>
> I've found various sources that call it a "route sign", "sign board",
> "headsign", "destination indicator", etc., but nothing that isn't
> transparently a compound noun or noun phrase.
>
> He was very certain that he had known this term since he was a child in the
> 1960s. He's from Ashtabula.
>
> We found no results, using various conceivably plausible spellings, in any
> of the dictionaries to which we have access, including the OED and the
> Dictionary of American Regional English.
>
> Google fails us. So do searches of visual dictionaries, reverse
> dictionaries, various public-transit-driver training web sites, and phone
> calls to the local public transit system (who calls it "the sign").
>
> Any pointers? Any suggestions for where else to turn? Anybody recognize
> what a McCattern might be?
>
> Thanks in advance --
>
> Doug A.
>
>
> --
> NOTE: Our oplin.org email has been discontinued. Please update your
> contacts with this new email address: andersdo at acdl.info
> =============================
> Douglas Anderson, Reference Coordinator
> Ashtabula County District Library
> 335 W. 44th St.
> Ashtabula, OH 44004
> www.acdl.info
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