Tag Archives: tickets

Vintage Bus Ticket Technology Provokes Fond Memories

Intriguing technology from the past – provokes fond memories!

Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser
Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser

As you entered the bus the bus driver would take your fare and print your ticket, as some still do today.  These early ticket dispensing models were mechanical, with dials to print different fares.

I recall however, in earlier times, the driver just drove the bus and there was also a ‘bus conductor’ who rode on the bus with the passengers. He would moved around the bus, upstairs and down, sell and dispense tickets, inspect and clip tickets to show they were used. The bus conductor wore crossed leather straps, with a money bag on one side and a ticket dispenser on the other. He also had a hand-held clipping devise. To us he was fondly known as the “Clipper” or “Clippy”.

Of course staple to my home towns of Portchester and Portsmouth in Hampshire, we had the fun of riding on a double-decker bus. The red buses were Corporation buses, and Green were from a private-run company Southdown Motors.

My first memories of the double-deckers, were “trolley” buses, driven by overhead cables. The trolley buses of which there were 100 or so, ran on nine routes across the City and its outskirts.  Trolley buses ceased operation in July 1963.  The predecessor to the trolley bus was the tram system, run on ground rails. That system closed in 1936.

So, more about the technology of printing bus tickets onto plain paper…. on the go!

The Setright was a mechanical ticket dispenser invented by Australian Henry Roy Setright and patented in 1922, made in the London by Setright Registers Ltd.

Setright Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed
Setright Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed

The Almex is a Type A. This mechanical ticket machine was created by A B Almex of Sweden, launched in the late 1940s.  These were still in use up to the 1980s.

Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed with Blank Paper Ticket Roll
Almex Bus Ticket Dispenser, Boxed with Blank Paper Ticket Roll

These images were shared in a recent post on a group page of history buffs from my home-town!  (Shared here with permission). Seeing the images bought back a swarm of fond memories.

I find it is the quirky, everyday or unusual items that provoke the best stories! Do you agree?