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Me and My Collection: Angus McIntyre and Lyanne Smith

Angus McIntyre and Lyanne Smith collect public transportation memorabilia from all over Canada and U.S.A. - with a focus on Vancouver.

McIntyre's collection includes artefacts as large as fare boxes and as small as transit tokens. Smith's collection is more focused on paper media and small collectables issued between 1890 and 2000 by the various operating companies. Together their collections paint a detailed timeline of the province's transportation system. In the video below, McIntyre shares how the old fare boxes from the 1950s and 1960s worked, and how the prominence of paper money made them obsolete by the 1970s. McIntyre and Smith's collections are now on display as part of the All Together Now exhibition - on through March 19, 2017.

 

Angus McIntyre
Greater Vancouver Public Transit Memorabilia

Why do you collect?
I started my 41-year career as a Vancouver bus driver in 1969, so I had access to many bus parts after they were retired from service. I was able to save items that appealed to me for their design, engineering and historic value. Brill trolley buses were my focus because I drove them for 15 years.

How do you collect?
My first foray into collecting occurred when I was 18. I went with a friend to a scrap yard in South Burnaby. We paid a modest sum to salvage items from old Brill trolley buses. As time went on, I added to my collection through contacts in the transit system or through other collectors.

How does your collection relate to you?
My collection is directly connected to my job as a bus driver.

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
Most of my transit collection dates from after 1955, the date the last streetcar ran.

How does your collection connect you with people?
It provides me with a way to share my knowledge of the transit system with transit enthusiasts and friends. When I give a talk, I illustrate my presentation by showing objects to the audience. I’ve also developed an extensive network of transit collectors over the years. I was fortunate to have mentors 50 years ago who took the time to explain Vancouver’s transit history to me. I am now in a position to mentor a younger generation of transit collectors.

Lyanne Smith and Angus McIntyre - public transportation collectors
Photo by Rebecca Blissett

Lyanne Smith
Greater Vancouver and Victoria Public Transit Memorabilia

Why do you collect?
I began collecting during my career at BC Hydro and continued when I worked with BC Transit and SkyTrain. In 1990, I met several old conductors and motormen who worked for BC Electric. I was moved by their stories and as a result, my collecting took on a more personal approach. I now collect to preserve the history of the employees who built the transit system in Vancouver and region.

How do you collect?
I acquired most of my collection while working at BC Transit. Retired employees and their families donated many items. I also obtained several through antique dealers. At one time, I had a dealer who would source out unique and rare items for me.

How does your collection relate to you?
Together, my husband and I have over 78 years of transit experience. The collection is very meaningful to us because the transit industry has played a huge role in our lives. We met many of our closest friends during our careers, so when we show the collection, it’s like a trip down memory lane!!

How does your collection relate to Vancouver?
It tells the story of Vancouver’s public transit system. It also talks about the employees who worked for the various companies that operated the system.

How does collecting connect you with people?
Over time, I’ve connected with several public transit employees and their families who were eager to share their experiences in the industry. I also engage with the general public, who are keen to learn more about this aspect of their city’s history.


 

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