In Spring 2009 when I lucked into a pile of just over 100 bus passes with movie ads from the 1940's on them I said this in the listings: "This is one of the neatest pieces of movie ephemera I've yet to see and I don't expect to see similar items offered again."
It took 18 months, but they're back!
This time I have over 160 of the bus passes, same neighborhood, St. Louis, dated between 1941-1948 with the classic movies advertised on them having been released at the time each weekly pass was issued.
I removed the earlier line from the new auction listings, but still include this one: "By it's very definition ephemera is an item which wasn't meant to be here--disposable everyday items from the past which somehow managed to survive the trash heap after its originally intended use expired." I'd say a 1940's bus pass is about as ephemeral as you can get by definition!
Can you tell I think these are really neat? In April 2009 I posted a partial Prices Realized page with a little more about the passes. You can see those prices and more images here.
I never did get the opportunity to build a Photo ID Guide for the passes, but I can promise you a huge Guide sometime next weekend. I'm still scanning the bus passes I acquired this time around, but once they're all scanned I'm going to build a guide combining images from this time around with last which should create a monster of a guide with well over 150 to 200 images.
I listed the first 24 vintage movie bus passes at auction on eBay last night--the bidding on each pass starts at just $6.99. Those first passes end next Thursday night. The second batch went up today. I'll be listing 23-24 passes each over the next 5 nights starting either Sunday or Monday so that all 160+ should be up at auction all at once by next Thursday when they start ending. Go here to see them all and bid.