Memorabilia Monday: A Boys’ Life streetcar advertisement you’ll desire


Look up while riding a bus or train today, and you’ll probably see ads for the latest movie or hit TV show.

But if you rode one of San Francisco’s famous streetcars in the 1930s, you might have spotted the Boys’ Life advertisement seen above.

The ad, printed on a stiff piece of cardboard, appeared on the Market Street Railway in The City by the Bay.

David Miura, international representative with the Pacific Skyline Council, received the item from a coworker whose grandfather worked on the railway. He sent me a scan of the item to share for Memorabilia Monday. (Find out how to share your prized Scouting possession later in this post.)

Pinning down exactly when this streetcar ad first showed up isn’t easy.

The cover image with the elephant, for example, appears to have been adapted from a May 1924 cover.

But in 1924, Boys’ Life cost 20 cents, so I know the ad didn’t run until much later.

In fact, it wasn’t until the October 1932 issue that the magazine’s newsstand price dropped to 10 cents.

The price went up to 15 cents in October 1939. So it’s safe to assume that the ad appeared between 1932 and 1939.

That’s a start, at least. If anyone knows more about these ads, leave a comment below.

By the way, to celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, the magazine “For All Boys” has posted its entire archive online. Browse the Boys’ Life Wayback Machine for a compelling look back at 100 years of great content.

And if you have a cool piece of Scouting memorabilia, send me a picture for Memorabilia Monday.

Here’s how:

  • Take a high-res .jpg image of your favorite Scouting item.
  • Just select one image to send me (I know that picking one could be hard, but please try!).
  • The file must be less than 2 MB in size.
  • E-mail it to me with the subject line “Memorabilia” to
  • Include your name, position, and council.
  • Tell me why this item is special to you.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.