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School bus yellow is a color which was especially formulated for use on School buses in North America in 1939. The color is now officially known in Canadamarker and the U.S.marker as National School Bus Glossy Yellow and was originally called National School Bus Chrome. The pigment used for this color was for a long time the lead-containing chrome yellow.

In April of that year, Dr. Frank W. Cyr, a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York organized a conference that established national school-bus construction standards for the U.S., including the standard color of yellow for the school bus. It became known officially as "National School Bus Chrome." The color was selected because black lettering on that hue was easiest to see in the semi-darkness of early morning.

The conference met for seven days and the attendees created a total of 44 standards, including specifications regarding body length, ceiling height and aisle width. Paint experts from DuPont and Pittsburgh Paints participated. Dr. Cyr's conference, funded by a $5,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, was also a landmark event inasmuch as it included transportation officials from each of the then 48 states, as well as specialists from school-bus manufacturing and paint companies. The color was adopted by the National Bureau of Standards (Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) as Federal Standard No. 595a, Color 13432.

The conference approach to school bus safety, as well as the yellow color, has endured into the 21st century. Dr. Cyr became well-known as the "Father of the Yellow School Bus."

School Bus Yellow outside North America

North American-style yellow school buses (built by European manufacturers) are being introduced in some parts of the United Kingdommarker, prompted by corporate links to the American industry, for example First Student UK, or a desire to re-brand school buses, such as West Yorkshire Metro's Mybus.

Computer monitor display

The approximate color of National School Bus Yellow in hex code is #FFD800 and in RGB (255, 216, 0) (seen above). Another hex code considered to be correct by many is #FFCC00, which may be useful because it is a web-safe color. However, #FFCC00 is also associated with the color Tangerine. It is a yellowish tint of tangerine.


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