Remembering the DSR's...
Did you know??? ...That for over twenty-seven years the DSR ran a monthly promotional campaign which
featured different "glamor girls" from across the city? That long-running public relations campaign was know as
"Miss DSR." The PR gimmick originated back in 1946, and would feature women of various backgrounds, whose
portraits were displayed on pocket-size cards displaying the heading, "Miss DSR says." These cards were
distributed through the "Take One" racks, which were located on DSR streetcars, trolley-coaches and buses.
The very first Miss DSR was a then seventeen year old MacKenzie High School senior and aspiring model named
Marlyss Pascoe, who was selected the Miss DSR of June 1946. According to The Detroit News — in a June,
1973 newspaper article which profiled the first Miss DSR — it was stated that an
average of sixty entries per month were sent in by girls seeking to be selected. The
Detroit News also mentioned that since that first Miss DSR in 1946, a line of 311 young
women — including 175 brunets, 122 blonds and 14 redheads — have held the title of
In the early years, all of the Miss DSR winners were rewarded with a one month display
of her portrait on interior car advertising cards and a one month riding pass, good on
all DSR buses and streetcars. Those riding passes, however, were later extended to
one year. In addition, the local papers also ran monthly announcements featuring the
Each month, a "Miss DSR says" card would provide profile information on each
monthly winner, in addition to DSR rider information, service updates, and other "big"
happenings around town. Back in that day, public transportation played an important
role in the lives of many Detroiters, and whenever the DSR made any decision that
affected its riders the event was always covered in the press. Consequently, whenever
the DSR promoted itself, whether it was with new buses, inaugurating new bus lines, or
whatever, the current Miss DSR was always present.
The "Miss DSR" promotion was originally patterned after a very similar "Miss
Subways" campaign that was held in New York City, and managed to survive through
the remaining DSR years. However, the campaign faded away with the DSR after
DDOT came along in 1974. Although it would probably be considered politically
incorrect by today's standards, the campaign was a great PR gimmick back in the day,
and no doubt the free "take-one" cards portraying attractive young women were a
definite attention getter.
|Click-on the above image
to view both sides of a
typical pocket-size "Miss
To help spark a few memories, we've included a few examples of those "Miss DSR says ---" pocket-cards below.
Who knows, someone just might even recognize one of the women featured below.....
(Please click-on the above images to view a larger, more detailed version.)
Some information included in the above article courtesy of The Detroit News, June 1973, article titled "1st Miss DSR - A glamor girl
turns housewife" (newspaper clipping courtesy of Stanley Sycko), and from other miscellaneous DSR sources.
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© 2006 (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 03-03-07)
|MS. LINDA GLOVER
Former "Miss DSR" - January 1972
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|The web-site which takes a look back at the History of Public Transportation in and around the
City of Detroit.