Monday, January 20, 2014

Clang, Clang, Clang!

We love our fun new balloon design: a vintage trolley! Especially perfect for a San Francisco 
wedding (or New Orleans, Seattle, Memphis...), this trolley can be customized on its front banners and side panels. We think this design works beautifully for representing a new union: Trolleys have a rich history; they have stood the test of time, and they symbolize both community and the joy of new journeys.

In honor of our new design, here are seven fun facts about the American trolley!

1) San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile national monuments. 

2) Each San Francisco cable car is a work of art: taking 18 to 24 months to complete, and built with Alaskan Spruce, iron, steel, and polished brass.

3) Cable cars take two people to operate them: a conductor, and a gripman (who maneuvers a 365 pound device that grips the cable). No woman was ever able to pass the gripman training course, until 1998, when Fannie Mae Barnes, aged 52, became the first.

4) In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson’s daughter was kicked off a trolley for eating ice cream.

5) “Streetcars” did not come to be known as “trolleys” until 1888, when Richmond, Virginia made its streetcars electric. The name “trolley” comes from the word “troller”—a device that allows an electronic current to pass.

6) The classic musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” devotes an entire number to the joys of riding a trolley. Songwriter Hugh Martin claimed he was inspired to write "The Trolley Song" when he saw a caption in a book about the history of St. Louis. The book had a page with a picture of a turn-of-the-century trolley car, captioned "Clang! Clang! Clang! went the jolly little trolley."

7) Judy Garland did the “Trolley Song” scene in one take. Though she flubbed one of the lines, director Vincent Minnelli insisted they keep it because Garland’s first effort was so magical.

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