Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Generic Bikes of 1942

Pocatello, Idaho. Bicycle racks (1942)
Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information photo of women and bicycles in 1942

Title-Pocatello, Idaho. Bicycle racks
Contributor Names-Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer
Created / Published-1942 July.
Subject Headings
- United States--Idaho--Bannock County--Pocatello.
- Idaho--Bannock County--Pocatello
Format Headings-Nitrate negatives.
Notes
- Title and other information from caption card.
- Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944.
- More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.fsaowi
- Film copy on SIS roll 16, frame 296.
Medium-1 negative : nitrate ; 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches or smaller.
Call Number/Physical Location-LC-USF34- 073822-E [P&P]
Source Collection-Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)
Repository-Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Digital Id-fsa 8c32556 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8c32556
Control Number-fsa2000050764/PP
Reproduction Number-LC-USF34-073822-E (b&w film nitrate neg.) LC-DIG-fsa-8c32556 (digital file from original neg.)
Rights Advisory-No known restrictions. For information, see U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black & White Photographs http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/071_fsab.html
Online Format-image
Description-1 negative : nitrate ; 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches or smaller.

This comes from a large collection of materials best known for the "Migrant Mother" photograph by Dorothea Lange, taken in 1936. Here is general information about this collection. There are about 100 other depression-era and World War II era photographs in this collection.

In most of these photos from the 30s and 40s, the bikes are not particularly interesting, reflecting I think the poor status of bicycles as a means of transportation at the time. In most of these photos the bicycles are being ridden by adults for whom a bicycle was a poor second to motorized transportation (that is, a car). The main focus of bicycle marketing at the time, such as it was, was on children, although during WWII that was not active to save on the materials required.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Perceptions of Bicycle Safety Have Changed (Since 1991)

Man and boy on bike in DC
Man and boy riding a bike with a dog perched on the man's shoulder near the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool

This photograph from the Library of Congress collection taken in near the Capitol reflecting pool in Washington DC suggests that in the 25 years since 1991 safety in cycling has changed a little bit.

Contributor Names - Patterson, Laura, active approximately 1989-2000, photographer
Created / Published - [Sept. 1991]
Subject Headings
- Reflecting pools--Washington (D.C.)--1990-2000
- Cycling--Washington (D.C.)--1990-2000
- Dogs--Washington (D.C.)--1990-2000
Format Headings - Film negatives--1990-2000.
Notes
- Title devised by Library staff.
- Date from caption information for contact sheet ROLL CALL-1991-507 or corresponding negative sleeve.
- Contact sheet available for reference purposes: ROLL CALL-1991-507, frame 20/20A.
- Contact sheet or negative sleeve caption: "Reflecting pool."
- Forms part of: CQ Roll Call Photograph Collection.
Medium - 1 photograph : negative ; film width 35mm (roll format)
Source Collection - Roll Call portion of CQ Roll Call Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)
Repository - Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Digital Id - ppmsca 38847 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.38847
Library of Congress Control Number - 2015646966
Reproduction Number - LC-DIG-ppmsca-38847 (digital file from original item)
Rights Advisory - No known restrictions on publication.
Description - 1 photograph : negative ; film width 35mm (roll format)
LCCN Permalink - https://lccn.loc.gov/2015646966

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Hikers with Bikes (1920 News Item)

If I am writing about cycling history I usually write about 1890s, but I came upon this photograph of two young women with bicycles and was intrigued.

Beverly Bayard & Lorline Davis [with bikes] - news photo, 1920
These two young women walked across America but were photographed by a news service in NYC with bicycles

Sometimes it is possible to find articles in Chronicling America that are about the same persons who appear in online collections of digitized news service photos. In this case, the photograph had the names of the two young women and these names seemed a sufficiently unusual combination that it would be easy to find any articles if they existed. And in fact I found several, including this news service article from the Idaho Republican for October 1, 1920. It has a photograph, but a different one (without bikes).
NEW YORK.—The Misses Beverly Bayard and Lorline Davis, of Los Angeles, are in New York after a walk across the continent which took them four and a half months.......Miss Bayard is an illustrator and Miss Davis a newspaper writer. "The story you are taking will be the last one printed in our scrapbook," Miss Bayard said. "We're going to put the dear old record away in moth balls, hunt up a garret in Greenwich village and go to work. "It has been a wonderful adventure and a wonderful experience. I want to say if there are any girls in New York who are tired of the big city, and who want to renew their souls, let them get some stout shoes, some trousers, khaki shirts, knapsacks and start on a hike."
It seems that they walked, not bicycled, across America. Why the Bain News Service photography did this photograph of them with bicycles in a mystery. They seem to be something like rental bikes - they don't look suitable as equipped for distance riding. So while I found more information about these two, I did not find the story I would have guessed I would find. Sometimes that happens.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bicycle Sign With Bike Made of PVC Pipe

Bicycle Sign from PVC pipe

Photograph from a new collection online of color photographs, "Roadside America," that doesn't have any bicycles however. This sign is made to look like a large bicycle, made (it appears) mostly of PVC pipe.

Title-The Great Escape bike sign, Route 29
Contributor Names-Margolies, John, photographer
Created / Published-1988.
Subject Headings
- Signs (Notices)--1980-1990
- United States--South Carolina--Spartanburg
Format Headings
Slides--1980-1990.--Color
Genre-Slides--1980-1990.--Color
Notes
- Title, date and keywords based on information provided by the photographer.
- Margolies category: Main Street signs.
- Purchase; John Margolies 2008 (DLC/PP-2008:109-4).
- Credit line: John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
- Forms part of: John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008).
Medium-1 photograph : color transparency ; 35 mm (slide format).
Call Number/Physical Location-LC-MA05- 1777 [P&P]
Source Collection-Margolies, John John - Margolies Roadside America photograph archive
Repository-Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Digital Id-mrg 01777 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/mrg.01777
Library of Congress Control Number-2017703891
Reproduction Number-LC-DIG-mrg-01777 (digital file from original color transparency)
Rights Advisory
No known restrictions on publication. For more information, see "John Margolies Roadside America Photograph Archive - Rights and Restrictions Information" www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/723_marg.html
Online Format-image
Description-1 photograph : color transparency ; 35 mm (slide format).
LCCN Permalink-lccn.loc.gov/2017703891

This article has a photograph of the building along with the bike-sign on top.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Women Bicycle Racers of 1898

Women Seven Day Racers, NYC, 1898
"Young women who will strip for the seven days bicycle race championship" - click through to Flickr to zoom

From the New York Journal and Advertiser, November 13, 1898, photographic supplement.
www.loc.gov/resource/sn83030180/1898-11-13/ed-1/?sp=15

Riders identified are Tillie Anderson (who today seems the best known of these riders, with an entry in wikipedia), Clara Drehmel, Lissette (last name not given, identified as "Mlle. Lissette" who was a French rider), Lizzie Claw.

This newspaper often tried to appeal to what one could consider a prurient interest - here, the notion of the women racers "stripping" in order to race (which is demonstrated in a sequence of photos on the page).

Simpson Chain with two women riders 1896
Lissette shown in mid-1890s photo from France

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hertz Rent-A-Bike? (1971)

Bike story [Bicycle rental store, District Hardware]
A "Hertz rent-a-bike" in Washington DC in 1971

The Library of Congress has a collection that was given to the Library for which rights were also given, the U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. This includes photographs from the 1960s and 1970s.

This odd example apparently was a possibility to go with a magazine story about cycling. I was surprised to see the "Hertz Rent-a-Bike" sign on the door. I had never heard of such a thing. It does not appear as convenient as Capital Bikeshare!

Title-Bike story [Bicycle rental store, District Hardware]
Contributor Names Leffler, Warren K., photographer
Created / Published-1971.
Format Headings-Film negatives--1970-1980.
Genre-Film negatives--1970-1980
Notes
- Title and date from log book.
- Contact sheet available for reference purposes: USN&WR COLL
- Job no. 25159-A, frame 17/17A.
- Forms part of: U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection. Medium 1 photograph : negative; film width 35mm (roll format)
Call Number/Physical Location LC-U9-25159-A- 17/17A [P&P]
Source Collection U.S. News & World Report magazine photograph collection (Library of Congress)
Repository Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Rights Advisory No known restrictions on LCCN Permalink lccn.loc.gov/2017646391

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Roosevelt (or Two) on a Bike

Archie Roosevelt on Bicycle at White House
Archie Roosevelt, son of the then-president, Theodore Roosevelt, on a bicycle at the White House. The bike is too large for him.

Title-Archie Roosevelt on a bicycle
Contributor Names-Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer
Created / Published-c1902 June 17.
Format Headings
Photographic prints--1900-1910.
Portrait photographs--1900-1910.
Notes
- H19130 U.S. Copyright Office.
- Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item.
- Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).
- Formerly in LOT 4273.
- Multiple copies of print found.
Medium-1 photographic print.
Source Collection-Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952. Portraits
Repository-Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Digital Id-cph 3a19334 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a19334
Reproduction Number-LC-USZ62-17136 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory-No known restrictions on publication.
LCCN Permalink-https://lccn.loc.gov/2001703918



Something completely different

The Nationals' Ball Park has a "Presidents' Race" of the racing presidents that includes Teddy Roosevelt - who never won a race until 2012. Here the presidents raced using local Capital Bikeshare bikes.

Johnston With Bike
The portrait of Archie Roosevelt was taken by this photographer, who posed dressed in a man in this self-portrait with a high-wheel bicycle

Title-[Frances Benjamin Johnston, full-length self-portrait dressed as a man with false moustache, posed with bicycle, facing left]
Contributor Name-Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer
Created / Published-[between 1890 and 1900]
Subject Headings
- Johnston, Frances Benjamin,--1864-1952
- Cross dressing--1890-1900
- Bicycles--1890-1900
Format Headings
Albumen prints--1890-1900.
Portrait photographs--1890-1900.
Self-portraits--1890-1900.
Notes
- Title devised by Library staff.
- Forms part of: Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress).
- Exhibited: "Who's Afraid of Women Photographers?" at the Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France, Oct. 2015-Jan. 2016.
Medium-1 photographic print mounted on layered paper board : albumen ; photo 20.9 x 14.9 cm, on mount 25.3 x 20.3 cm.
Call Number/Physical Location-LOT 11734-3 [item] [P&P]
Repository-Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Digital Id-ppmsc 04884 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsc.04884
cph 3b29741 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b29741
Library of Congress Control Number
2001697163
Reproduction Number
LC-DIG-ppmsc-04884 (digital file from original) LC-USZ62-83111 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory
No known restrictions on publication.
LCCN Permalink
https://lccn.loc.gov/2001697163

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Family Portrait with Bicycles

Homer (LOC)
The Homer Family, between 1915 and 1920, with bicycles

The smaller children have tricycles that are sized for their age, but the older daughters have what are I think adult bicycles. Fairly clearly they are not the same model of bike, or even from the some company, since the head badges are different.

The Homers were a fairly well-to-off family financially, it seems. Louise Homer was a opera singer and recording star and her husband was a composer. These photos and others were from the Bain News Service collection at the Library of Congress and perhaps were for some article about Homer's home life and family, thus bringing the bicycle and tricycles into a photo.

Homer (LOC)
Here by contrast they are smiling

Sunday, November 20, 2016

After the [Bicycle] Ride (1897)

After the [Bicycle] Ride-1897
After the Ride

Title: After the ride
Creator(s): Harmon, F. T., copyright claimant
Date Created/Published: c1897.
Medium: 1 photographic print.
Summary: Photograph shows man drinking from a glass and holding a piece of cake while sitting on door of icebox; bicycle at left.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-11780 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: SSF - Interiors -- Kitchens -- 1897 [item] [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Notes:
Title from item.
Subjects:
Kitchens--1890-1900.
Eating & drinking--1890-1900.
Refrigerators--1890-1900.

www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2012647910/

Somewhat oddly, the subject headings don't include anything about the bicycle, but at least the bicycle is mentioned in the "summary" - "bicycle at left."

Apparently the cyclist shown was wanting some refreshment after an early "tweed ride" (or "tweed run" - where today cyclists dress up to evoke early cyclists and their attire).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Paying for his Fun" - Bike Repairs

Pays for Fun
Title: Paying for his fun

Summary-Man working on bicycle wheel.
Created / Published- [between 1890 and 1899]
Subject Headings
- Bicycles & tricycles--1890-1900
- Wheels--1890-1900
- Cleaning--1890-1900
Format Headings-Photographic prints--1890-1900.
Notes-Copyright by F.T. Harmon.
Medium-1 photographic print.
Call Number/Physical Repository-Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
www.loc.gov/item/97511391/

It is a somewhat amusing notion reflected in this photograph from the 1890s that the bicycle rider "pays" for his fun - riding the bike - by spending time fixing the bike. Of course in the 1890s bikes were manufactured with lower tolerances and for a given amount of riding I would assume more repairs were required than for a good quality bike made today.

Still, for the most part I find working on my bikes to be relaxing, although I mostly do fairly basic stuff. I don't do anything with bottom brackets, headsets, or truing wheels. (I guess some people might say that doesn't leave much . . . )

Recently I had a little crash - I managed to end up with both the front and rear wheels out of true on the bike I was riding. I noticed the problem with the rear wheel immediately and got it fixed but it took me a while to realize the front wheel was a bit off - then I had it fixed also.

For me, paying someone to do certain repairs is better than the aggravation/frustration of trying to do it myself without having the right tools or much experience. I'm quite lucky since there is a shop about a mile away, Spokes Etc, where there is a dedicated wheel builder and "wheel mechanic", Bill Mould, who for 20 dollars will correct any true a wheel, putting in in one plane but also making sure it is still round.



Sunday, November 6, 2016

Celebrity Bicycle Reporting (1896)

A rather fanciful article about a then-famous singer, Lillian Russell, in the New York Journal that was for the time a daily newspaper with more pages to fill than most as well as presumably more readers to attract, so apparently they were inclined to long dramatic reports.

LILLIAN RUSSELL'S UNLUCKY CYCLING,
Title-The journal, May 19, 1896
Place of Publication-New York [N.Y.]
Created / Published-New York [N.Y.], May 19, 1896
www.loc.gov/resource/sn84031792/1896-05-19/ed-1/

LILLIAN RUSSELL'S UNLUCKY CYCLING, Thrown from Her Golden Wheel and There Are Disastrous Consequences.

In Collision with Another Bicycler Where Miss Schumacher Was Killed.
She Sprains an Ankle Badly, and That Is Only the Beginning of Her Troubles.

THEY ENSUE ON A HARLEM STAGE, While Singing in the "Little Duke" Her Ankle Weakens and She and Fred Solomon Fall Flat Before the Audience.

Lillian Russell, diva and wheelwoman, played an engagement with her famous golden bicycle at Manhattan avenue and West One Hundred and Sixth street yesterday afternoon that had not been advertised, and that very nearly resulted In serious injury to the noted singer.

By a strange coincidence her contretemps took place just at the place where Miss Theodora Schumacher met her death April 30, and Miss Russell, who is not at all superstitious, now says she believes "In that sort of thing a little bit."

Miss Russell went for her usual ride in Central Park yesterday afternoon. She wore a tan bicycle suit that fitted as if she had been melted and run Into it, and the gold lace with which it was trimmed was just sufficient In quantity to suggest the pomp and circumstance of the stage.

WAS AT HER BEST.

To the gay throng of riders and drivers along the West Drive the fair Lillian never looked prettier. She sped along at a merry pace, threading her way In and out of the procession of T-carts, broughams, phaetons and other park traps without self-consciousness. Every one turned to look after the well-rounded figure, and the gorgeous bicycle upon which it was so advantageously set off.

"She may lose her voice," It was remarked, "but so long as she has that bicycle we will adore her still."

That was but one of the comments her appearance called forth.

Miss Russell turned out of the Park at the One Hundred and Sixth street gate leaving tho policeman there bewildered by one of those smiles that it is her habit to bestow with such effectiveness.

A scorcher ice wagon was coming up Manhattan avenue at a pace that should have called for police interference. Miss Russell saw it. but she could not see the bicycler who, just at its far side, was riding hard to beat the Iceman and so rebuke the entire Iceman fraternity.

TOOK HER CUE QUICKLY.

"Hi, there!" shouted the driver.

Miss Russell took that as her cue to dodge, and her experience having led her to be prompt when she hears her cue she wheeled suddenly to the left. The Iceman tried to pull up as best he could and his horses just missed the distinguished rider.

Rut the bicycler beyond had no time. He had not seen Lillian nor the glitter of her golden wheel and he ran full into her. There were yells from bystanders and the two bicycles seemed to be doing a golden skirt dance in which some hosiery was shown. Prom out the confusion came feminine Grand Duchesse's screams. The ice man pulled up and ran to solve the golden puzzle. Bystanders and a policeman also came, and with difficulty Miss Russell was extricated from the Involved situation. She was bruised and the pretty costume was pretty no longer. Her ankle hurt her, and the golden wheel was as If it were a game of jackstraws in which the trick was to pick out the back bone.

The man apologized so nicely that Miss Russell refused to make a complaint against him. The Iceman called a cab and the diva was helped into It and driven to her house, at No. 318 West Seventy-seventh street.

The article goes on to talk about her performances after this incident, which were affected by the injury to her ankle somewhat.

As it happens, the illustration in the article was taken from the photograph used to produce this item from the Library of Congress photograph collections - Lillian Russell is at the lower right:

Actresses Bicycle Riders

Title-Actresses as bicycle riders [7 illustrations of actresses with bicycles: 1. Effie Ellsler; 2. Cissy Fitzgerald; 3. Anna Held; 4. Queenie Vassar; 5. Mrs. James Brown Potter; 6. Miss Georgia Cayvan; 7. Miss Lillian Russell
Date Created/Published-1896.
Medium-7 prints : halftone.
Call Number: Illus. in AP2.L52 1896 (Case Y) [P&P]

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Notes:
* Halftone repros. of photoprint.
* Title and other information transcribed from caption card.
* Illus. in: Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper, vol. 83 (1896 Dec. 3), p. 365.
* Caption card tracings: Sports Bicycles; Women ; Actresses; B.I.
www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001696508/

Reading the wikipedia description of Lillian Russell, it turns out she was influential in a law passed in 1924 to limit immigration from certain parts of Eastern Europe (from which some of my in-laws ancestors came) as well as entirely from Asia. So while I guess I will publish this blog post it is not intended as a celebration of her views on that. At all.



Monday, October 24, 2016

Washington Boy Shows Joy of Cycling

Boy on Bicycle (in Washington DC, 1890s)

Digitized image from a glass plate negative that shows some degradation. It was likely taken at a studio in the late 1890s. The descriptive record does not have an exact date. Studios sometimes had a bicycle and subjects would be posed sitting on a bike that belonged to the studio, but this I think this may have been the boy's bike - you wouldn't think a studio bike would have a headlight, and the front tire is quite dirty. But that's just a guess. He looks quite happy!

www.loc.gov/item/2016713286/

Title-Boy on bicycle
Contributor Names-C.M. Bell (Firm : Washington, D.C.), photographer
Created / Published-[between 1873 and ca. 1916]
Format Headings
Glass negatives.
Portrait photographs.
Genre
Portrait photographs
Glass negatives
Notes
- Title is unverified name of sitter or person who ordered the photograph, from handwritten label on negative sleeve or negative.
- Date based on span of years of C.M. Bell Collection.
- Negative number assigned by Library.
- Gift; American Genetic Association, 1975.
- General information about the C.M. Bell Collection is available at hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.bellcm
- Temp note: Batch 55.
Medium-1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in.
Source Collection-C.M. Bell Studio Collection (Library of Congress)
Repository-Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How Photos and Articles Appeared Across the Nation

Alvey Adee of Dept of State & Bicycle
The original photograph in the Library of Congress collections

The above image of the Department of State official, who happened to be someone who rode to and from work every day on a bicycle.

Adee article example 1
The photograph used in 1914 about Adee's trip to France, published in The Greenville Journal newspaper in July 1914

These kinds of short articles were distributed nationally by different services and often were used to fill up pages with human interest material. In the above version Harris & Ewing (the photography house) was given credit.

Adee article example 2
And the Grand Forks Daily Herald . . .

A rather more cropped version of the photograph and a shorter version of the text, above. They needed to fill up some of the page, but not so much.

Adee article example 3
And the Dakota Farmers Leader

This paper made use of the item as supplied, it would seem, like the first version. The darkness of the photograph in this last example has to do with the quality of the microfilm and (probably) not any real differences in how the photographs would have looked on newsprint.

One sees this sort of thing from time to time in Chronicling America, the searchable database of American newspapers from many states provided by the Library of Congress. Occasionally even involving bicycles!





Sunday, April 26, 2015

Happy Days of Riding - 1896 Washington State Example


From my alma mater, the University of Washington - "H. Ambrose Kiehl and his daughter, Laura Kiehl, on a bicycle, Washington"J

I found this in the Flickr Commons. It appears the daughter is sitting on the top tube side-saddle (in effect).

Below is a father-son photo from roughly the same time taken on the other side of the world.


Unidentified father and son posing with a bicycle for a travelling photographer - from the State Library Queensland (Australia)

The first photo is posed to give the impression of what the pair would look like while riding, but they are leaning up against a fence. The second photo presumably was intended as a posed family portrait and would have been provided to the purchaser in a cropped version, but this uncropped copy with the second child peering in from the side is more entertaining for us now, looking back. Bicycles were often used as props in photographs of the time so it is not obvious that this bicycle even belonged to these folks.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Christmas Bicycle - Washington DC Example


Christmas of 1930. Norma Horydczak on bicycle in front of Christmas tree, wide view

This photograph comes from the The Horydczak Collection at the Library of Congress and is of the photographer's daughter at collection - few of the photographs digitized are personal ones as this is. Most of his photographs do not feature bicycles, but there are nine that do.


A DC scene with bicycles from Horydczak, exact year unknown

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kids & Bikes in 1917 DC News Photo


Dewey funeral photo, from the Bain News Collection (Library of Congress)

Admiral George Dewey's funeral procession - Saturday January 20, 1917. Looks like a street such as East Capitol, on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.


Detail from photo shows two boys with their bicycles

While children's bicycles were certainly produced during this period, like many photographs one sees of children with bikes, these boys have bicycles intended for adults that are by the usual sizing guidance much too large. Apparently once one was ten years old or so, an adult bike was considered close enough in size to work.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

More 1921 Free Bikes for DC Youth

I did a blog post the other day on this subject - the District of Columbia newspaper The Washington Times in 1921-1922 gave children bicycles if they sold a certain number of newspaper subscriptions. As far as I can tell, they sold the subscriptions but did not then deliver the papers. The Library of Congress later received these glass plate negatives as a gift collection. The Washington Times would occasionally publish photographs of subjects like this with captions to encourage others to emulate their sales efforts.


Another digitized photo of a young woman who received such a bike

Although targeted at children, some of those who received such bikes were a bit older.


This photograph as published in the Washington Times of July 18 1921


This digitized photo shows a rather younger boy - he looks a little doubtful for some reason

I have not found this particular one in the online version of the Washington Times in chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Washington Times - Bikes for Subscription Sales


A "Times Girl" with her new bicycle in 1921

The newspaper The Washington Times in 1921-1922 gave children bicycles if they sold a certain number of newspaper subscriptions. As far as I can tell, they sold the subscriptions but did not then deliver the papers. The Library of Congress later received these glass plate negatives as part of a gift collection.

The Washington Times would occasionally publish photographs of subjects like this with captions to encourage others to emulate their sales efforts. I have not found this particular one in the online version of the Washington Times in chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.

This bike seems a little large for her but she looks very determined. I have cropped the image as presented on the LC website to provide more detail.

For a bicycle earned by selling newspaper subscriptions, this looks like a reasonably nice bike - it has a battery powered headlight and what seems like a horn (?) on the front handlebars. Since this is a ladies model, it has some screening (or what look like more spokes) to keep skirts out of the rear wheel as well as a full chain guard. I think there is a tire pump running up the left side of the seat tube, too.


A "Times Boy" (and friend, or brother) and new bike, also in 1921

Certain aspects of this photograph as presented on the LC website as a medium size JPEG caused me to think there was some artifacting (degradation of the image) in the conversion from the high resolution TIFF image produced from the glass plate negative. I downloaded the TIFF and produced my own JPEG and it has the same issues but the bicycle itself is shown better. I also cropped the photograph in somewhat to emphasize the bicycle.

Quite the handlebars! A "Ranger" - apparently that was the manufacturer and not the model.



Full page ad for this promotion in 1922
Your youngsters are longing for a bicycle now, and they can get one free, the very finest kind that money can buy. The Times is offering your boy or girl a wonderful opportunity to earn a $55 Ranger Bicycle at no cost. They collect no money, pay no money. No Red Tape, bicycle delivered promptly by The Hecht Co., Washington representatives, promptly when 15 new 6 months' subscriptions to The Washington Times are secured and verified.
The Washington Times newspaper was published until the late 1930s and has absolutely no connection with the present-day Washington Times. The bicycles were provided by The Hecht Company, a local department store chain that was acquired by whatever chain owns Macy's - the last stores carrying the Hecht Co. name disappeared in the last ten years.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A "Sociable Bicycle" from 1892 in 1922


Human interest photo from Washington Times issue, April 21 1922

This sort of bicycle was introduced in the 1890s as a way of resolving various issues likely perceived with men and women sharing conventional tandems - basically, shouldn't the woman ride in front? One attempt to deal with this was to rig up handlebars for the rider in back that also controlled the steering. Anyway, the Punnett "companion side-seated bicycle" was an attempt to solve the problem by putting the riders on a single two-wheel frame bicycle next to each other.

This bicycle never caught on, of course, presumably because of the manufacturing cost combined with the dexterity to ride it (or perhaps just the appearance that dexterity would be required?) and the relative simplicity of a more standard tandem, despite the "who sits in front" issue.

Thus in the 1920s this bicycle would be featured as a human interest item - although I think the Washington Times got the date wrong; I think these bicycles were introduced only in 1896, not 1892.


Ad for side-by-side Punnett tandem shown from 1896

Despite ads in publications and articles written about this clever bicycle, it never caught on.

One comment - the age of the bike isn't that big a deal, at least not for a well-maintained bicycle.


Thirty year-old bicycle that I ride much of the time to and from work

Saturday, November 1, 2014

1922 Department of Agriculture Police Officer Rides a Bike


The 82 year old cycling policeman - it keeps him young?

The Washington Evening Star., August 13, 1922 has a human interest photo item about a police officer with the Department of Agriculture who rides a bike at work. And not only that, he is 82 years old and has worked for 59 years, under eight different secretaries of Agriculture.

At this distance in time, it is hard to know which of the various elements mentioned would have been considered the most unusual. That he rides a bike at 82? Or that he has worked for almost 60 years, and at that as a policeman? Or perhaps it is all of together.


The Library of Congress has the digitized negative from which the newspaper photograph was made!

In an earlier blog post I discovered a news story photograph from a DC newspaper issue from 1922 that I then serendipitously located the original of in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. With no particular hope of success, I searched for "Richard Cook" and I immediately found the same photo of him on his bicycle! Amazing! I was intrigued to see that unlike the previous example that was a Copyright deposit at the time (roughly) the photograph was taken, this was from a photographic collection that came to the Library in the 1940s as a gift. Well, whatever builds the collections - it's all good.

Title: Richard H. Cook, 7/29/22
Date Created/Published: [19]22 July 29.
Medium: 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-npcc-23223 (digital file from original)
Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
Call Number: LC-F81- 19996 [P&P]
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Notes:
* Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve.
* Gift; Herbert A. French; 1947.
* This glass negative might show streaks and other blemishes resulting from a natural deterioration in the original coatings.
[Or it might, in this case, show a big fingerprint from poor handling, but presumably (really) not by anyone at LC . . . ]
* Temp. note: Batch five.
[A "temp"orary note that will be in this record for the remaining time this record is online, however long that might be.]

One small complaint-like comment is that there is no subject heading-like or other mention in the PPOC record of "bicycle." That is, the simplest keyword search for bicycle will not include this photo in the results. I guess that makes finding it that much more delicious.


Detailed view of the photo

I produced the above JPEG by cropping in the downloadable TIFF image - there is a lot of detail available; if you zoom in further you can almost make out details of his police badge. You can see that there is a ring on the front wheel, presumably that has teeth, that connects with a cable that goes up to a handlebars - presumably this was at least provided an odometer function and likely also a speedometer, although there would be no obvious reason for him to track his speed! But it could have been that he was obligated to cover a certain distance on each work shift and this was a way of tracking that. It is a little overbuilt for that function since even in the 1890s odometers were available of a much simpler (and smaller) design - but this would have the information much more readily available while riding.

I was a bit puzzled by where this might be. At first I thought it was near the Smithsonian Castle on Independence Avenue, but I think it is up next to the Botanic Garden (also on Independence) and the smokestack behind is the Capitol Heating Plant.