GIG HARBOR, WASHINGTON 98335
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NBHAA GUIDE TO CORRECTING THE CLASSICS
(NBHAA GTCC) !!
ERROR CORRECTIONS TO THE BOOK, "CLASSIC AMERICAN BICYCLES" by Pridmore, published by Motorbooks International FOLLOW...
copyright © Leon Dixon/NBHAA 1999, 2004, 2007, 2009. All rights reserved. CAUTION! WE ARE WATCHING, SO WATCH YOUR CREDIT LINE! THESE CORRECTIONS ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. If you use them without getting permission first, you are violating federal copyright laws. No part of these corrections may be republished, excerpted, referred to in print, used in any way unless written permission from the author has been provided and acknowledgments are made.
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING ARE NOT ALL OF THE ERRORS IN THIS BOOK. THEY ARE JUST THE BIG ONES. THERE ARE MORE! Like almost all of the books on the classic bicycle hobby, this one is a disaster. A "wolf ticket" book. But that didn't stop it from selling well... and there are people out there quoting from it every day. Museums love it. You'll likely find that it is sold out. It made money for everybody involved... and bottom line, that's all that counts. Right? The publisher is happy... and the readers probably think they've received an education. Not. The worst part of all is much novice and amateur opinion disguised as fact. So go buy it. By all means, read this book and look at the pictures as interesting entertainment, but do not accept it as authoritarian "history." It is not. Frankly, sadly, much of it is pure fiction. But when nobody knows any better, anyone can therefore be an "expert" ... and so goes the classic bicycle hobby and books about it.
Cover: The Schwinn Phantom pictured has been seen numerous times in print... the handlebars with the tight and primitive mandrel bends appear to be imported 1980s cruiser bars and are not bent as originals. The rear brake cable is routed improperly.
Title Page: The Roadmaster shown has also been displayed in several other publications. It is claimed to be 1952. However, the seat is 1956. The grips are incorrect. The pedals are 1970's imports never used on the Luxury Liner. The correct stop light switch mechanism and electricals for 1952 all appear to be missing. The paint job on the chainguard is 1953...but the logo decal is 1952. The proper seatpost decal is missing. Fender braces have been chromed, but originals were cad plated.
Page 4 (facing Contents page): In the title page explanation and in reference to Schwinn there is a statement implying that other manufacturers were "trying to keep up with Schwinn" (an absurd thing to say) when in fact the opposite is true. In the case of the Roadmaster and the Luxury Liner, Schwinn was imitating Roadmaster, Not Roadmaster imitating Schwinn! Cleveland Welding Company and Roadmaster had a model out with spring fork, electric brake light and chrome fenders by the start of the 1949 model year. The first Schwinn Phantom did not appear until late that year. Furthermore, the book states that the '52 Roadmaster had a "new brake light" when in fact the Roadmaster already had an electric brake light at least by the late 1930s and every year following! Finally, the Roadmaster suspension did not merely "rival" Schwinn's suspension... it actually worked better, was less subject to damage, was more ingenious and tracked smoother.
Page 4 (facing the contents page): In the back cover explanation the statement is that the 1934 Elgin Blackhawk was from the Columbia Manufacturing Company. In reality, the Elgin Blackhawk was a product of Sears, Roebuck & Company and it was built according to Sears' specifications under contract by Westfield Manufacturing Company (there was no Columbia Manufacturing Company at that time. COLUMBIA was merely the name of the premium line of bicycles made and sold by Westfield). There is further reference to the "prominent horn" which, unfortunately, is in the wrong position on the handlebars when it should be on a special bracket in front of the truss rods. More on this later. The same paragraph goes on to refer to a "1936 Shelby Speedline Airflo" when in fact the bicycle shown is a 1939 Speedline Airflo. The Speedline series did not begin until 1938 and the model term, "Airflo" (without the "w") was not used by Shelby in 1936. The "tear drop pedals" referred to are not correct for the bicycle, but instead are aftermarket units never originally equipped on this model.
Page 6 Acknowledgements: The collector terminology "classic bicycles" for collector bicycles was coined, established and copyrighted in the 1970s by Leon Dixon- who curiously is not mentioned, despite use of his terminology and concept. Pretending otherwise, perverting the evolution or graying of the term in the 1990s does not change the facts of this bicycle history.
Page 25: The bicycle shown is referred to as a "Pierce-Arrow".
The Pierce-Arrow was the automobile. The bicycle was simply known as "PIERCE," not Pierce-Arrow. Although the companies were originally related, the bicycle did not say the word, "ARROW", nor did the catalogues. An arrow SYMBOL was shown in the logo, but the word, "arrow" was never used in conjunction with bicycles made by this company. SEE THE SECTION OF GTCC ON THE PIERCE BICYCLE CONTROVERSY. CLICK HERE FOR... "MYTHS AND BIZARRE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PIERCE AND So-CALLED 'PIERCE-ARROW' BICYCLES".
In fact, the name of this company officially was The Pierce Cycle Company. Furthermore, there was no such thing as simply THE Pierce-Arrow or even THE Pierce. There were numerous Pierce models each year for many years. The name of the model in question was also omitted. The particular model shown is the Pierce Pan American (and if it was known, why was it not stated?) however, it was not made only in 1900. In fact, this model went on sale in 1898 and continued for many years later.
Page 27: The Iver Johnson bicycle shown is claimed to be from 1910, but this model, IF 1910, should be equipped with fenders which are neither shown, nor mentioned. Frankly, this model was made for more than one year, so stating, "1910" would be difficult unless some detailed documentation exists. The bright work looks like chrome...and if it is, it should be nickel plate since 1910 is far too early for chrome plating which had not yet been introduced in bicycles or manufactured vehicles.
Page 30: The caption at the bottom of the page states that Frank W. Schwinn designed the first balloon tire bicycle. This is certainly not correct. Elgin and Hawthorne bicycles already had balloon tires...and bicycles in Europe had them as well. The only thing Schwinn designed was the first SCHWINN balloon tire bicycle. Schwinn popularized and promoted balloon tires for bicycles, but they neither invented them, nor had the first bicycle so equipped.
Page 31: The bicycle shown does not have an original Schwinn stand, but rather, a universal aftermarket unit which does not belong on this bicycle. It is also equipped with a 1935-36 style chain wheel sprocket, not the 1933 style. It is a common, but erroneous belief that all models like this were 1933 when in fact this model was made for several years AFTER 1933. This may be one of the later models.
Page 33: Dayton "Aircrafted." The term promoted and popularized during the 1930s by the Huffman Manufacturing was "Aircraft Welded" ...not "Aircrafted"...even IF they used this term somewhere for this particular bicycle (for instance in the green paper wholesale-distributor's sheet where this word was used). HOWEVER, the term in the 1935, '36, '37' 38 etc. Huffman and Dayton catalogues was "Aircraft Welded". No matter who, where or when the term "Aircrafted" was used, "Aircraft Welded" or "Airplane Welded" were the terms used in predominance in both the company brochures AND in advertisements. To wit: The 1936 Huffman catalogue states across the tops of the front AND rear covers " Airplane Welded". Furthermore, the 1936 Dayton catalogue also states on page 3 in several places: "Airplane Welded Construction." Apparently someone took exception to our original correction and made a big whoop-dee-do about the term, "Aircrafted." We stand by our correction. These are not OUR facts... they are just THE facts. We don't make it up, folks, we just report it!
Pager 34: "Aerocycle, 1934." This bicycle has some very serious problems and may not be authentic. The front fender (as can be seen in the photo) has serious fit problems and the braces are very definitely NOT Schwinn braces. The rear fender also appears to have problems. The horn button is incorrect for 1934 which originally did not feature a button at all, but rather, a paddle flipper.
Page 35: "Elgin Blackhawk, 1934 Columbia Manufacturing Co, Westfield Massachusetts." The company responsible for this bicycle was Sears, Roebuck & Co, not Columbia. The contractor company that made this bicycle was the Westfield Manufacturing Company, NOT Columbia Manufacturing...there was no such company at that time. Furthermore, this bicycle has numerous problems and has been pictured elsewhere on numerous occasions. The screech-owl siren driven off the front tire is completely wrong and does not belong on this version of Blackhawk. The 1934 Blackhawk did not have this siren...the Elgin Falcon of the same year did. The bracket for the siren is also incorrect. The operation control for the siren is missing. The headlight (which appears to be missing the glass lens in this photo) is not the correct unit and is mounted in the wrong position as is the horn. The horn should be either an EA unit or and Elgin unit instead of the Delta (incorrectly painted inside) that is installed. The horn SHOULD be mounted on a special bracket which bolts to the truss rods and holds the horn directly in front of the rods. The speedometer cable is also routed backwards. Finally, the paint treatment on the seat tube is from 1936 (there IS a difference). And there are other problems.
Page 35: Text on page 30 refers to the 1934 Century of Progress and mentions the bicycle industry tie-in to the exhibition, then goes into information about Schwinn. Yet, on page 35 the implication is given that Elgin was somehow trailing behind Schwinn with the Blackhawk. This is more amateurish Schwinn-centric myth. What is NOT mentioned is that the Century of Progress Exhibition thought so much of the Elgin Blackhawk and similar Elgin Falcon that they selected an Elgin Falcon to be given away to the 1,000,000th boy under 12 who attended the exhibition. We believe that very bicycle (in mint original condition) is now in the National Bicycle History Archive of America collection.
Page 36: "Autocycle, 1936" The bicycle shown is missing the large Autocycle reflector which was standard on the 1936 model. The reflector shown was used on the Motorbike model, not the Autocycle. Of course, the fender braces are completely incorrect. The front brake does not appear to be Schwinn and the brake handle is incorrect for the year. The handlegrips are non-original aftermarket universals. The side stand shown is incorrect for this model...and the post war plastic valve stem cap from Standard Gas Stations is incorrect. There are other problems.
Page 37: Text states, "The bicycle industry owed Frank W. Schwinn plenty....He fashioned and patented the front spring fork". No offense to Frank, but the facts do not agree. What actually happened was that Schwinn patented A spring fork, not THE spring fork. The Schwinn design was (admit it or not- patent or not) merely an adaptation of the old Cleveland Motorcycle front fork. And some say THAT fork was adapted from Triumph motorcycle. Furthermore, clear evidence in the same book makes it empirically obvious that Pierce had a spring fork at the turn of the century (we have already told you 1902 for that one alone) and most other bicycle companies had spring forks at the turn of the century and in the 1930s as well. Amateur and novice bicycle "historians" and "experts" would have the world believe a Schwinn-centric myth that all innovations flowed through Schwinn. But this just is not true. Keep this in mind when reading these ad hoc "histories" that are merely trying to cash in and do WAGs rather than to truly educate.
Page 37: Caption states, "Roadmaster, 1941"...Eeeeek! The bicycle shown is what we call a bouillabaisse bike or a Johnny Cash bike and has many problems–not the least of which is a front spring fork which quite obviously is from the late 1950s (note the truss bars bend forward–indicating they came from an AMF middleweight–and the fork legs are forged instead of tubular–AS A TRUE 1941 FORK WOULD BE). The seat is also quite obviously a 1990s reproduction saddle. So what makes the rest of this bicycle "1941"? Certainly not a piece worthy of being either in a museum or a book.
Page 39: Caption states, "Elgin Bluebird, 1936 Columbia Manufacturing Co, Westfield Massachusetts." The company responsible for this bicycle was Sears, Roebuck & Co, not Columbia. The NAME of the contractor company that made this bicycle was the Westfield Manufacturing Company, not Columbia Manufacturing...there was no such COLUMBIA MANUFACTURING COMPANY at that time. Only a novice or amateur would state otherwise. The seat with twin rub studs did not appear until later. The '36 model did not have this feature, nor the plastic "Red Crown" valve caps from Standard Gas Stations. Also, the pedals are hanging incorrectly because the rubbers are turned incorrectly, thus not weighting the pedal as they were originally designed to do.
Page 40: Caption states, "Elgin Skylark, 1937 Columbia Manufacturing Co, Westfield Massachusetts." The company responsible for this bicycle was Sears, Roebuck & Co, not Columbia. AND AGAIN... the NAME, "COLUMBIA MANUFACTURING COMPANY" (which did not exist until DECADES LATER) did not exist in the 1930s because the name of the company in that era was WESTFIELD MANUFACTURING COMPANY.
The contractor company that made this bicycle was the Westfield Manufacturing Company, not Columbia Manufacturing...there was no such company at that time. Contrary to text, this was not merely a "Sears-sold" design as stated...it was designed under the auspices of Sears and contracted to Westfield for actual manufacture. There appears to be a move afoot today to minimize Sears' involvement in the design of this bicycle, but it is not factual. The model shown is quite obviously a 1936 model, not a '37. The '37 had different wheels and a different color, among other things. Furthermore, the text on the page states that Elgins were ..."First built by Columbia". Change "Columbia" to Westfield...and even then the statement is still incorrect since numerous other companies built Elgins early on and later.
Page 41: "Ingo-Cycle, 1936" First of all...the correct name was INGO-BIKE, not "Ingo-Cycle." The bicycle shown bears little resemblance to the original. The example shown is what is left of a 2nd-series Ingo-Bike that has been very heavily customized. Of course the wild colors are incorrect and the wheels and tires are modern replacements. Streamers are not original nor is the step plate and step plate design.
Page 42: "Silver King Flo-Cycle, 1936" Are we the only ones to notice this?? Another bicycle which has been pictured in books and auction catalogues and talked about numerous times...and after all this time, no one seems to notice that it is NOT a Silver King!
• First things first... all bicycles normally have the chain on the right side...how does this one end up on the LEFT side? We suspect (hope) the photo was printed backwards. Good job.
• Also, this bicycle is NOT a Silver King... it is a Hawthorne Duralium (note the very obvious Hawthorne–NOT Silver King–name badge). Although the two bicycles are very similar, they are NOT the same and identifying one with the name of the other typically leads to the kind of muddied confusion we have here.
• The bicycle shown is obviously a Hawthorne Duralium on which some creative changes have taken place. The correct Hawthorne hornlight has been changed to a Silver King hornlight. Yet, the Hawthorne Duralium truss rods (different from Silver King) are still intact. Sharp eyes can pick out the large, oblong open hole in one truss rod where the missing speedometer cable should be routed (again this hole is on the wrong truss rod, indicating a backwards print of the photo). Of course, the battery tube (to hold the batteries for the hornlight) is completely missing as is wiring and the horn button. The special front fender splasher (stock and built-in) is completely missing. Finally, the chainguard attachment to the chainwheel is oddly devoid of the scalloping normally on the original sprocket guard- all of which suggests this one was recently fabricated.
• Also, the text states that Silver King was a "partner" to Monark when it made batteries. Not true. Silver King was a bicycle division of the Monark Battery Company, not a partner.
Page 43: Caption states, "Shelby Airflo, 1936" The bicycle shown is actually a 1939 Speedline Airflo made by Shelby.
• The Troxel saddle shown was frankly not equipped on this model since Shelby used Lobdell saddles in 1939.
• The pedals shown are inexpensive aftermarket units and not the correct originals.
• Shelby did not necessarily have to "compete with Schwinn" since they often outsold Schwinn during those times. Contrary to popular belief, Schwinn was NOT the largest bicycle company in America.
Page 44: Caption states, "Rollfast V-474" The bicycle shown could very well be a 1941, and early '42, a 1946, or even 1947. Virtually the same bicycle was made during these years. The accompanying text claims it has "front fork suspension" yet this one is quite obviously equipped with truss rods and does NOT have a front suspension.
Page 53: Text states in reference to the Schwinn Black Phantom, "They added a drum brake on the front, automatic brake light on the rear carrier..." These statements are all untrue. Schwinns had drum brakes since the 1930s and they were only optional on the Phantom. Furthermore, the automatic brake light in the rear carrier was introduced on the 1948 B-6, NOT the Phantom which came over a year later.
Page 54: (see earlier comments regarding the cover)
Page 55: Text states: "...Cleveland Welding Company, built chain-store bikes, nothing much to speak of style or quality..." . Wow. A rather ridiculous and rank amateurish Schwinn-centric statement. In fact, quite the contrary was true. Cleveland Welding Company built some of the most outstanding bicycles of the late 30s through the 1950s, often outsold Schwinn by a mile and had superior quality bicycles, beginning with their "Supreme" line of the 1930s. Their welds held better and their forks worked better–and were an original design. Their features, assembly technology, quality, design and ride were among the highest and best in the industry. That changed later, but we are not talking about later.
Page 55: Text goes on to state, "...Stevens improved the Roadmaster year by year ...until 1952, when the Luxury Liner....combines a new rear brake light, bowed struts billed as crash bumpers" ...a suspension system that rivaled ...Schwinn's 'Knee-action' job" This is all WRONG, silly amateur filler and Schwinn-centric myth.
• In reality, Brooks Stevens was hired long before 1952- and not because kids wanted him (they had no idea who he was), but because it was the practice of most bicycle companies on those days to hire top industrial designers. Period.
• Furthermore, the brake light of 1952 was introduced in 1950, not 1952. And going even deeper into the subject, Roadmaster bicycles had advanced electric brake lights all the way back in the late 1930s, long before Schwinn.
• As for the truss "bumpers" these were also introduced in 1950, NOT 1952. AND...the Roadmaster suspension had long been previously introduced in the late 1930s and it did not merely "rival" Schwinn's...it surpassed it! In fact, before WWII, Roadmaster spring forks were also available with a key lock mechanism as well!
Page 55: Text states "... Huffy Radiobike of 1955. This short-lived classic had a car-sized radio in the horn tank and a dry cell battery riding conspicuously on the rear carrier..." PURE HOGWASH FICTION!
• First of all, Huffy Radiobikes were NOT in the 1955 catalogue. This is because Radiobikes were not '55 models, but officially were introduced as 1955-1/2 models. They were not even mentioned, nor shown, in the 1955 Huffy catalogue.
• Secondly, the Radiobike radio was nowhere NEAR the size of a 1955 car radio and this is a purely ridiculous and amateur statement. The average car unit of the day (most were so big they were split into two parts) easily was 4/5ths larger than the Radiobike radio!
• Finally, the batteries for the Radiobike were not considered "Dry Cells" even though a generic claim could be perverted out of that term. When people said "dry cell" back then, then normally were referring to a huge cylindrical unit...and this is not what the Radiobike used. In fact, the batteries used by the Radiobike were also used on many widely sold portable radios of the time.
Page 55: Text states, "Radiobike...it was successful for only a year, however as the transistor radio appearing in 1956 made the Huffy's large antenna and heavy 'Power Pak' quite obsolete..." This is yet another silly statement and is certainly not true.
• First, the Radiobike had not even been on the market for more than six months when 1956 dawned.
• Second, ALL portable radios, even expensive ones (and most of them were at that time) were not so small and light and many so-called portables STILL had tubes by 1956.Consider that a portable transistor radio in 1956 cost approximately $40 plus tax...and there were no wheels attached! For a few dollars more you could have the bicycle too! Thus, the claim for the demise of the Radiobike does not hold water. There were reasons, but this is not one of them.
• Third, there was nothing big nor heavy about the antenna.In fact, it was extremely light for an antenna of that day.
• Furthermore, the Radiobike was not particularly short-lived since it lasted nearly four years. There were lots of other classic bicycles that never made it even that far!
These statements in this book are obvious and pure novice opinion, but have no factual basis.
Page 55: Text states, "...its Hopalong Cassidy model, an elaborate two-wheeler with saddlebags, studs, and 'frontier fringe.' Holster and pistol were attached to the stem...a 24-incher" Saddlebags were NOT stock on a Hoppy...they were sold separately and were only an accessory. Only SOME Hoppy models had pistols and holsters but these were never attached to the stem, they were attached (actually built-in) to the horn tank. Not all Hoppys were 24-inchers...there were tricycles, 20-inchers and 26-inchers as well.
Page 55: Text states, "...Another theme bike from the postwar period came from Shelby, which now had a plant in California, not far from the soon-to-be-popular Disneyland..." A PLANT WHERE IN CALIFORNIA? Disneyland was a hit from the day it opened and it had Fantasyland. Perhaps that is were the author dreamed up this incredible story! Shelby had a small KD assembly plant in downtown Los Angeles in the 1930s, but no such plant that we know of in SoCal AFTER WWII. Only a wholesaler's distribution center. MONARK was in the process of opening a Southern California plant at the time, not Shelby. SO WHERE WAS THIS SUPPOSED CALIFORNIA SHELBY PLANT MAKING DONALD DUCK BICYCLES???
Page 55: Text states, " ...Shelby's marketing personnel had foresight enough to know that Disney's Fantasyland characters would maintain a durable hold on kids..." Fantasyland did not open until at least 1955...and the Donald Duck bicycle in question was long declared a flop and out of production before the first real dirt was turned at Disneyland. The two things were not connected at all–unless the author wrote this in a Delorean time machine! There was fantasy here... but not at Disneyland! The fantasy is in this book and shame on the author and shame on the publisher... and shame on the reader if any of you actually believe this silly nonsense!!
Page 55: Text states, "...It was actually a 24-inch bike for kids that sold very well..." Frankly the Donald Duck sold poorly... and it was NOT only 24-inch but came in 20-inch and 26-inch as well as 24-inch models. All were sales flops.
Page 56: Text states, "... by 1955 they had begun the era of the middleweights..." WRONG. Actually middleweights appeared in 1954...some as early as late 1953.
Page 56-57: Caption states, "...Monark, 1948 Silver King Manufacturing, Chicago" The name of the company was the Monark-Silver King Bicycle Company, Chicago. The bicycle shown has a 1990s cruiser saddle which is very different from the original sleek Lobdell brand saddle which is missing.
Page 58: Caption states, "...Huffy Dial-A-Ride, 1950 ..." The bicycle shown can be no older than 1953 (note the newer style nameplate not used in 1950) and is likely later. Also, the seat is a 1955 Faulhaber (which has been thickly reupholstered), not originally used on this model, nor by Huffy. The pedals again are aftermarket units, not original equipment. The rear of the chainguard has not been seated on the rear axle as it should be, thus is riding higher than normal. This model bicycle did not exist in 1950-and certainly not as shown.
Page 59: Caption states, " ...today's collectors who believe only about 500 were made"... Actually in the first article ever written about the history of the Spacelander (see NBHAA "HISTORICAL ARTICLES" section), NBHAA's curator revealed that 522 Spacelanders were built and shipped...this number never appeared anywhere in print before and was unknown even to company officials and the designer until we published it. The total number was only determined after NBHAA's curator manually added up each bicycle on the original shipping list which had been provided by Frank Proctor, member of the original Bomard Company (which, by the way, was NOT headquartered in Grand Haven, Michigan as stated, but was located in Kansas City, MO instead). We published this 522 number in that original article around 1980 and in the article we did for Cyclist magazine later in the 1980s (see "Historical Articles" section of NBHAA's web site). Anyone quoting this number is quoting Leon Dixon. Period. By proxy or by excuse, THAT is where the 522 number came from. Furthermore, the bicycle shown in the photo on page 59 has a two-tone seat which is incorrect (all Spacelanders, despite an error in the literature illustrations) had all-white saddles. Finally, the pedals shown are off of a late 50s/early 60s Murray product, not a Bowden.
Page 62 (see earlier comments about the Radiobike)
Page 63 (see earlier comments about Roadmaster Luxury Liner)
Page 64 Caption states, " Donald Duck, 1949" Grips are not original type.
Page 64: Captions states, "Gene Autry Westerner, 1950 " The seat nose coil is either loose or broken and was never meant to raise the seat top as shown. This model was not called "The Westerner" but simply "Gene Autry" by Monark. The term, "westerner" was used in the same generic manner in which it was once used to describe cowboy movies. It was not intended to be the name of a model.
Page 65: Caption states, "Sears Spaceliner, 1965, Murray Ohio, Cleveland. " Actually the bicycle should be attributed to Sears, Roebuck & Co. with Murray Ohio as the contracted vendor company ONLY. Also, Murray was NOT in Cleveland by 1965 and had already been in Tennessee (moved there lock, stock & barrel) for about ten years! The bicycle shown is missing the rare electric tail light that fits into the rear carrier.
Page 65: Text states, "...The late 1950s produced some other classics. The middleweight Sears Spaceliner..." Actually, the Spaceliner did not appear until well into the 1960s, not the 1950s.
Musclebikes chapter. The Schwinn-centric issue of Schwinn starting the Musclebike era and the Sting-Ray being first has been extended a bit out of proportion. The very first production bicycles in this fad did indeed come out of Southern California, but they were Huffys, NOT Schwinns. A special model called the "Penguin" was probably the first (AMAZINGLY, since we wrote this, everyone is clamoring about the Penguin and there are now all-of-a-dogbone-sudden Penguin "experts" out there). But Huffy was asleep at the switch. The big thing that allowed Schwinn to succeed where Huffy didn't was proper promotion, eventually more gadgets and a better name appeal in "Sting-Ray". Of course, the Sting-Ray did not officially debut until 1963-1/2, not 1963.
Finally there is one further error in prevailing thought about how the musclebike era became reality. The musclebike did not just come from Schwinn's efforts, nor Huffy's nor even just Southern California kids (who probably deserve most the REAL credit for developing the phenomenon that big manufacturers eventually merely copied, not initiated). Bicycle POLO proponents in the late 50s/early 1960s had actually made many of the small wheeled creations with banana type (or POLO) seats. It was because of THESE people and their bicycles that the hardware for musclebikes was already in existence or being developed at the time the Huffy Penguin and Schwinn Sting-Ray first appeared. In fact, this is why those early saddles were called "POLO" saddles. Of course, this brings up another interesting issue since it negates the widely publicized claims of a group who claimed on national TV that they "invented" bicycle polo in the 1980s!
Happy Correcting and Collecting. Keep checking back for more.
Guide To Correcting The Classics will return in... EVOLUTIONS OF THE BICYCLE- NOW ONLINE IN GTCC!
We can identify almost any bicycle manufactured in North America between 1920 and 1970. We can also assist with bicycles made prior to this AND after this time. However, our era of specialty is between these dates. Also, since we primarily focus on American-made bicycles our involvement with non-domestic bicycles is limited. In some cases such as Raleigh and certain other imported makes, we do have a good amount of archival material. In other cases, we can advise you where to get information.
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This page, all design and contents, all photos unless otherwise noted are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2013 by Leon Dixon/NBHAA, All rights reserved. The information and photos on this website may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission of NBHAA or its curator.
Date of last update to this page: 4 APRIL 2013
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