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copyright © Leon Dixon/NBHAA 1999, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011. 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 obtained and acknowledgments are made.

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Books on special bicycle subjects are always of interest. Having once written for the publisher of this book in their vintage automobile newspaper back in the 1970s, we had high expectations when this Schwinn book was announced. In the past, we have referred many people to this interesting series of fact-filled "Standard Catalog of..." books which have traditionally been aimed at automotive history. But we were sorely, sadly, deeply disappointed once we saw the result of this terribly flawed Schwinn edition. We don't know what this publisher was thinking about when this work was assembled, but it wasn't a cataloging of anything. In fact, it is nothing like the quality nor content of their fine line of automotive "Standard Catalog" books.

The "Standard Catalog of Schwinn Bicycles 1895-2004" is so full of mistakes, opinion, guesses, puffery and problems it is hard to know where to begin. It ought to be a foregone conclusion that in order to write the history, you first need to KNOW the history. But that's obviously not the case here.

Our usual test of a good historical book (especially on bicycles) is to open to a random page and begin reading. If we find a mistake on that first page we read, our opinion of the book is lowered. If we find a BAD mistake on that page, our view of the book is lowered even further. Sadly, in this case, we found two terrible mistakes and a lot of opinion right there on the very first page we read. Need we say more? This one descended to the basement after just a few pages of reading.

If you are expecting THIS book to follow the format of the previous Standard Catalog automotive books... don't. You won't find that format here. In fact, the publisher appears to have completely departed from their previous format and tried to write a thinly-disguised history book instead of a their familiar format. We are stunned at the lack of research, lack of real knowledge, distorted history, poor editing, lack of facts and abandonment of format that went into making this very disappointing book. At times the editing seems to actually be conflicting with the text, sometimes on every other page! Many captions contradict the text... indicating at least two or more writers who obviously didn't coordinate their stories. Some of the statements appear to be outright guesses... others pure meaningless filler... still others just amateur ramblings and Schwinn-centric puffery.

Where are the facts and the usual listings of models as in the previous automotive editions of these books? There are no matrixes. Why? We also have a problem with this book completely skipping over the beach cruiser era and never really showing any of the serious BMX models Schwinn built–some of which were very fine bicycles indeed.

The photos in this book have been referred to in some reviews as "stunning"... but frankly, many of the photos are one of the major downfalls of this book since they depict so much that is wrong, are badly captioned and are accompanied by text that is pure amateur "history." The captions often seem written by someone who was just given a "job" to do them and grudgingly did the task completely without passion or knowledge of the subject.

This is supposed to be a serious historical book. The very first responsibility in doing such a book is to make it accurate. If a photo shows something wrong, then it is up to the editor and author to point this out. Otherwise, how will people reading this book for an education ever know?

However, in the interest of purely constructive corrections of items we noticed in this book, we'll attempt a few points here addressing serious errors. These are things the publisher might seriously want to consider in promoting this disaster. And perhaps in repairing it. Of course, we would expect acknowledgement on the following corrections...

• Page 8... On most tandems the rider in front was in charge of steering." NO. Depends on the period of time, the wheelbase and the maker, but during the classic era it was quite common to have the person behind during the steering. Thus the phrase that we popularized for Colson..."steer-from-the-rear" tandem! Many custom-built tandems of this era including those made by a Chicago-area ice cream vendor trike maker were quite commonly steered by both riders. By the way, this latter firm, while not known by collectors, actually built thousands of such tandems for bicycle rental businesses all over the USA.

• Pages 16... It took Arnold, Schwinn Company 21 Years to produce their first million units. This World model is their one-millionth."

Where do we begin? O--M--G!!! The bicycle shown on this page looks NOTHING like the one-millionth Schwinn. AND, most of what is said, shown and described is either total fiction or the worst puffery imaginable.

Also, it did NOT take 21 years as stated. Schwinn (by their own admission) did not begin keeping tally of production numbers until 1902. Now... if they announced they had officially made one million bicycles in 1917...how does that come out to 21 years? Okay... so you say they were somehow miraculously counting all the way back to the founding in 1895. Do the math either way. It STILL doesn't come out to 21 years. And frankly, since the amount of bicycles produced between 1895 and 1902 were never counted, that makes the "millionth" bicycle actually somewhere well past one million.

For the record, the June 14, 1917 edition of "Motorcycle And Bicycle Illustrated" magazine ran a two-page article on the one-millionth Schwinn built. This article clearly states: "...it must be borne in mind that this 1,000,000 bicycle does not include the entire production of the Arnold, Schwinn & Co., since its organization in 1895..."

The article clearly shows a picture of this one millionth bicycle AND... it was NOTHING like–LOOKED NOTHING LIKE–the bicycle thingie shown in this book. THE REAL millionth Schwinn was PAINTED RED AND YELLOW, had a rear stand, white rubber tires, huge seat with deep springs, upright box-style handlebars, rubber grips and a totally different and larger sprocket. IT ALSO HAD FENDERS. IT WAS NOT A PLATED FRAME. But look at the fenderless boy-racer monstrosity in the book! What silliness! Just dead wrong. Who's responsible? Who knows? Supposedly this bicycle was sold at the big Schwinn auction that took place way back when in Chicago. But auction or not–the original bicycle was NOTHING like what they show you here and there really is no reason for anyone to perpetrate such obvious hokum fakery. SHAME on everyone involved. The book goes on and on about some supposed racing heritage, but that's all pure bogus puffery and filler. The original was absolutely nothing like the bicycle shown with the silly racing toe clips, dropped handlebars. And those ancient-era cork-wrapped grips! Read the original claims in 1917 about the one-millionth Schwinn and look at the picture... and then read the silliness in the Standard Catalog book and look at the photo you'll be scratching your head too. But this is the abyssimal state of books on bicycle history. People... it doesn't matter who is responsible for this farce...this one is unforgivable! And the fact that no one except us has even noticed this obvious hokum until now OUGHT to be even MORE embarrassing because this just means either nobody knew any better...or nobody ever bothered to research the matter... or both. Or perhaps it was all intentional. Either way...how sad!

• Page 17... "The World's earlier wooden grips were now replaced by units that required a composite grip for comfort."

THIS is hogwash. Pure and simple. C'monnnn. The cork/composite grips shown are favorites of people who like the pre-1920s antique era bicycles, but the grips themselves were obsolete antiques by the time this bicycle was made. THE REAL MILLIONTH SCHWINN bicycle had RUBBER grips.

• Page 17... "Built with no brakes. a single gear ratio and solid rubber tires, the World wasn't elaborate, but it sold as solidly as it was built."... This is just TOTAL absurdity.

1.) First, there was no such thing as "THE WORLD" as if it was ONE single bicycle and one single model for one single year. There were a gajillion "The World" bicycles. Whoever wrote this obviously did not understand the badging and retailing of this brand.

2.) Second it is absurd to claim that this bicycle had "solid rubber tires" when it quite obviously has valve stems (meaning for AIR-FILLED TIRES) showing right there in the photos! What is the purpose of these? Silly. And... the REAL original certainly DID have air-filled tires–NOT "solid rubber."

3.) The REAL millionth Schwinn most certainly DID come with a coaster brake. WHO and WHERE does it say this bicycle didn't?

• Page 21..."..." Information on this page regarding the Excelsior Motor & Manufacturing Company is misleading. What Schwinn actually acquired was the motorcycle operations of this company, but the bicycle division continued on making bicycles–much to Schwinn's chagrin! ...

• Pages 24 and 25... Contrary to statements in the book, the bicycle shown on these pages is NOT a Schwinn, but rather a B.F. Goodrich MADE by Schwinn. You may not know this, the hobby doesn't seem to know... and this publisher obviously did not know... but this is a B.F. GOODRICH MODEL ONLY. NOT A SCHWINN. The bicycle shown was NOT a Schwinn model... these graphics were never used on Schwinn. Some people seem to think these bicycles are SCHWINNS and that Goodrich models are exactly the same as Schwinn. In SOME occasions Schwinn-Built Goodrich models and Schwinn factory models are pretty much the same, but in this instance they are not! This just ISN'T a Schwinn model and as such, it does not belong in this book!

And...things in this book go downhill from here as this bicycle is equipped with a modern repop Persons seat (they never had such a seat back then) and postwar (probably repop) "A.S." pedals–obviously something never equipped on this bicycle when new. The chromed fender braces were certainly not original and the flat, painted rims appear to be bogus as well. Books-especially those claiming or implying that they are dispensing knowledge and history OUGHT to have an obligation to either use correct examples in photos, or–barring that–at least point out to the reader what is wrong with the example shown! Otherwise, what's the purpose of this all?

• Page 26... The rear stand shown is quite obviously NOT a Schwinn stand...but from a brand-X bicycle.

• Page 27...caption states "The 'fuel' tank..."

A FUEL TANK?? C'monnn! Is it running off of diesel or nitrous? Seriously. Almost anytime an amateur or misinformed newbie refers to a horntank or toolbox (which is what this is) they will try to call it a "gas tank." This book caption tries to REALLY puff it up by calling it a "fuel tank." Problem is, if you're writing an authoritarian historical BOOK, then you shouldn't be a newbie–or writing like one.

• Page 27... lower left photo shows an Elgin headlight lens mounted in the headlight and even this is turned sideways. Obviously an Elgin lens has no place on this bicycle any more than a Ford grille belongs on a Chevrolet–especially in a history book.

• Pages 28 and 29...the caption and photo of this bicycle model have many problems. This Aerocycle has appeared in numerous publications–just to show you how errors and erroneous beliefs can spread like wildfire. Then get repeated over and over. Heaven help anyone who is trying to make their Aerocycle look like this one!

1.) The front fender appears to be flared at BOTH ends... impossible. Perhaps this is an optical illusion of the photo...but it has looked likewise in other photos and something is obviously amiss with it.

2.) Worse, the braces on this fender are NOT Schwinn braces (Schwinns use only ONE rivet at the axle eyelit–these have TWO rivets on each eyelit–meaning they're brand-X bogus braces on this Aerocycle. We KNOW they're hard to find... but you're doing a BOOK here, folks!).

3.) The correct horn button for 1934 was a special flipper–not shown here. People... NOBODY EVER TALKS ABOUT THIS AND 99% of the Aerocycles pictured in books, newspapers, magazines and at shows have the WRONG horn button! WHY not take this opportunity to educate the readers?

4.) The seat is incorrect for this bicycle.

There are other problems. This bicycle has been shown in other erroneous bicycle books... and they just continue putting it in one book after another...and the erroneous info just keeps multiplying.

This book COULD HAVE inserted some facts about the Aerocycle instead of repeating the same old errors on the same old mis-restored bicycle and NOT including real details about these models such as would be (or used to be) in Standard Catalog automotive books.

Do they tell you there were two distinct models? Do they tell you the features of these two models? Do they tell you the years it was available? Do they tell you that other colors were available and how and when and where? NO. Yet THESE are important facts that ought to be in a "Standard Catalog" historical book. Otherwise, what's the point?

• Pages 28 and 29... Much of the information referring to balloon tires and their introduction on these pages is skewed and ignores many facts of the time. AND most bicycle dealers of the day very well knew that singletube tires were a PIA and were extremely unreliable. Of course, the flip side of this is that the singletube tires were a constant source not just of problems... but a source of service INCOME revenue!

• Page 30..." The B-10E Motorbike, introduced in 1933 was the first balloon tire model introduced..."

This is not true. A rank amateur myth. Both Sears and Montgomery Ward BOTH had balloon tires on Elgins and Hawthorne bicycles at least a year earlier than Schwinn. Don't believe it? LOOK in any Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogue from 1932! The information on Schwinn "inventing" balloon tires is terribly skewed. They didn't invent balloon tires, and frankly never made such a claim. It is modern-day histories that have made the jump to this exaggeration. What Schwinn did was replicate something they saw in Europe (and frankly, in the USA too). And while THIS kind of balloon tire was slightly different in mounting and the fact that it had a separate inner tube, it was basically the same as Elgins and Hawthornes were already using!

• Page 30..."The B10-E Motorbike, introduced in 1933 was the first balloon tire model introduced..."

See the previous correction just above. The B10-E and frankly ALL of the B series (there were ten–10–different models) NOT just the "E" came with balloon tires (the "B" stood for "balloon"). And, as we said, this was NOT the first balloon tire model on the market, just the first SCHWINN balloon tire model.

• Page 30... Almost all of the market information and customer desire information on this page is revisionist history. The reference to "large retailers" makes it sound as if these stores were merely catching up to Schwinn. Reality was just the opposite as we have stated. Furthermore, MOST Schwinn-built bicycles were never marketed under a "SCHWINN" brand...this did not happen until after WWII, so buyers were never as sophisticated as this book claims in their knowledge of Schwinn and there was never a single "Schwinn" brand or image in the minds of 1930s American bicycle buyers. This is a naive revision of today, but not the reality of the 1930s.

• Page 30..."Having been the first in the US market 'Schwinn Built' (sic) bikes commanded and received the lion's share of the sales..."

Almost anytime an amateur or misinformed newbie refers to Schwinn, they try to make it look as though the Schwinn Bicycle Company dominated the market. But think about the reality of this statement and concept! Sears with their Elgin was already selling at least 1/4th of the bicycles sold in America at the time. Montgomery Ward was not far behind Sears in bicycle sales. And that still leaves a BUNCH of other bicycle makers in the mix...in addition to Schwinn. THIS IS THE REALITY. This book has fallen for the amateur myth that Schwinn did everything and dominated everything and pioneered everything. The facts just don't bear out these hyperbole puffery claims.

• Page 31..." A new twist in the retail world was large sellers wanting Schwinn bikes with their own store name applied to the frame. Schwinn responded to this need..."

This statement reveals a serious misunderstanding of how the retail bicycle market worked back then. This was very definitely NOT a "new twist" at all and in fact had been going on since the beginning of bicycles in the USA. Schwinn had nothing in particular to do with this practice any more than any other manufacturer... and certainly did not institute it. In fact, Schwinn had long before been making bicycles under private labels–including for the very "large retailers" that the author seems to view as "poor quality."

• Page 32..."The Streamline continued the aviation theme and provided the rider with a softer ride through its front suspension..."

As we pointed out already (see corrections for page 24) the bicycle shown IS NOT A SCHWINN. IT WAS NOT A SCHWINN FACTORY MODEL. THIS IS WHY SCHWINN COINED THE TERM "SCHWINN-BUILT"... not everything BASED on Schwinn components was a Schwinn! THIS IS A B.F. GOODRICH. SAY IT.... B.-F.- GOOD-RICH-STREAMLINE...NOT SCHWINN STREAMLINE!!!

It is in fact a mis-restored B.F. Goodrich model from the late 1930s. Schwinn did not have this "STREAMLINE" model name as a factory model... ONLY B.F. GOODRICH did. It is a Schwinn-Built B.F. Goodrich. "STREAMLINE" was a B.F. Goodrich model, NOT a Schwinn factory model or name. Schwinn had "STREAMLINER" (NOT "STREAMLINE") as a postwar factory model... but the bicycle shown was NOT a Schwinn. This is another rank amateur practice of using and viewing "Schwinn" and "B.F. Goodrich" as one and the same. But this is NOT true. B.F. Goodrich had their own special model names and features. This is one of them! And what's up with those kittywhampus rear carrier legs? Don't tell anybody, but... they look postwar!

• Page 32..."The 1934 Streamline Aerocycle Model 34, (sic) was the first offspring of this bicycle/aviation marriage..."

This is an absurd statement and certainly Schwinn was hardly the first to have airplane connections or themes in bicycles. There were numerous, NUMEROUS so-called "marriages of bicycles and aviation." Ever heard of the Wright Brothers? Know what they did? Ever seen Excelsior (REAL Excelsior, not Schwinn) bicycles from the 1920s with the airplane propeller on the front fender? Ever seen pre-balloon Elgins with cast metal airplanes mounted on the front fender? Ever heard of the 1928 Lindy bicycle by Shelby with the Spirit of St. Louis airplane on the front fender? ALSO there were TWO MODELS OF THE AEROCYCLE... why no mention of this fact in this "standard catalog of Schwinn"???

• Page 33... References to the Motorbike and Cycleplane are clearly confused and reveal the author did not understand the model line vs. individual model name at Schwinn. Also there is reference to the "electrical system stowed in the tank" but mysteriously, the bicycle shown does not have any of the customary wiring leading from the tank to the front fender (to power the headlight). Why? And why no mention that the wiring is missing?

• Page 34..."The 'fuel' tank..."

There's no fuel like an old fuel, huh? Wow. Almost anytime an amateur or misinformed newbie refers to a horntank or toolbox (which is what this is) they will try to call it a "gas tank." This book caption tries to REALLY puff the newbie talk up a notch by calling it a "fuel tank."

• Page 34..."the Streamline's graphics..."

This book spends an awful lot of time on this non-Schwinn bicycle with its incorrect restoration and claims. It's a B.F. Goodrich model...and as such the graphics have zero to do with Schwinn.

• Page 34..."The installation of the coil spring and support struts gave the front end of the Streamline a touch of suspension..."

AGAIN, this book spends an awful lot of time on this non-Schwinn bicycle with its incorrect restoration and claims. It's a B.F. Goodrich model...and Schwinn called this front suspension "knee-action" but on the actual bicycles be they Schwinn or B.F. Goodrich, the pivot nuts were never painted black or any color. The darts on the legs are too low... the giant screws on the braces were never used (factory used rivets) and the fender braces were never chromed. There are other issues.

• Page 34 (bottom of page text)..."A streamlined fender headlight was added in 1941..." NOT! The new headlight first appeared for the 1940 model year on 1940 models.

• Page 35..."The Autocycle was produced through 1949 but was not called that name after 1946. It was merely known as B6..."

More hogwash. Certainly not true. Schwinn Dealer Catalogues and consumer catalogues well into the 1950s were STILL referring to this model as AUTOCYCLE B6. For example, the 1951 factory price list to dealers dated August 27, 1951 clearly labels lists... "B6 Equipped Autocycle"... AND "B4 Standard Autocycle"... and there were references in later years as well. And all of the dealer books, catalogues and consumer catalogues list "Autocycle" in 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and later. So. Who says these bicycles were NOT called "Autocycle after 1946"???

Finally, this book clearly does not comprehend the history of the battle that went on between Schwinn and Excelsior over the name "Autocycle"...or "Auto-Cycle"... (see our NBHAA GTCC story on the history of Who REALLY Made The Mountain Bike and A Little Bit About Excelsior").

• Page 35..."this example is fitted with red rubber tires, a popular option of the day..."

HUH? "Option" means it was NOT standard equipment and had to be ordered extra. As a publisher of car books, these guys should already know this fact. However, red rubber tires were STANDARD EQUIPMENT... not optional on this bicycle. Red rubber tires may be impressive as some exotic item to someone TODAY, but they were standard equipment when this Autocycle was made. Actually blackwalls and whitewalls were optional at extra cost. By the way... WHERE is the speedometer cable on this bicycle? (It is missing, but the text and caption never mention it–apparently they didn't know any better).

• Page 36...caption says "...the most prestigious racing bike in the world..."

A naive, Schwinn-centric statement. Schwinn had some proud highlights in racing, but if ANY major bicycle manufacturer could take credit for such a huge claim from those times, it would have to to be BSA which was not only a darling of racers of the period–not merely in the USA but WORLDWIDE–AND had its own models, but also made a large quantity of private-label racers for Pierce, CCM, Emblem and many other US manufacturers... AND BSA components were extremely popular with racers of the day. Again, a lot of puffery and nice compliments to Schwinn, but not the real history.

• Page 35-36...(statements about Schwinn Cyclelock) This book makes it appear that Schwinn was the lone company making a locking front end. But this conveniently ignores the fact that Silver King by Monark, Manton & Smith Bike-Lok bicycles, Roadmaster and others had a locking front fork too!

• Page 38...lower left photo and caption "The Autocycle was Schwinn's top of the line model and was packed with new and interesting features..."

Well, this may be true, but if so, WHY is this bicycle shown with a late 1930s New Departure aftermarket front brake?! WHERE is the Schwinn equipment? And these units were certainly not Schwinn options at all... zero to do with Schwinn.

• Page 40..."For those seeking glamour, the Hollywood was first produced for the 1938 model year although not badged as such, company advertising used the Hollywood moniker..."

Says who? Ridiculous. "The Hollywood" was certainly listed as far back as 1936 in the both the consumer catalogues and the Schwinn Dealerbooks. Also the claim that the Hollywood was gone in 1948 is certainly not true since it is clearly shown in the 1948 Schwinn dealerbook... and 1951 dealerbook. AND the book clearly again contradicts its own statements by showing The Hollywood again on page 148 claiming "it still carried itself well in 1975"...HUH?

• Page 41...lower left photo and caption "Another popular option was grip-end reflectors..." Ridiculous. What is shown are aftermarket universal-fit grips with built-in reflectors. The reflectors were built into the grip... not add-on "grip-end reflectors." And these units were certainly not Schwinn options at all... zero to do with Schwinn.

• Page 41...lower right photo and caption "The pogo seat provided comfort..." What is shown was officially called the Schwinn "Full-Floating Saddle" and nothing else. Schwinn never referred to this special saddle as a "pogo." "Pogo" is a slang term invented by modern collectors and swap meet peddlars and had zero to do with Schwinn.

• Page 41...lower right text referring to Schwinn supposedly "doing away with the middleman"..." Not exactly true. What is being discussed is a particular wholesaler in a particular location. However, Schwinn continued having wholesale-distributors all the way into the 1970s. Clearly there is a serious lack of understanding here regarding how wholesale distributors worked and how Schwinn and others used them.

• Page 42 and 43... photo and caption The headlight shown appears to be a postwar unit.

• Page 44...lower left text states "The New World model was added in 1940..."

Sorry but our records don't show the New World as a "model" but rather a SERIES including several models... and our records indicate that series began in 1938, not 1940.

• Page 45...lower right photo and caption "Fitted with the "sweetheart sprocket" called such due to its heart-shaped openings..."

Again, this was NOT a Schwinn name or term for this component. Actually, the term, "sweetheart sprocket" was coined by a Southern California collector in the mid-1970s and popularized by Leon Dixon in writings. Also the pedals shown were not the original type used on this bicycle.

• Pages 46 and 47... photo and caption "Cycle Truck was first introduced in 1939 and quickly became..."

Problem is, what is shown is a VERY postwar model (this PARTICULAR frame shown was not made until well into the 1950s) that has been modified...for instance with that 1960s vinyl Mesinger seat and foreign sprocket (EEEeeeck!)... but curious blacked-out WWII pedals. Lovely mud on the rear tire for a book photo! Got a bouillabaisse bike here! Also the S-1, S-2 designations were not until well into postwar, so most of the captions are just plain... wrong.

• Pages 50 and 51...lower photo and caption "Whizzers first appeared during World War II as a way to stretch fuel and rubber inventory. This 1948 model is an LS-10..."

Need we say the word again? Ridiculous. Whizzers actually came on the market in 1939. World War II was not declared until December 7, 1941. Claiming they first appeared "during World War II" is pure amateur guessing. Furthermore, claiming that this Whizzer motor is 1948 is already problematic since it shows a Model H motor setup... which was made in 1946-1947. For 1948, Whizzer moved to Model J and this motor had totally different controls, a different gas tank and those 1960s grips would have never made it in 1948. Finally, we have absolutely NO IDEA where they dreamed up the model designation "LS-10" when in fact what is shown was actually called Model MZ-507 in 1948... and it is listed that way in the 1948 Schwinn dealer book. And don't say this "LS-10" name came from Whizzer. We have their paper archives and they certainly didn't use this name either!

• Page 52...lower left text "The majority of these units were built on Schwinn frames..."

This statement would be hard to prove. Whizzer arrived on the market in 1939. They really didn't have official linkage with Schwinn until 1948, although there were Schwinns adapted for use with Whizzers earlier. Do the math. From 1939 through 1948 Whizzer motors were really only made to be used on ANY bicycle. And that is a lot of years, even though much of it was World War II. And remember, Whizzer's recommended choice (up until the legal snafu with Schwinn over the cantilever frame of the Pacemaker) originally was ROADMASTER...Cleveland Welding Company. They even showed BUILT-UP Whizzers on Roadmaster and there were special Roadmaster frames made just for this purpose. That stuff had zero to do with Schwinn. AFTER that time, yes there was lots more involvement with Schwinn, obviously. However, the majority of Whizzer motor kits sold were STILL designed to go on ANY balloon tire bicycle... and that is exactly what they ended up on...ANY balloon tire bicycle.

• Page 52...upper right photo and caption "Another ..." Ridiculous. What is shown is a 1946-47 Whizzer Model H motor... Look closely and see the "H" in the serial number on the motor case!

• Page 53...lower left AND right photos and caption. The image on the left is claimed to be a 1948 Whizzer. But why does it have a 1946-47 tank? Take a look at a REAL 1948 Whizzer tank right next to it in the illustration on the right bottom of the page. Such huge mis-statements are really unforgivable. 1948 huh? Look at these photos. LOOK at the differences between a REAL 1948 tank (shown on the right) and the claimed so-called "1948" tank on the left (which is actually 1946-47) Ridiculous, isn't it? How can they publish this stuff and not even bother to notice the differences?

• Pages 54 and 55...photo and caption "Schwinn's 1949 models would introduce the world to one of the company's most popular designed ever to roll out of the factory doors..."

Cute. Except for the fact that this photo shows a Panther... and the Panther line was not introduced until 1950.

• Pages 54 and 55...photo..." Cute again. Of course things are just crazy here. All white tires? C'monnnn. And the "A.S. Deluxe" pedals shown (which nobody bothered to straighten before they took this photo)were never sold on the Panther–which had its own special pedals based on Torrington 8 type design. And the repoppadoo Persons seat on there is nothing like the special Mesinger Panther saddle that was original. Finally, Panthers did not have chromed fender braces!

• Page 56...photo and caption "The Phantom models were released in 1949–not all of them the famous Black variety. This 1950 Red Phantom proves the point..."

Cute again. But no cigar. Except for the fact that this photo shows a Red and MAROON Phantom. A nice fantasy, but something Schwinn never made. The awful aftermarket mudflaps, aftermarket axle caps (WHY do people think these things were original equipment on Phantoms???) and odd color seat (probably a repop) with BLACK springs (originals were chrome)are also not original.

• Page 56...ALL photos and SOME captions "Top right: The 1950 Phantom was the first to have its name painted on the chain guard..."

Dead wrong. NO Phantoms had their name painted on the guard since the names were all water transfer decals! AND again, none were Red and MAROON Phantoms. A nice fantasy, but something Schwinn never made. And the last caption curiously corrects an incorrect statement in the book made earlier about when the streamlined fender light first debuted!

• Page 57...photo and caption "With the exception of tire size, the smaller Phantoms were identical to the 26" models in every way, including painted and chromed tank..."

Identical, huh? Except for the fact that the 24" shown in this photo obviously is NOT "identical" to a 26-inch model." This is pure amateur silliness. Why say such things? And note that later this book will completely contradict this very statement. 24-inch Phantoms had:

• a completely different set of fenders in design, shape and dimensions

• a completely different headlight (Delta Rocket Ray instead of built-in Schwinn streamlined headlight.

• completely different pedals (BTW, ones shown are wrong)

• completely different rear carrier and NEVER an electric tail light

• completely different rear reflector

• completely different seat

• completely different chain guard

"Identical in every way" huh? C'monnn are you folks telling these people who "write" these books that they are hallucinating? By the way, the downtube 2-toning and striping are also incorrect.

• Page 57...text left column "Phantoms glittered with more chrome than ever seen before on a bicycle..."

Nice hyperbole... but absurd again. Cleveland Welding Company had ALL Chrome "Chromemaster" models before World War II. There were full chrome Elgins in the 1920s. There were full chrome Iver Johnsons in the 1930s. And in the late 1940s when CWC released their original Luxury Liner model, it had just as much chrome as the Phantom that was imitating it! Pretty rank amateur statements for a book claiming to be a reference piece!

• Page 58...lower left photo and caption "While the full-size Phantoms featured a sleek Fenderlite, the 24" model came with a Delta Rocket Ray headlight..."

What sloppy editing! Just one page back they were telling us these two bicycles were "identical in every way except for size." NOW they want to tell us the exact opposite and admit the headlights differ. Cute again. But no cigar.

• Page 59...left top photo and caption "Both front and rear tires on this example are adorned with stylish mud flaps, again with reflectors for greater visibility..."

Cute again. Now we're just getting beyond SILLY. The mudflaps and reflectors shown were NOT factory items and not even SCHWINN accessories. Just aftermarket universal-fit stuff that has no place in a serious history book. And WORSE, the persons editing this stuff obviously don't even know it!

• Page 59...right top photo and caption "The wheel hubs had circular chrome trim pieces that included built-in reflectors as seen here..."

Now we're just getting beyond SILLY to just making up garbage. The axle caps and reflectors shown were NOT factory items and not even SCHWINN accessories. Just aftermarket universal-fit stuff that has no place in a serious history book. These particular caps look suspiciously like repops... on top of not being Schwinn parts! And WORSE, the persons editing this stuff obviously does not even know it! Somebody ought to be ashamed here.

• Page 59...left lower text photo "The Phantoms were sold until 1959, when the riding public began asking for a lighter machine..."

This is a highly questionable statement. Fact is, Phantoms were already on the market for ten long years in a country where car styles were changed every 365-1/2 DAYS! And they were actually sold up until 1960. That was a VERy lonnnng run for a bicycle model or any vehicle back then. The Phantom had simply saturated its audience and that audience was ready for a styling change. This silliness about "the riding public" has absolutely no meaning in relation to the Phantom since anyone buying a deluxe American balloon tire bicycle cared little about weight anyway! No more so than someone who buys a 12-cylinder luxury car cares about gas mileage. Again... silly talk.

• Page 60...left top photo and caption "The ladies' Phantom appeared in 1955 but was built only for a four-month period between January and April..."

No idea where this info came from, but female Phantom model was listed for the entire year–and partially into the next in some wholesaler's catalogues.

• Page 60...left lower photo and caption "The chain guard called out the Phantom name and was finished in a two-tone color scheme unlike the monotone versions found on the men's models..."

Did the editor even BOTHER to read any of this book or LOOK at the photos? WHEN on earth was there ever a "monotone" single color male Phantom chain guard paint job????? Again, we're just getting beyond SILLY.

• Page 60...lower right photo and caption "...ladie's model had far less chrome trim than its men's-version counterpart..."

"FAR LESS CHROME"????? WHERE? How? And WHY no mention of the fact that the example shown is MISSING the standard whitewall tires??? Again, whoever was editing this stuff obviously don't even know it!

• Page 60...lower right column text "The girl's Panther Model D-77 was only available in two-tone blue..."

Cute again. WHERE DOES THIS STUFF COME FROM??? WHO MAKES THIS STUFF UP? See what these books do? The official Schwinn factory literature introducing this model AND the dealerbook state as follows regarding available colors for this bicycle:

"FINISH-FINEST SYNTHETIC ENAMELS OVER HEAVY PRIME COAT. BLACK WITH RED, RED AND GREEN TWO-TONE" (meaning red with maroon or dark green with light green). Now. Who ya gonna believe? This book? Or the literature that dealers used?

• Page 61...top photo and caption ..." Cute again. We reviewed this erroneous bicycle in our corrections to pages 54 and 55.

• Page 62...lower right photo and caption "The Panther's front fender was also ornamented with the official Schwinn Delta Rocket Ray headlight..."

What's so "official Schwinn" about a headlight that was used by just about every bicycle company at one time or another? And besides... the "official Schwinn Panther Rocket Ray" had CHROMED LETTERING on the top shell! This one doesn't and looks like a chipped repaint.

• Page 63...lower right photo and caption... "The swooping fuel tank, clad in black and chrome..."

REMEMBER what we said in correcting page 34 of this book? The "fuel" tank indeed. Arrrrgggh! It's a horntank! Almost anytime an amateur or misinformed newbie refers to a horntank (which is what this is) they will try to call it a "gas tank." This book caption tries to REALLY puff it up by calling it a "fuel tank."

• Page 63... photos... No sooner than Leon Dixon's Black Phantom appeared in newspapers, trade shows, bicycle events and magazines like Cyclist (see NBHAA Historical Articles section) this "me-too" clone appeared, done identical with front and rear expander brakes. We have covered this clone before, pointing out the non-Schwinn modern handlebars with the primitive mandrel-crush bends and the improper cable routing.

• Page 63...lower left column text... "...the Hornet was introduced in the early 1950s....The Hornet was first released for 1951 sales..."

Okay. So which is it? The vague "early 50s"? or 1951? In OUR records, this is not exactly accurate. While in the March, 1951 issue of The Schwinn Reporter (Schwinn's publication that was sent out to authorized Schwinn dealers) it states as follows: "In accordance with Schwinn's new policy to 'name their babies', the hitherto unnamed D-19 and D-69 models recently were baptized the 'HORNET' line. Last year's 'best seller', the 'HORNET' will shortly bear an appealing chain guard decal identifying the model by its new name..." So this model existed back into the 1940s, but it only acquired the new name in 1950, with the chain guard decal appearing in 1951. But the bicycle line itself didn't just suddenly appear. It had already been in existence.

• Page 64...lower left photo and caption... "...Mounted beneath the rear luggage rack was another safety feature: a working taillight..."

Okay. So add to that "and working BRAKE light." The Phantom electric tail light was not merely a tail light... it was a brake light. THEY don't tell you this, but it had a 3-position switch. First position was completely OFF. Second position was BRAKE LIGHT ON. Third position was BRAKE LIGHT AND TAIL LIGHT ON. If the tail light was off in 2nd position, the brake light came on when braking. If the tail light was ON (3rd position), the brake light came on brighter than the tail light. Just like in a car (by the way, OTHER bicycle companies had such a brake light/tail light combo in the 1930s! LONG before Schwinn). AND there were several different versions of this Schwinn tail light NOT ONE. NOW. WHY DIDN'T THEY TELL YOU THIS??? Unfortunately, the tail light shown was at least the third version made, and thus not legit to show or talk about on the early Phantom or debut.

• Page 65...upper photo and caption... "...The Whizzer Pacemaker ran an enlarged 199cc motor and included a..."

Whoever wrote this obviously did not know that the Pacemaker shown is NOT an early one and that not all Pacemakers were the same. Furthermore the original Pacemakers of 1948 had a different frame and different motor. The high-fin head and finned exhaust manifold shown here made it obvious that this is a much later Whizzer motor.

• Page 66...upper left photo and caption... "...The Deluxe model speedometer was a bit optimistic with a top speed posted at 80 miles per hour..."

Whoever wrote this obviously did not know that Whizzer was actually just doing what car makers and other vehicle makers do. Few vehicles can actually achieve the absolute top digit on their speedometers. However, apparently, the writer also did not know that Whizzer was indeed taking a little advantage of the fact that a modified Whizzer did indeed approach this speed at Pomona Raceway in California around this time. Furthermore, Whizzers modified and run by a Chicago, Illinois Schwinn dealer were running speeds in this neighborhood as well. So? Why NOT offer the buying public an 80 MPH speedo? It just told the buyer that a Whizzer was indeed capable of traveling at high speed–even if highly modified! Great sales tactic!

• Pages 66 and 67...lower photo and caption and Hornet pics on page 67... "...Rolled out in 1951, the Hornet..."

We already went over this Hornet business in the corrections to Page 63. Check what we said there. Worse, the little Hornet shown does not appear to be a 1951 model at all. The Jr. Rocket Ray headlight was not shown in the dealerbooks until about 1954. CHECK THE SERIAL NUMBER!

• Page 67...lower left text... "On the cusp of the new middleweight's introduction, the Wasp was introduced in 1954. Still riding on balloon tires, it would replace the Phantom on the latter's demise and continue on until 1965..."

Are you kidding? The Wasp "replaced the Phantom"!!!??? OMG. No. The Phantom's slot was merely eliminated. The top banana after the point of of the Phantom's demise was the Jaguar Mark IV. The Wasp was NEVER a top-of-the-line deluxe bicycle model–any more than a Chevy Del Rey could replace an Impala. Silly talk. And the Phantom's "demise" actually took place at the 1960 model year. The last year for Phantom was 1959 but it only ceased to exist in 1960.

• Pages 68 and 69...photo..."

Again...are you kidding? This Jaguar is missing the original headlight and somebody has stuck a universal-fit aftermarket Deluxe Delta Winner on the handlebars (nowhere near original). And how about all of that leaked battery acid rust on the tank and front tire, huh? They could have at least turned the tire so the rust was out of sight–especially since they already cut off the photo so it only shows half of the wheel! There are other problems with this bicycle we will point out later. People, you're doing a BOOK here... a HISTORY BOOK... why such schlock?? If you don't tell people that things are wrong with the items you are picturing in a history book, HOW will they ever know unless they already know? All of which negates the value of having the book in the first place!

• Pages 70 and 71...photo AND silly caption..."

Again, and again...are you kidding?

• This Corvette is missing the original headlight. GONE.

• The silly streamers are not original. (People... what's up with the streamers gone berserk in this book? Schwinns didn't come with streamers stuck in the handlegrips of every bicycle! And if they knew this fact, why didn't they either remove them for photography or just state in the captions "Streamers are universal aftermarket accessories–not original equipment." Huh?)

• AND the rear carrier (PEOPLE–these books, museums, articles and published photos ARE NOTORIOUS for showing the DEAD wrong rear carriers for Schwinn middleweights! FIRST, Corvettes never came with rear carriers. SECOND, even IF you just HAD to have a rear carrier on this bicycle, the one shown is years NEWER than the bicycle! HINT: look at the bends on the rear of the carrier–they should loop rather than be tight angles).

• And the caption claims that Corvettes were "...Available in 1955..." Yeah... except that they were introduced in 1954. And WHY are they showing this mixed-up modified 1960s model when they are captioning the original Corvette?

• AND has anybody noticed that the headbadge is completely MISSING?

• Finally, Corvettes came with whitewall tires, guys!

There are other problems with this bicycle perhaps we will point out later. People, you're doing a BOOK here... a HISTORY BOOK... why such schlock?? IF you could not find a better Corvette (and we're SURE there are better ones out there) then why not STATE what is wrong with it, modified, missing, etc.? At least then, the poor reader will have some real FACTS to go by!

• Page 73...photo..." Want to see how the Corvette on pages 70 and 71 IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK? Compare that photo to what they show here! HERE is an an original advertisement for a Corvette showing it as correct original... even in the same colors!

• NOTE: the headlight! IT HAS A HEADLIGHT!


• NOTE: IT HAS whitewall tires!

• NOTE: the headbadge. IT HAS A HEADBADGE.

Now if WE noticed all this stuff wrong...why didn't the author and the editors?

• Pages 74 and 75...photo and caption..."

• We would LOVE to see the serial number off of this one!

• This Traveler is missing the original headlight.

• Looks like a 1970s rear reflector on there.

• And what's with the 1959 Mayweg front carrier? Travelers never came with these carriers.

There are other problems with this bicycle we will point out later. People, you're doing a BOOK here... a HISTORY BOOK... you're supposed to be showing and talking about STOCK, not schlock!

• Page 76...photo and caption..."The Traveler was equipped with a spring-loaded front carrier rack for storage..."

Again...are you kidding? HUH??? This Traveler is MODIFIED and they never came with these carriers. There are other problems with this bicycle we will point out later. People, you're doing a BOOK here... a HISTORY BOOK... why such schlock??

• Page 76...text..."Corvettes could be purchased in your choice of white, black, Radiant Red, Radiant Blue, or Radiant Green. Future options would Coppertone as well as the later 'Flamboyant' hues..." "Later flamboyant hues"??? What do you think these colors were?

• Page 76...text...(in reference to Bendix automatic hub) "first used by Schwinn in 1960, it can be spotted by the three painted stripes of yellow or red on its outer housing." Wow. Got that backwards. Red band hubs came first and you would not have seen yellow bands on this Corvette and certainly not in 1960!

• Page 76...text...(in reference to Corvette 5-Speed) ..."The five-speed variant may have been created to keep the pace with the imported competition..." Nonsense. What imported brand was offering a 5-speed derailleur bicycle with cantilever frame, stainless steel fenders, headlight and whitewall middleweight tires? And surely not on any "competitive" level! Publishing this kind of talk just reveals a deep lack of knowledge of Schwinn... which always had a fetish for 5-speeds and derailleurs. Back in the 1950s, Schwinn even offered a derailleur option specifically for balloon tire bicycles (are you listening mountain bike history folks?? Because this also blows your theories and criteria out of the water).


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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!!!

...and auction catalogue MADness- COMING SOON!

We can identify almost any bicycle manufactured in North America between 1920 and 1970 and we haqve already identified over one MILLION of these bicycles since 1977. 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, 200, 2010, 2011 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: 15 JUNE 2011

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