Friday, June 11, 2010

Bike Awesome Posters and World War II Propaganda

As many know, Pedalpalooza started in Portland yesterday. The Mercury, a Portland weekly, devoted their entire issue yesterday to bicycling. These are some posters* of the artwork they commissioned for the issue.

And the posters have a cool WPA thing going! They also recall a related moment, just a few years later.

In her series of Salem historical snapshots, Virginia Green mentioned Scrappo. Here are the two photos in the Salem Historical Photo collection.
Pictured is "Scrappo" ten tons of scrap iron and steel that were welded together almost overnight to make up the 30-foot high robot, who made his appearance in the Marion County court house square on August 1, 1942. The Marion county-Salem city scrap program started officially at 12:15 p.m. with Gene Vandenynde, city salvage committee chairman, acting as master of ceremonies, aided by welders from the plants of Lee Eyerly, A. C. Haag company, and Salem Iron Works, all of whom donated their time. The great big talkative robot was built and welded together in the night hours. With Lee Eyerly, Al Gerlinger, and A. C. Haag supervising the job, it required three hours from 7 a.m. to 10 o'clock to erect "Mr. Scrap Iron Scrappo."
What's keeping us from mobilizing like we did during the Depression and WWII? Wouldn't it be great to see City Hall or the County Courthouse embrace bicycle transportation?

Climate change and peak oil are different kinds of crises, but if we start having big resource wars, especially over water, the analogies will be all too close.

*Posters, designed by Script & Seal, are available for purchase here (there are several more!). Sarah Mirk of the Merc writes about the design work here.

1 comment:

Walker said...

I love the idea of having Marion County courthouse embrace bikes -- like making the SMOKERS stand out in the rain and moving the bike rakes up underneath the front overhang (where the smokers stand and smoke). I tried to bring my bike up there one day during a downpour and the rent-a-cop lady told me that she'd have a deputy sheriff arrest me if I refused to take my bike back into the rain. The smokers were OK apparently.