Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bike Week in 1918: Thrift, Health, and Pleasure in War Time

Bike week is coming up, May 14th - 18th, with Bike to Work Day on the 18th.

A century ago, Salem bike shops advertised National Bicycle Week extensively.

Half-page ad, May 8th, 1918

Full-page ad, May 4th, 1918
The marketing and arguments today really aren't so very different, though the valence around "patriotism" has changed in multiple ways. It's not important to dig into that too far other than to note that at one time it was possible to see a need to be more thrifty about driving and fuel, and it was plausible to position bicycling as the more thrifty and fuel-saving choice.

When we decide finally to get serious about climate disruption - if we ever do - we might be able to recover more of this particular expression of patriotism.

via League of American Bicyclists
See posts tagged "old time biking" for more on Harry Scott, Paul Hauser, Arthur Moore, and Watt Shipp. And one of these days we'll get to Loyd Ramsden!

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