Friday, July 12, 2019

Belle Epoque Bike Bits - Filler Friday

While the national headlines are bonkers, there's not a whole lot of local transportation news or city things. Here's some filler.

The Harvard Library recently released a new interface for their digital collections, and if you have a personal or professional interest, it might be worth checking out. I searched for vintage bicycles and for Salem.

Columbia-Pope Catalogue, 1895 (Harvard Library)
Here's a glorious front cover for a Columbia Bicycles catalogue from 1895.  The interior pages are great, also.

Interior, model 41 (Harvard Library)

Sears 1898 Bicycle Catalogue (Harvard Library)
And a slightly more grounded confection for the Sears Roebuck bicycle catalogue of 1898. Even with the childhood fantasia on the cover, it's all about mail order value.

Sears competes on price: $35 compare to $100 etc
(Harvard Library)

Sears Acme Queen for 1898 (Harvard Library)
Sears Ladies' Bicycle Suits for 1898 (Harvard Library)
Sometimes we joke here about emergency response as a good use for dirty gas engines. I'd rather not have to have bike ambulances.

Bicycle Ambulance, Spanish-American War, 1898
(Harvard Library)
Well, in a collection associated with Theodore Roosevelt, there's an image of a wartime bicycle ambulance! Bikes were, after all, leading edge transportation technology for a time. (Here's a longer discussion of it from a conference of military surgeons in 1897. The ambulance is from an arms manufacturer, but they made bikes for a while.)

Teddy himself does not seem to be in the photo, but General Frederick Grant, son of Ulysses, is sitting to the left of the detail here.

Images tagged for Salem were a little thin. But there's another version of President Roosevelt at our State Capitol in 1903. (Previous notes on TR here and here.) Some Trowbridge & Livingston drawings for our 1938 Capitol didn't render right, and it was not possible to say if they were anything new.

Maybe you will find something of interest!

Update, July 13th

I should have added some on the Salem agents for the Columbia Bicycle.

Band and instruments in front of Sroat & Wilson
dba The Salem Cyclery
This is now the parking just south of the Bike Peddler
circa 1899, detail, State Library Photo Collection
Paul Sroat has receded into the past, but Otto J. Wilson remains visible. Sroat & Wilson operated the Salem Cyclery between about 1896 and 1900. Sroat & Wilson seem to have started with Columbia's "second label," the Hartford bicycle.

Sroat & Wilson, agents for Hartford bicycles
(Wiggins married Myra Albert)
May 8th, 1897
They start display ads in 1898, and by 1899 they are advertising on the front page, along with the Meyers department store, who are also carrying the Columbia.

Sroat & Wilson, and Jos. Meyers & Sons
April 14th, 1899
For more on Otto J. Wilson, see here.

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added bit on Sroat & Wilson, agents for the Columbia)