When the first diamond frame bicycles became popular in the 1890s they were often called "wheels" - the national cycling association was called the "League of American Wheelmen." We have moved from "wheels" to "bikes," but the bicycles have remained remarkably the same over more than 100 years - elegant in their efficiency and simplicity. And many of the issues that we think are new? They were around then too.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Generic Bikes of 1942
Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information photo of women and bicycles in 1942
Title-Pocatello, Idaho. Bicycle racks
Contributor Names-Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer
Created / Published-1942 July.
- United States--Idaho--Bannock County--Pocatello.
- Idaho--Bannock County--Pocatello
Format Headings-Nitrate negatives.
- Title and other information from caption card.
- Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944.
- More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.fsaowi
- Film copy on SIS roll 16, frame 296.
Medium-1 negative : nitrate ; 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches or smaller.
Call Number/Physical Location-LC-USF34- 073822-E [P&P]
Source Collection-Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)
Repository-Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
Digital Id-fsa 8c32556 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8c32556
Reproduction Number-LC-USF34-073822-E (b&w film nitrate neg.) LC-DIG-fsa-8c32556 (digital file from original neg.)
Rights Advisory-No known restrictions. For information, see U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black & White Photographs http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/071_fsab.html
Description-1 negative : nitrate ; 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches or smaller.
This comes from a large collection of materials best known for the "Migrant Mother" photograph by Dorothea Lange, taken in 1936. Here is general information about this collection. There are about 100 other depression-era and World War II era photographs in this collection.
In most of these photos from the 30s and 40s, the bikes are not particularly interesting, reflecting I think the poor status of bicycles as a means of transportation at the time. In most of these photos the bicycles are being ridden by adults for whom a bicycle was a poor second to motorized transportation (that is, a car). The main focus of bicycle marketing at the time, such as it was, was on children, although during WWII that was not active to save on the materials required.
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