Sunday, May 1, 2016

Minneapolis Bike Shop, ca. 1950 - all coaster brakes, all the time.

Saw this pic at the Hennepin County History Museum.  No date or store name/address on the frame, but the bikes are of a certain vintage: heavy steel frames, balloon tires, coaster brakes, two-tone fenders (steel, again), nary a Sturmy-Archer 3-speed shifter in sight.  No hand brakes, either. Check out that Junior version in center of photo:  was there a kid in America back then who didn't dream of getting this for his 6th birthday?

I was the mighty proud owner in that era of a Schwinn Phantom . It came from the J.M. Repple shop on Water Street, in Chillicothe, Ohio, my home town. My Phantom was red and white (I think) with plenty of chrome. 

The ride was comfy as could be:  Mr. Schwinn saw to that by installing a rough-road dampening shock absorber called "Knee Action."

Battery operated horn in the "tank" hanging from the top tube.  Driving light on chrome front fender, and I think there may have been a brake light built into tail light assembly.

Top of the line?  Almost, but not quite.  That honor belonged to the Schwinn Black Phantom.  Mr. best buddy Fritz H. was the lucky owner of one of those.

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