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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

Junior Tricycle

Junior Tricycle

An unknown boy riding his tricycle in (mid-1930s?) San Diego. View full size.

Three wheels of danger

Warning: while operating this style of tricycle, do not allow an older cousin to push you faster than your 3-year old foot's capacity to stay on the pedal. You (like my brother in 1963) may break an ankle.

Safety First!

Where is that young man's safety helmet? Or his knee and elbow pads? There is no protective bumper on those handlebars, making them very dangerous! Sometimes I'm surprised anyone from this generation survived childhood!!

Cold Case

I am marveling at the amazing detective work being done by the Shorpy viewers in attempting to place the time and identity of this boy on a trike. You all may qualify for being private investigators with your astute observations but in my opinion it really is Bill Bliss as the unique features of his face come through even at that early age. I'm no genius regarding the backgrounds, clothing styles and landscaping, but one has to admire the handiwork of our creator when he can design every face to be truly one of a kind (unless they're identical twins) among trillions. I'd put money on this child being B.B.

Trike boy again

No, I don't think it's Dennis, but I've been having doubts about my previous opinion. B/W photos of this same area that Tony hasn't published show many with a 2-4 year old blond boy on this street with that same house next door. In color ones that definitely show a 7-8 year old Bill Bliss, thus from 1953-4, the garden plantings are still similarly scanty, but neighborhood trees are larger and bushier, plus that nice white picket fence is gone. Also, the trike here is the same style as my older brother's from around 1940, including the narrow tires; those on my early-50s model were wider and with flat tread surface. At this point I'm starting to feel like I'm on To Tell the Truth. Will the real Bill Bliss please stand up?

I know that kid.

That's the Mitchell boy.

Junior Tricycle

The tricycle is a Junior but by the label looks to be from before Junior was purchased by AMF in 1951. AMF did make "AMF Junior" tricycles but this one isn't so labeled. It's probably from the late 1940s.

Of course, that only fixes the earliest possible date. My own kids ride my own AMF Junior trike from circa 1968. One can't look at a picture of one of them on it and assume it's from the late '60s.

Timeless

The lack of plantings in front of the 1920s house suggests a 1920s into 1930s time frame and the proportions of his shoes are not 1950s.

But the trike stayed looking like that through the 1950s, and his clothing could be from any time starting in the 1920s and running through the 1950s.

Likewise the Taylor Tot stroller was made from the 1930s through most of the 1950s.

The only thing that suggests this is on the early edge of its time range is the lack of a fender over the trike front wheel. If we knew when the Junior model first got the front fender, we would have a better clue.

[Tony's photos include several of young Bill Bliss in the mid-Fifties. - Dave]

Tyke on Trike

Now that tterrace mentions it, this certainly does look like young Bill of the vacation photos. Is he still around? Maybe he can enlighten us.

Trike dating

I've been studying Tony's complete (so far) collection of shots showing Bill Bliss, his father and this location showing the house next door, and I've pretty well convinced myself this is Bill. I've compared his dad's appearance from the 30s-mid-50s, the growth of the shrubbery next door, the cars in the driveway, and especially a shot of Bill with his dad in that new Taylor Tot that's seen in Tony's comment. Bill's the same age as me, so that would put this trike shot at about 1948-9.

DeJaVu all over again, twice

I had a tricycle very similar to that one in the late forties/very early fifties. Mine was Blue and Cream. Before i saw the comments I too thought it was from the 50's.

Now the twice part. I also had a stroller very similar to the one in the added photo. I don't believe it was a hand-me-down. One of my few memories of that thing was the wooden handle bar for the toddler and the small tray below it. Those front castering wheels would chatter just like some of today's grocery carts.

EDIT: After thinking about it some more the name "Taylor Tot" also stuck in my head. Here is a link to some info about them....
http://toolsmartz.blogspot.com/2007/12/taylor-tot-story.html

For the record, I was born in 1944.

Trike info

http://www.tricyclefetish.com/AMF.php

Seems his trike was made by AMF, which also made Harley Davidson motorcycles. Which also could date this photo to the 1940s or early 50s.

Neg Size

The negative is 5.5 x 8.5cm.

The Film

What size is this? I thought it was a frame from a 35mm roll.

To tell you the truth

I'm not entirely sure of the dates as the negatives have no numbers on them. But I've been able to date a few of them from things such as cars and license plates and the collection seems to start in the early 1930s.

I can't really tell if this is Bill at a young age, but if it is then this would indeed be post-war, late '40s.

The bigger negatives are typically older and from the '30s, while the smaller ones are usually from the '40s and '50s. I've rechecked this particular negative and it's indeed smaller, so you may be right Vintagetvs. I might have gotten this negative confused with a bigger one I have of a kid and stroller that is more definitely from the '30s.

Dave, there's no help from the order of the negatives as they're all mixed together in a little box with no continuity of time or place.

The Date

1930s seems entirely plausible. No doubt the adjacent frames provide further clues.

Great picture

It looks a little later on like the mid to late 1950s judging by his outfit. But I've been known to be wrong!!

Are we sure of the date?

It looks more postwar to me but I'm not a Trike expert.

 
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