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Velocipedes R Us: 1940

Velocipedes R Us: 1940

December 1940. "Window display for Christmas sale. Providence, Rhode Island." "Billy" now just 89 cents! 35mm nitrate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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This was the Rhode Island Bicycle Company (R.I. Bicycle Co.) store located at 57 Washington Street in Providence. It was run by Nathaniel C. Cohen into the 1930s, but his name stops showing up in the city directories in the early 1930s. I didn't find the name of the next owner.

The front of the store, as well as the bicycle with the wind deflector/fairing attached can be seen here. The building is long gone.

Grumpy Grandpa

The gent on the far end of the window shoppers. Maybe he thinks the prices are too steep. Or maybe he recalls how he got along with just a barrell hoop and a stick.

Two By For Me Too

Hey Fun2BeMe, I had the 2 by 4 and old shoe skate scooter, it was great fun till the pavement wore down those metal wheels. I want to know what that Volkswagen Van-looking thing is below the fire engine. Is it a bicycle fairing of some sort? Notice the semi-subliminal sales technique of using the word "Buy" twice, one just above the other, on the window sign and the monkey's price tag. I remember shops like this back in the fifties, they always had the good stuff.

No Scooter for me

We couldn't afford a scooter, so we did the next best thing - took a 2x4 - nailed two halves of a shoe skate to the bottom - attached a wooden produce box to the front and voila, a scooter, if you were really handy you put two empty tunafish cans on the front of the produce box to serve as headlights.

I Thought so!

So that beat up, bent, rusty scooter I got to play with as a kid was all shiny and did have a bell once upon a time. Being the last kid in the family is a bummer. It even had hand grips.

Fire engine

I want the fire engine. I could also be talked into the red scooter!!

Red Scooter

I had a red scooter just like the ones in the window. Black rubber handles. Even had the bell!

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