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Rover Boys: 1900

Circa 1900, back at the Handlebars Homestead. Lettis, bikes. f5.6 no filter +2" shirts is what it says on the sleeve. 4x5 inch glass negative. View full size.

Circa 1900, back at the Handlebars Homestead. Lettis, bikes. f5.6 no filter +2" shirts is what it says on the sleeve. 4x5 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Acetylene Lamps Well Into the 1950s

That "steampunk" acetyline headlamp reminded me of a bicycling memoir I read a couple of years ago where the author wrote about touring the Welsh countryside in the late 1950's and early 60s with acetylene headlamps.

[That's a paraffin bike lamp in our photo. -Dave]

Wait..."Rat Traps" Still Popular

Cleated or "clipless" pedals are used almost exclusively in road racing where a secure foothold is adventageous and some power may be transmitted on the upstroke. However, for single-track biking, mountain biking, cyclocross and other cycling competitions where the rider needs to constantly and quickly drop a foot, not only are cleated/clipless shoes a hinderance, so are the straps of "rat trap/mounse trap" style pedal clips. In these cases strapless toe clips and even no clips, just a simple platform pedal are preferred. Also many bike commuters and touring bikers prefer "rat trap/mouse trap" pedals which allow for the use of regular shoes for ease of walking and lower cost since cleated bike shoes cast more and must be used with "clipless" pedals.

However there is no denying the popluarity of "clipless" pedals among casual riders.

2" shirts

With reference to the length of the sleeves of the outer shirt of the cigar-chomping, photo-bombing guy who obviously doesn't care about his long inner sleeves extending beyond the outer shirt sleeves?

[He appears to be: a. in long johns and, b. not the kind of guy you'd criticize to his face. -tterrace]

I very much agree. I'm a big talker at a distance of 114 years. Oh, and he needs to mow his lawn.

Tires Exposed

I've been riding on natural rubber tires year round in Minneapolis for ten years. Smooth ride in the summer and great traction in the winter down to -15° F when I bale. It's funny how modern materials have been hyped for a while when that what they replaced is actually better.

siding on the house

Note how the siding boards on the house align exactly with the tops and bottoms of the windows. Old-time carpenters adjusted siding spacing to do that. It's a detail you'll never see with modern vinyl or metal siding.

Printing instructions

The info on the sleeve is probably for whomever was printing from that neg. likely the shirts were overexposed and needed an additional 2 seconds of exposure (burning in) when printing in the darkroom. F/5.6 would have been the aperture for the enlarging lens.

Track Stand

It's cheating to wedge the rear wheel into a fence to do a track stand.

The rat-trap pedals were current until quite recently, only they'd have an additional strap over the top so you could apply more forward force to the pedal without bending the thing. Nowadays shoe cleats are favored.

Old thoughts exposed

I'm not familiar with the abilities of early cameras. However, I wonder if he meant that there were two f-stops difference between the surrounding area under the shade trees and the brightness of the white shirts, and found that f5.6 worked best overall.

Interesting Tires

Those tires have flat treads and they are made of vulcanized natural rubber (as opposed to synthetic.) I imagine cyclists slid out a lot and got a lot of flats in those days.

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