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You Like It: 1942

August 1942. "Bike rack in Idaho Falls, Idaho." Brought to you by 7up. Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information. View full size.

August 1942. "Bike rack in Idaho Falls, Idaho." Brought to you by 7up. Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information. View full size.


On Shorpy:
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Paramount Theatre

That bike rack was in front of the Paramount Theatre. Went there often in my youth! The schools would sell summer movie passes (Saturday matinees)! I remember seeing "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken"! It was usually packed to the back of the balcony with screaming kids. Usually too loud to hear the movie! Total mayhem! The Paramount Theatre was out of business and dilapidated for many years. I helped clean it out as part of an Eagle Project. It has since been restored as a performing arts center. The official name now is the Colonial Theater Willard Arts Center.


The bikes are cool, but the building still there after 70 + years and still looking nice is amazing. I want to go to that town to shop at the antique store on the corner!

Hiyo Silver

The bike on the right is obviously ridden by the Lone Ranger, or at least a Lone Ranger fan.

Bike locking, Then and Now

Thanks for those pictures, Tterrace, because I didn't see those locks, either. Silly me, I was looking at the *front* wheels to see where the bikes were locked to the bike rack. But it looks like back in the day, kids just locked the rear wheels. I guess maybe bike thieves back then never thought of simply walking away with a bike while holding the rear wheel off the ground, and then hacksawing the lock off at their leisure, away from prying eyes.

May be an Elgin

The men's bicycle which is fourth from the left strongly resembles the old hand-me-down Elgin which was my first bicycle. The distinguishing features are the extra cross bar on the frame and the arched front fender braces attached at the top of the steering tube. The bike in the photo appears to have been repainted, as mine had pinstripes and stars on the fenders. Elgin was a Sears & Roebuck make.

The bike was very old when I got it as a hand-me-down from an older cousin in 1965. Little did I know that it was as old as the 1940's! Those bicycles were extremely heavy and, as another poster remarked, had only one speed. They had to be walked up hills which a modern 10-speed would take in stride.

Bike seats

Bike seats look a lot more comfortable in those days. This scene could have been fifteen years later and one of those bikes mine. Of course, my butt was younger, too. Great picture!


Someone mentioned bike locks, I don't see any.

[Here are two of the four. -tterrace]

Saturday Morning

From street view the bike rack appears to be pretty much in front of the Paramount Theatre

Movie theater valet parking, maybe

I wonder if the kids who own those bicycles are more interested in what's on the silver screen than Woolworth's latest incoming shipment of guppies and turtles??

Handlebar Adjustments for individuality

Up high like a Texas Longhorn. Down low for that racing bike look. Regular for the majority of bikes.

Looks like a couple of Schwinn bikes are represented. (far right and middle)

Bike locks to ward off free rides or thieves?

Seat springs for those roads with tire ruts.

Single speeds and coaster brakes for all.

Being kids

I'm guessing these are the main means of transportation for all the kids that are spending their allowance at Woolworth's while this picture was being taken. I loved Woolworth's as one received a good quality item (usually made in the USA) at a bargain price and I shopped there until they went out of business. Even their lunch counters and soda fountains were fabulous and now gone forever. I am still using a carbon steel American-made potato peeler which fits comfortably in one's hand and is still as sharp as when new, which I bought there in 1963 for 35 cents.

You'll put your eye out

with the handlebars on the far right one. Also didn't expect to see all the locks in 1942.

A Street

The IOOF building is at 393 N. Park Ave, this view was taken from A Street looking East.

Woolworth's is gone as is the arched opening, though you can still see the outline of both.

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