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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Rollfast Redux: 1959

Rollfast Redux: 1959

Here's a second look at my husband Peter's Rollfast Deluxe bike. Chenango Bridge, New York, 1959. Anscochrome slide. View full size.

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When I was 8 I wanted a bike. I can't remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas but Dad bought me a Rollfast bike. It was green. I must have ridden at least 100 miles on it during the next 8 years. By the time I was 15 or 16, it definitely as NOT cool to ride a bike so it went in the garage and who knows what happened to it.

Home Sewn

There's a very good chance that Peter's mother sewed that shirt - she made most of her own clothes, including the dress she wore at our wedding.

About the shirt

I arrived on the hallowed shores of the US that same year and was about the same age as Peter. After spending the previous 5 years going to school in a grey shirt and grey shorts, the wildly colored and paisley patterned shirts that I would now be required to wear to school pretty much freaked me out for a few months until I got used to them.

With a Rin Tin Tin belt buckle!

This young man is seriously stylin' with the new bike and the Rin Tin Tin belt buckle.

The Folly of Youth

I cringe when I think of all the bikes that I destroyed as a kid. We all thought that the fancy stuff was for sissies and girls. Fenders, racks, bells, bags, lights all went into the junk pile. All the stuff that a restorer pays a premium for today.

Perspective of Time

I look at that bike now and think "It's cooool, maaaan."
But I know my 12-year-old 10-speed riding self would vehemently disagree. "Ugh, those handle bars.", she would say, turning up her nose.

Nice shirt.

Would be fashionable today, even.

That's a beauty for sure

Living in the coal mining town I grew up in in the 50's and 60's.
A bicycle that nice would get you beat up everyday. Nobody had that kind money to buy one.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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