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Munger Motor: 1920

Munger Motor: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Munger Motor & Mfg. Co., front." On the minus side of the ledger, this glass negative has light leaks, dirt, mold and probably halitosis. On the plus side we have beer, motorbikes, circus posters and Freedom Lunch. This circa 1890s Pabst brewery on North Capitol Street would be returning to its beverage roots (minus the alcohol) in just a few years as the Whistle Bottling Works. National Photo Company Collection. View full size.

 

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"Birdie"

Could this be a shop owned by Louis "Birdie" Munger, the famous Ordinary racer from the 1890s who later mentored Major Taylor? The bicycles he built were the finest of their time. I would love to be able to see one; even just an image would suffice!

The Trandem

As any viewer of 1970s British TV comedy show The Goodies will tell you, a three-seater bicycle is known as a Trandem.

Built for Three

OK, I'll bite on this one. Call it "Tributtem."

Tandem Terminology

A tandem bicycle built for three is called a "triple" or "triplet"; for four, it's a "quad" or "quadruplet." The term "tandem" refers to the fore-aft seating, not the number of riders. If the riders are seated side by side, it's a "sociable."

The front rider is called the "pilot" or "captain"; the one in the back is the "stoker" or "rear admiral." The fellow in the middle of a triplet is the "midshipman."

Same gear ratio

The rear rider does not necessarily supply most of the power. The chainwheels or sprockets connecting the three cranksets are the same size, so all three riders pedal at the same rate. The large chainwheel multiplies the rotational speed of all of them. I would think that with two stokers, the one in the rear would stand the best chance to slack off without discovery.

Motorcyle heaven

I'm a great Excelsior, fan so to see a slice of a 1920s workplace with repairs on the pavement, signage, posters, trucks and bicycles everywhere is a treat.

So, it does beg the question, what do you call a bicycle built for three?

Freedom Lunch

I love the following for the seldom seen phrase, "As punishment for serving macaroni…"


Washington Post, Aug 2, 1918

Lunchroom Man Held

William Caros Charged with Violating Food Regulations

William Caros, proprietor of the Freedom Lunch, North Capitol and G streets, appeared before food administration officials yesterday to answer charges of violating food regulations. When he failed to show his registration card the police were called in. Caros was arrested and last night was being held for investigations.

As punishment for serving macaroni on wheatless day and beef before the evening meal, the food administration has ordered his place of business closed next Tuesday and Wednesday.

W.N. Belfield, proprietor of the People's Lunch, 636 North Capitol street, charged with the same violation, has been ordered to do no business next Tuesday and Wednesday.


Washington Post, Jul 2, 1922

Freedom Lunch

Perhaps is well to make mention of Earnest Carapanos and D. Paidas, each of whom are deserving much praise for their patriotism to this country. Messrs. Carapanos and Paidas each enlisted and served two years in the rank and file for Uncle Sam during the recent world war in France. They are the owners of the Freedom Lunch, opposite the government printing office.

Horse shoe hung by door.

I always heard that a horse shoes should be hung above the door and open side up, so your luck does not run out.

Bicycle built for Three

The overly long tandem bicycle the two men are looking at has three seats. The rear-most riders seems to supply most of the pedal power (from the look of that large sprocket) whilst the front passenger does the steering.

An old phrase and a new phase

In just five years this chaotic advertising mess would all be removed. Signs over signs, advertising and posters on every window, and bicycles blocking the sidewalk and the diner's door would all be gone. Even the diner next door would vastly improve in appearance. The cola company conversion certainly left this building clean as a Whistle.

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