Thursday, March 3, 2011

History and Culture by Bicycle Part 216: 1960's SCHWINN AMERICAN

Previously this blog author had posted about a Schwinn American bicycle. There is new information found about this bicycle. According to this web site: Re Cycle History and serial number, H141665, it was manufactured on 08/17/1961. Which means later this year the bike will be 50 years old.

The interesting thing is the day after this bike was manufactured there was a strike at Schwinn from 08/18/1961 to 08/27/1961 where no bicycles were built. On 08/28/1961 the strike was over and bicycle production resumed.

In the previous 2 blog posts: History and Culture by Bicycle Part 190; History of a Bicycle Part 2: Schwinn American and History and Culture by Bicycle Part 192; History of a Bicycle Part 2: Schwinn American: Update 1 it was reported the progress of the bike at that point. Now there has been further progress made.

First and most importantly the blog author has decided to not keep the chrome pieces painted silver. The rust has been cleaned off of the chrome and even with the pitting still there the bike looks really great. At some point it will be re chromed. The frame looks well used and worn. There are some bare spots on the paint, but it is mostly intact. As with the chrome some day it will be repainted to it's original look.

The blog author and owner of the bike has also had it rebuilt by the local bike shop. It has 2 new white wall tires with new tubes, new spoke, a new chain and new pedals that are as close to the original as possible for modern pedals. The only things missing from the bike is the head light. the blog author is not going to put that back on as he is still working on cleaning and making it operational. The head light may not be original to the bike and may have been added much later. The same may also be true of the basket which is currently installed on the Schwinn.

The blog author has made an inquiry as to which bicycle shop/dealer/retailer purchased the bike from Schwinn in 1961 after it was manufactured. He will post any updates as they become available.

It is now unknown as to whether or not the bike will be donated to the new local museum. That will depend on what history the blog author can track down and how the museum will display it and what type of exhibit it will be a part of.

Here are the most recent photos of the bike. Enjoy: