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Old 03-02-07, 07:47 PM   #1
bigbossman 
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Anyone ever hear of H. McIver & Co.?

Just wondering.....

When I was a teen of 16 or so, I worked one summer for them in their Van Nuys, CA plant. It was assembly line work - we added our bit and then pushed the bike the next fellow in line to add his bit. We made a whopping $1.78/hr, and it was pretty much sweat-shop work. I lasted 4 weeks or so, and then took all my loot and spent a week at the beach chasing skirts before school started up again.......

Anyway, I'd more or less forgotten about them until the other day. I was rooting around in my parts bin looking for a headset to use on my Palo Alto frame build, and came across an interesting looking headset with engraving and some lettering. Looking closely and wiping off the grease revealed the words "H. McIver & Co., Van Nuys CA" on the top shell. Pretty cool....... some 35 years later, I've got a little piece of my personal history to add to my first scratch-built bike.

I have no idea where I came into possession of this headset. As far as I remember, McIver built their on badged bikes, and I sure as heck hadn't seen one of those since I left the factory sometime in 1973 or so. Obviously it came off of a bike I stripped, but I'll be damned if I know which one.....

Anyway, it shows no wear and the bearing packs look like new - they're marked "Hartford USA 72A", if that means anything.....

Sometimes it's the little things......
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Old 03-02-07, 08:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
a whopping $178/hr, and it was pretty much sweat-shop work
Wow, I know California is progressive, but that's ridiculous! 35 year later, New Jersey is only up to $7.15/hr minimum wage.
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Old 03-02-07, 08:39 PM   #3
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Wow, I know California is progressive, but that's ridiculous! 35 year later, New Jersey is only up to $7.15/hr minimum wage.
Oops! Missed a decimal point.....there.....FIXED.
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Old 03-02-07, 09:30 PM   #4
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Edited due to question caused by too much beer.

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Old 03-02-07, 11:20 PM   #5
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McIver? Wasn't he the guy who could build an airplane from corrugated fiberglass and a broken gyroscope, and disarm a militia with a dull plastic spork?
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Old 03-03-07, 06:10 AM   #6
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McIver? Wasn't he the guy who could build an airplane from corrugated fiberglass and a broken gyroscope, and disarm a militia with a dull plastic spork?
And build a bicycle from a heap of trash pulled from the city dump?

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Old 03-03-07, 08:55 AM   #7
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$1.78/hour was decent money for a summer job then.

I worked as a sales clerk/stock boy in a local camera shop when I was in High School in the late '50s and started at $.50/hour. Of course, I could buy lunch at the local Deli for $.40 so it wasn't as bad as it sounds today. Now kids make $7.50/ hour and lunch at Wendy's or McDonalds costs $5 so it's all relative. Make more, spend more.
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Old 03-03-07, 09:05 AM   #8
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And build a bicycle from a heap of trash pulled from the city dump?

Neal
What I liked about the McGiver was that even though some of the stuff was a bit far fetched it was all doable.

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Old 03-03-07, 11:06 AM   #9
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$1.78/hour was decent money for a summer job then.
That is what I made at the LBS I worked at back in 1974. I got to sell, assemble and repair Gitanes.
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Old 10-22-10, 01:00 PM   #10
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I just saw a very nice example of one of these for sale in Kansas City craigslist. Well worth $100 for their top of the line. A great addition for a Japanese bike collector.

http://kansascity.craigslist.org/bik/2017938750.html
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