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Old 10-20-13, 09:42 AM   #1
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The bike I didn't know I had

I went into my attic to mount a new antenna and found this. I bought the house almost a year ago and the house has had several owners (built in '62).

This little crank-bike has a bum wheel and the tires have seen better days. I'm guessing 50's or 60's. It's backwards...steer with the feet, propel with the arms.


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Old 10-20-13, 10:23 AM   #2
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That looks like it could be a nice kid's toy. Are you going to refurbish it?
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Old 10-20-13, 10:48 AM   #3
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It's an early row-bike! Cool!
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Old 10-20-13, 11:57 AM   #4
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I hadn't considered refurbishing, but it wouldn't take much. New spokes and rubber. Judging from the color mismatch, I'm guessing the front tires were replaced. I considered throwing this to C&V, but it's not a bicycle in the traditional sense. I didn't know what to call it either. I've tried keywords - vintage, antique, crank, row, child's, toy. No luck. This might be one for the Antiques Roadshow. It's a tank at 31lbs...metal, wood, and rubber.
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Old 10-20-13, 12:32 PM   #5
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That is so cool. Quite a rarity.

I'll guess it's a bit older than '50s. I'd even date it back to the turn of the 20th Century. Back in the '50s all we had were pedal cars.

Here's the equivalent design for a '50s push-pull pedal car. Notice the simpler and less rugged design.



Here's a link to something from the '30s. Looks like the generic term for that is an Irish Mail Cart.



http://antiquecarsz.com/antique-irish-mail-car/

Here's a more comprehensive link.

http://www.mth.msu.edu/~drachman/cycle/irishmail.html
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Old 10-20-13, 01:32 PM   #6
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N+1



Champiot
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Old 10-20-13, 01:59 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for help ID'ing it...and the links. Never would've guessed Irish or mail for terminology. There are no identifying marks on it other than a faint '3' (?) on a bracket that's just inboard of both front hubs. Guessing their purpose is to keep the feet from sliding into the spokes.
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Old 10-20-13, 02:43 PM   #8
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Guessing their purpose is to keep the feet from sliding into the spokes.
I think so. You can see similar guards on the Champiot pic.

The name is odd. I just found the picture and went from there.
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Old 10-20-13, 03:19 PM   #9
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Wow, how's that for a bit of Americana? Hugh Hill, the inventor of this style of toy, named it. "The toy needed a name and the company decided to call it the Irish Mail, after the Irish Mail train, the fastest train in the world at that time". linky
The Hill-Standard Company also made playground equipment. It went out of business during the Depression. more linky
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Old 10-20-13, 04:16 PM   #10
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Looks like a good winters project to help keep you out of trouble.
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Old 10-20-13, 04:30 PM   #11
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I love antiquing!
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Old 10-20-13, 05:46 PM   #12
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And they come in tandems.
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