I'm not sure where to post this. I'm open to suggestions for other places to post this sort of stuff.
I came across a reference to Pino Morroni elsewhere, which led me eventually to this page regarding a frame he made for the Cambio Corsa (something like 20 years after it was no longer being used!). I had never heard of that gear changer which led me to do some more surfing. I eventually wound up on this Campagnolo gears page.
This is all very cool stuff, but it left me with a couple questions. This page on the campyonly.com website states:
The Gran Sport looks pretty much like the Record which was released in the early 60s, certainly in a functional sense. Surely there were better shifting options than the Cambio Corsa before the introduction of the Gran Sport? Internal hub systems had been around for nearly forty years by that time. I think Sturmey-Archer three-speed hubs were introduced before 1910. Did the rules not allow internal hub systems in pro cycling, were they not durable enough (or too heavy) or was it just Campy snobbery that discouraged pros from using something else?The shifting was archaic by today's standards, but it was widely used in the pro peloton for at least a decade, until the introduction of Campagolo's "Gran Sport" derailleur in 1951.
What shifting options were available to the pros before WWII and in the early post-WWII period?