Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guns and bikes

How about a bicycle to go with that rifle?

Former Town Clerk, Hiram Barton, had no need for either the day this billhead was prepared. He merely stopped by to pay the balance on his account. Could that balance have been for a bicycle? A gun?

W.M. Hastings of South Shaftsbury, Vermont was the man to see for all your gun, ammo, and bicycle needs back in 1898. Seems like an odd association today, perhaps not so much back then. He also sold "other supplies," so maybe there was a little something for everyone.

But was this a firearms and ammunition store that also sold bicycles or was it a bicycle shop that happened to also sell guns and ammo?

I think the former. Until the 1890s, bicycles enjoyed no popularity among the masses--they were toys of the well-to-do. That changed in the 1890s with a revolutionary design that made the bicycle safe and accessible for all. And probably something for which a firearms and ammunition shop could make extra cash by having a few stocked on the side.

Read all about the 1890s "Bicycle Craze" HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece, Chuck! And a nice narrative to 'go-with'!