Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bicycle Manufacturing Video from 1950s

As the manufacturing of bicycles continues to shift away from the countries where they will be ridden, I still find solace in this old video of manufacturing bikes here in America, for Americans.

From the commentary, I can guess it was made in about 1952 as the pride for American manufacturing was peaking. You'll need to look close through the poor quality film to see the machines and workers creating every part from frame, to fork, to chainring, to wheels. 

Not long after this video was made, pride in local manufacturing began to erode with the lust for higher profits offered through overseas manufacturing. Bicycle companies all over the world were lured into this rush and many of those who didn't follow, such as the company featured in this video, perished.

One Street's Social Bike Business program is pushing back against this trend by offering nonprofit bike programs a means for manufacturing their own bicycles. It seems like pebbles thrown into a torrent, but if we gather enough pebbles, the flow could shift back to bicycle factories like the one featured in this film. Such a shift would bring back not only jobs to those countries that make the shift, but the pride in manufacturing our own bicycles for our neighbors.

Do you know of other bicycle manufacturing videos from this time period that show this sort of local pride? Please post the link in the comments section.

Sue

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