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Laminated wood frame bicycle, 1942

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Laminated wood frame bicycle, 1942
Smithsonian Institution , Negative #: 38-609-B


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1935-1965

Laminated wood frame bicycle, detail 1
Laminated wood frame bicycle, detail 1

Laminated wood frame bicycle, detail 2
Laminated wood frame bicycle, detail 2

Whalen and Janssen laminated wood frame bicycle
Catalog #: 313,040, Accession #: 173,992
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
At the beginning of World War II, John T. Whalen, with Webster E. Janssen of the Janssen Piano Co., Inc., developed this laminated-wood-frame bicycle which was designed to conserve critical materials yet provide essential transportation. Wood subsequently proved to be more critical than metal, so the bicycle was not marketed.
Physical Description
Artifact. This bicycle weighs approximately 31 pounds. Its fork, saddle, handlebars, and elliptical frame are of laminated wood. The wheels are of metal, with 36 tangential steel spokes, and are 24 inches in diameter, mounting 26-by-1.375-inch Goodyear tires and tubes. A New Departure Model D coaster brake is incorporated in the rear-wheel hub, and the drive, by roller chain with metal sprockets and wooden pedals, is on the right side of the frame. Ball bearings are used throughout the machine. The saddle is unsprung but is adjustable. There are no mud-guards or chain guard, and no grips on the handlebars.
Date Made:
New York
Gift of Webster E. Janssen

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