A visually and cartographically explicit narrative blog about Tampa's built history and development.
(Above banner created from photo in the Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection)

Friday, October 15, 2010

How'd you like this ride?

The weather is lovely and I want to ride my bicycle, but it needs some servicing.  So I'll share some images of bicycling throughout the years in Tampa.   It's great to see the old bicycles, however I am even more amazed to think of the conditions early cyclists faced in Tampa back in the day.

Leo Day, Postal Telegraph Messenger, 12 years old, and a very knowing lad. (See report of L.W.H.) Location: Tampa, Florida.

A Tampa messenger boy. Location: Tampa, Florida.

Some of my favorite historic photographs of Tampa come from the National Child Labor Committee Collection photographed by Lewis Hine, showing children found working across America.  In Tampa, children were found working as cigarmakers, newsboys and bicycle messengers.  Mr. Hine came to Tampa at least 3 times in 1909, 1911 and 1913 to document Tampa's underage workers and the conditions they faced. 

Ben Key and his brother Tom. Latter helps Ben during the day time. (See report of L.W.H.)  Brother Tom nine years old; goes to school and works until six P.M., sometimes until nine.   They live at 1003 Scott Street, East. Location: Tampa, Florida.

In 1921 the Burgert Bros. captured workers for the same company, Western Union Telegraph, in a different light.

I love seeing so many different handlebar types, some boys preferred the albatross, some a straight, a few uprights (yeah!), and the daring young lad at the far left who chose what seems to be an oversized track / drop style handlebar.

I wonder how many of those cycles were purchased from W.J. Rowe's Bicycle Emporium? (above as it appeared above in 1900)

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