Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vintage Schwinn Bicycle

Vintage Tank Schwinn

The Vintage Schwinn bicycle is the most fashionable bicycle in the world. In case you don't believe me, simply do a examine on the Net and contemplate the many results return. Let's dig into the archives a bit to come up with elsewhere what makes the Schwinn so festive to so many of us.
Schwinn, was founded in 1895 by Ignaz Schwinn and became the dominant manufacturer of American bicycles during the whole of the rest of the 20th century. The bicycle mania that originated in Chicago, Illinois saw 30 factories producing over 1,000 units per day! However, the with the advent of the automobile, approval of the bicycle waned - product dropped 25%. What followed were frequent turbulent years brought on by Schwinn's insistence that their distributors put up for sale and function just Schwinn bicycles. This led to many battles that ultimately resulted in Schwinn losing a Supreme Court outcome in 1967. This did not change the demand of the "vintage Schwinn" and its legacy lives on today. All the more although the fame Schwinn still remains strong today, the term "vintage Schwinn Bicycles" may live emerge much more popular!
Torpedo Head light

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joe's Restoration "Giving old things new life"

There is something very rewarding with finding old treasures and giving them a new life. Rusty gold, old lanterns, fishing tackle, art, furniture, photos, toys, bicycles and the list goes on and on! A few weeks ago I found some old photos taken in 1943 at a  elegant restaurant in San Francisco. Interesting folks sitting around a table dining and having the time of their life. These awesome treasures of California history were going to waste in an old cardboard box. They are now being proudly displayed at the San Francisco Visitors Center.

This lawn chair was rescued from an estate sale of the home of long time Fresno resident Kermit Koontz. I saw it behind a shed and asked to buy it. I proudly gave 15 bucks for what most people call junk! I estimated the date around 1945...Over 60 years old! The arm rest were obviously rotten, been painted about 12 times and starting to show rust. No dents or damage to the frame work. Now days, try to find patio furniture this structurally  stable.
I sandblasted the chair and powder coated it with a popular 1950's color. After  reassembled the base to the chair it looks fantastic! I still need to custom make the arm- rest and the project will be completed. The "lawn chair" will last another 60 years.The only problem is it's hard to get people to believe it's old!
I'll buy and re-store many things from our past  - Soda Machines, gas pumps, vintage fishing rods & reels, lawn furniture, bicycles, motorcycles, lamps, chandeliers, cameras and old Coleman lanterns (pre- 1961). These kind of items are true craftsmanship made in the good ol' USA. It's important that we find these things and get 'em back into circulation. Quality is in the past.

Happy Holidays!