1940s Columbia Wartime Men’s Bike (American)

1940s Columbia Wartime Men’s Bike (American)

22″ Frame

26″ Wheels

Frame number 835R

columbia_ad2

When I read in the advert above that all regular fellows ride Columbia bicycles, I dashed out and bought one right away.

columbia1

At a time when Columbia was supporting the war effort by making bikes for the American military, apparently few civilian machines were manufactured. However, I’m not sure if this civilian model also saw some military service.

columbia2

It’s top paint is army green, with the original paint showing through, as you can see above. I was told that it was in use by the US Army in the Philippines. Its chain-set is listed in the 1942 Columbia military parts list.

There are no gears, in common with military machines, while the contemporary adverts show civilian models with a crossbar mounted gear trigger.

Ken – from the Columbia website mentioned further down the page – owns a similar Columbia Men’s bike. He tells me that the civilian models were usually only available for those who worked for defence contractors. He wonders if civilian models were purchased by the military and sent to Europe. In fact, the bikes in the Columbia adverts below, showing a French gendarme, soldier and a sailor, look like this bike. Ken has a 1940s ladies civilian model too, and confirms that though that one was given a head badge, the men’s model was not.

columbia3

The 22 inch frame and handlebar layout fits my 5′ 8″ height and leg size perfectly, and I can ride it very comfortably. It was my daily bike in 2007.

columbia10

**********************

COLUMBIA BICYCLES SERVE THE SERVICES

U.S. Armed Forces, Auxiliary Services, and the military needs of our Allies have first call on ‘America’s FIRST bicycle.’

After Victory, however, a new, finer-than-ever line of Columbia bicycles will be ready.

Meanwhile keep buying War Bonds, to have and hold. The Westfield Manufacturing Co, Westfield, Massachusetts.

columbia_ad1

1944 Marines

1944marines

1944 Navy

1944navy

**********************

columbia8

The front hub is a New Departure.

columbia4

columbia5

columbia6

columbia7

**********************

1947columbia2

columbia_ad3

columbia_ad4

**********************

columbia9

columbia11

columbia12

The rear hub is Schwinn.

columbia13

Below, you can see the Columbia with a contemporary BSA Airborne.

columbia14

Published on October 1, 2009 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: http://oldbike.wordpress.com/1940s-columbia-wartime-mens-bike-american/trackback/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 188 other followers

%d bloggers like this: