1948 Bike With 13 Shotguns Probably Wouldn’t Fly Today
Wired is celebrating Bike to Work Week by reviewing the hottest bikes and gear out there today, but in order to appreciate how far we’ve come, it’s also time to take a look back.
That’s why we love the old bike photos that life.com has pulled from their LIFE magazine archive. The photos originally ran in the December 27, 1948 issue and they show members of the Chicago chapter of the National Bicycle Dealers’ Association riding, or at least trying to ride, a series of outlandish bicycles they designed and built.
There’s the bike made out of a bed, the double-decker bike for four people and our personal favorite, the “Gangbusters Bike,” which had 13 shotguns, two revolvers, six bayonets and a flare gun mounted to it — perfect for Bike to Work Day if you’re a ’40s mobster.
Ben Cosgrove, the editor at life.com, says the website often tries to dig up fun photos from the magazine’s archive to help celebrate certain holidays. While LIFE, which ceased publishing as a weekly magazine in 1972, is most well known for the iconic photos it published — like Capa’s photo of the Spanish Civil War soldier, or Eppridge’s photo from the Robert Kennedy assassination — Cosgrove says there is a wealth of quitter, or sillier photos, that also ran in the pages.