JUNIOR VELOCIPEDE TRICYCLES
Children’s velocipede tricycles were made in various sizes – graded by their front wheels: 10″ to 20.” A competitive area of the market was for ‘junior’ size trikes (12″ front wheels), suitable for kids aged around two to four. AMF, with their ‘Junior’ trikes, and Murray with the ‘Happi Time’ series, were the market leaders. AMF’s Junior ‘Rocket’ Tricycle was the most glamorous of the variants on offer, but otherwise these were simply small sturdy trikes that introduced young children to pedalling. They could move up to a more interesting (and expensive) themed tricycle as they outgrew the junior size.
Evans was one of many companies that provided a similar trike in this size, theirs being distinguishable by the flash on the side of the front fender. Its rear step – which enabled another kid to ride on the back – is an attractive design, but otherwise there is nothing to set it apart from other manufacturers’ offerings. Evans most exciting tricycle was the ‘Jet Patrol Trike’ with a 12″ front wheel, whose style was based on the Harley Davidson Servi-Car.
1959 Evans Velocipede Tricycle
An interesting detail of this original unrestored Evans tricycle is that the decal on the headstock has been replaced by one from Washington Auto Parts Inc Speed & Custom Equipment Shop, of 2113 E Washington St, Indianapolis. The tricycle appears to have been parked on their shop counter as a mascot.
1957 EVANS CATALOGUE EXTRACT
1963 EVANS CATALOGUE EXTRACT
EVANS PRODUCTS Co
Evans Products Company was one of the most successful 20th century American wood products corporations. Their largest, most innovative, and most important west coast plant was located at Coos Bay, Oregon, from 1928 to 1962.
The company founder, Edward Steptoe Evans, was a self-made man who had worked as a printer, a store clerk, a cowhand, a librarian, and an author when finally, at age thirty-five, he developed a product that made him a fortune. In 1915, he created the “Evans Block,” a small wooden device that made loading and shipping automobiles by rail more efficient. Evans’s involvement in the car industry led him naturally to produce another product for the automobile: battery separators. Dozens of thin shields were needed to separate the numerous positive and negative plates inside storage batteries while allowing for the flow of the battery acids. Evans’s research and development personnel found that Port Orford cedar was an ideal material for these separators. Evans opened a manufacturing plant on Coos Bay in 1928 near the convergence of the Coalbank and Isthmus Sloughs in order to be near the best stands of Port Orford cedar. At various times, Evans Products operations were also located in Gold Beach, Lebanon, Corvallis, Winchester, and Portland. With the onset of World War II, battery separators for military vehicles, tanks, and submarines were in high demand, and the Coos Bay plant produced over 500 million separators in 1942 alone. The heyday of operations was in the early 1950s when over 1,000 laborers with an annual payroll of over three million dollars found work at the Coos Bay plant.
The Evans Company had a reputation for innovation and diversification. Besides battery separators, it produced railroad ties, fence posts, and broom sticks in the 1930s. It also was the leading producer of high quality Port Orford cedar Venetian blinds. Upon his father’s death in 1945, Edward S. Evans Jr. headed the company and continued with new product lines.
One interesting 1930s Evans Products Co design was the ‘Dual-Purpose Streamlined Auto-Railer’ of 1935. Apparently the company tried to buy the Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Railway so they could operate 100 passenger-freight wagons.
Winslow Fay started his bicycle company in the late 1880s in Elyria, Ohio. The company produced a device to smooth out dirt roads in order to make them more bicycle friendly. Fay Manufacturing soon began producing tricycles under the ‘Fairy’ name.
In 1891, Fay sold his company to Arthur Garford, who subsequently hired Fred Colson as a salesman. Colson was responsible for the merging of the remnants of Worthington, Fay, and Fairy into one company in 1917. The new company – now named Colson – increased their range of children’s tricycles.
Colson was bought out by Evans Products Company of Plymouth, Michigan in 1953, at which point all their bikes were sold under the name Evans-Colson; the Colson name was removed entirely from their badges by 1959.
1954 EVANS ‘DING DONG SCHOOL ‘VELOCIPEDE TRICYCLE
The ‘Ding Dong School’ range of products was popular after the Ding Dong show made its debut in 1952. The advert in Life Magazine of November, 1954, above, and 1955 Evans catalogue page below, show that the Ding Dong School Velocipede was built by Evans Products Co.
Evans history – http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/evans_products_company/#.Ve81sOkUZs4