Here’s a wonderful vintage bicycling photo from Washington dating from the late 1800s that found its way to me. Can anyone identify the “T” and “CCC” symbols emblazoned on some of the jerseys worn in this photo?
The photo’s owner is a descendant of the woman on right side of the photo. To find out about the “CCC” logo on her sweater, he contacted the League of American Bicyclists, who contacted bicycle historian and author David Herlihy, who contacted me. I didn’t know the answer so I’m putting it out to you.
That woman is the owner’s great grandmother, Daisy Hackshaw. He says the photo was taken in the late 1800s near Olympia. Considering the pneumatic tires on the bikes (new technology at the time), Herlihy says the photo couldn’t be any earlier than 1893 and probably a couple of years after that.
This is a fascinating photo to examine.
First, consider that early women’s rights leader Susan B. Anthony was talking about Daisy and the other woman in this group when she said:
“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
There are shadows on the road, so it’s sunny, but the cyclists are dressed in long-sleeves, so there’s probably a chill in the air. It might have been a day for riding much like earlier this week. Everyone, except the two women, are carrying bundles rolled up and lashed to their handlebars. Rain gear?
All but one are wearing caps and have blousy trousers tucked into their socks. One guy is wearing a shirt, but the others are all wearing long-sleeved jerseys with club logos on the front. Most are “CCC” pierced by an arrow, although one is a “T” with wings.
I’m betting the “T” jersey is for Tacoma Wheelmen, which originally was formed in 1888. Now it’s called Tacoma Wheelmen Bicycle Club.
Because the bike ride was near Olympia, the “CCC” could stand for Capital Cycling Club (now Capital Bicycling Club) or Cascade Cycling Club (now Cascade Bicycle Club), if those clubs ever existed by those names.
If you can solve this mystery, please leave a comment on this post or email me at ebis50 at yahoo.com as the owner would like to learn more about the clubs, especially the one to which Daisy belonged.