Can you identify these historic club logos from 19th Century Washington?

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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?

[Click on photo for larger image]

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 as the owner would like to learn more about the clubs, especially the one to which Daisy belonged.

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    • Jon the Librarian on November 10, 2012 at 11:48 am
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    Maybe this is relevant–
    Tacoma Daily News, July 27, 1895, p. 6
    “A pleasure club was organized on Tuesday evening at 1014 Tacoma avenue, called the Ladies’ Crimson Cycling club. …. A general outline of the work was discussed and an investigating committee was appointed, consisting of Mesdames Belch, Muelhenbruch and Hackshaw. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws. On Thursday the last named committee met and elected a president and treasurer, Mrs. Blech and Miss Hockshaw (sic?); Mrs. Ben Haverkamp, lieutenant, Miss Berg temporary captain. The constitution was laid over for one week. The next open meeting will be next Wednesday, July 31. The following have indicated their interest in the movement by signing the roll.: Mesdames C. T. Muehlenbruch, H. O. Fuhrberg, M. Jacoby, Zimmerman, Ben Haverkamp, D. Hornwith, R. B. Moore, E. M. Gray, Weeks, Crosier, Edward Belch, Missess Sara Posner, Hackshaw, Freda Anderson, Emma Heale, Duffy, Berg, Hodson, Knable, Hodson, Roath and others.”

    Or this?

    Tacoma Daily News, Aug. 13, 1894, p. 34:
    “The Cycling Club”
    The Century Cycling Club, at its annual meeting, elected the following officers:
    B. F. Blasher, president; Mrs. W. E. Newton, vice president; F. R. Wheeler, secretary; A. Fellows, captain; J. Sharick, first lieutenant; R. S. McGouran, second lieutenant; H. Watt, F. A. Udell, J. Emerick, B. F. Blasher, F. R. Wheeler, board of directors.
    The members expect to turn out in a body to attend the races at Seattle tomorrow. The name of the club has been changed from the Crescent Cycling to the Century Cycling Club.

  1. That’s a great find, Jon. Hackshaw is the last name of the woman wearing the CCC jersey in the photo, although the article doesn’t include her first name. She did live in Tacoma, however. Crimson Cycling Club certainly matches the acronym, but so does Century Cycling Club and Crescent Cycling Club. I’ll certainly pass along your findings!

    Tacoma certainly had a lot of cycling clubs.

    • jolene on November 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm
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    This is such an awesome photo! Thanks for posting the story. It’s fascinating to me that there were cycling clubs in the NW in the 19th century. I love it!

    • Dan Nutley on November 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm
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    Although the picture is black and white, it looks obvious that the letters in CCC are different colors, and the first one is consistent with how red (crimson) looks in a b&w picture. Thanks for the research, Jon the Librarian! (by the way, Daisy is my Great Grandmother as well!)

  2. The Nisqually Valley News printed a story “Biking Craze Strikes Yelm” in March 2014. It takes a historical look at cycling in that part of Washington state and came up with this gem:

    “A Run to Yelm. Twenty Daring Wheelmen Make a Raid on This Suburb of Olympia” (March 18, 1895 — Morning Olympian):
    “At nine o’clock yesterday morning the second regular club run of the “Four C’s” was begun, the start being made by eleven of the members, who circled about till they had their bearings, (not bicycle bearings) and then made for Yelm in as near a bee line as the configuration of the roads would permit.
    “At different stages in the ride they were joined by nine more, some of whom overtook the original party and others who had secured an earlier start.
    “At Yelm the culinary department of the village was almost entirely wiped out of existence and there is no doubt that everything edible in the place would have been consumed had not Captain Alexander called a halt for fear of the riders might founder on the homeward trip.
    “One of the riders, Floyd Howard, had eaten so much that one of his bicycle tires exploded (Was someone putting the writer on as to the cause?) on the homeward trip, putting him to some inconvenience and delaying the procession till the break could be fixed.”

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