Way Back When

(The Spirit is pleased to share with our readers vignettes of life in the 19th century as originally reported in past issues of the newspapers. These reproduced stories include their original headlines and spelling.)

Local Intelligence
(February 12, 1896)

A New Gearing for Bicycles

T. S. Drummond, a blacksmith of this town, has invented a changeable bicycle gear that is likely to create a good deal of stir among the riders of the steel steed. For the purpose of showing his patent he has built a diminutive bicycle, having a fourteen inch base, and wheels that are eight inches in diameter.

He uses two large sprockets and two chains instead of one large sprocket and chain, as on other wheels. One of these sprockets is larger than the other and this will permit the rider to propell his wheel at a high or low rate of speed, at his own option. The arrangement is very simple, and easy to operate.

The rider can have a 90 or a 45 inch gear without dismounting from his wheel, or removing his hands from the handle bar, simply by pushing a small lever with his foot while the pedal is on the downward stroke, and not experience any jarring or have any lost motion, whatever. If the rider chooses to do so he can remove one sprocket and chain in half a minutes time leaving either high or low gear attached to his wheel. 
The device will add but little to the weight of a wheel, as the parts can be made lighter than where but one sprocket is used.

Mr. Drummond has applied for a patent on his invention, and no doubt will secure it, and his attorney informs him that there is nothing to conflict with it on the records of that department.

Preparing for More Business

The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg is expending considerable money in the improvement of its dock for discharging the cargoes of incoming lake craft.  This work is made necessary on account of the increased amount of coal and iron ore which the road will handle hereafter, owing to the establishment at Punxsutawney of an extensive iron foundry.

Before the opening of navigation in the spring, Chief Engineer Hoyt has been instructed to put the docks in condition for handling daily 4,000 tons of incoming cargo, transferring it to the company's cars. For some time a great deal of the coal mined by the company has been disposed of at Buffalo, and by the handling also of this iron ore, which comes from Canadian ports, the cars will go back into Pennsylvania loaded, which will largely increase the revenues of the road.---Bradford Era.

Note: The writer of the few items which go to make up the happenings of the town is sick. In fact he is not able to get out of bed, but just at the moment he is, though it will not be long until he again crawls under the cover. Walking around with a pulse of 109 in the shade is not just the proper caper for an old man and I am going to quit right here.