After finding, purchasing and restoring the old house of your dreams, you, of course, need old things to put in it. That’s the real fun of owning an old house ~ filling it up with with treasures that touch your heart and spark a connection with times past. We sold our old Cape May, New Jersey, American Foursquare in February of 2016 and moved to a modern condo in California. The move forced me to sell most of my antiques. That hasn’t stopped me, however, from acquiring new old stuff that brings a smile to my heart. I’ll be showcasing some of those finds under $50 that I’ve recently added to my collection.”
My husband found this 1949 Convert-O-Bike in a corner at a Salvation Army. It was priced at $60, but since it was Senior Day, we got it for $45.
In 1946, Evan P Johnson’s magazine article, above, described how to convert a front-wheel drive tricycle into a bicycle. This article may have inspired Tom Anthony to create and market his famous Convert-O tricycle in 1949.
As a Northrop engineer, Anthony learned about the use of aluminum, an inexpensive manufacturing product at this time. A surplus of recyclable aluminum existed after WWII due to the cessation of airship production.
Anthony Bros. Refrigeration Co. of San Marcos, California, introduced the new Convert-O tricycle in 1949. It became a huge success. Post WWII America was booming, and the home market was itching for new innovations. Here was a combo tricycle/bicycle, a convertible gimmick with a handsome aluminum construction that the public could not resist.
Subsequently renamed the Convert-O-Bike, the tricycle-to-bicycle conversion is simple: the rear axle is removed, then one rear wheel detached; then that wheel is fitted to the rear.