Cyclecars - June 2, 2014

There are a few subjects to which the American Treasure Tour bloggers tend to return over and over.  The record albums, the celebrity photos, the automatic music machines, and the classic automobiles are easily our favorite subjects for conversation.  Today, we are going to discuss a style of car - the cyclecar.  These have not been produced for about ninety years, but they were insanely popular around the turn of the twentieth century.

The cars were extremely light, because they were as much cars as they were motorcycles.  Rarely did they have more than two seats in them.  One reason for this was for taxation purposes: governments taxed cars differently based on their weight, so cyclecars were more similar to motorcycles that were modified with car seats and roofs than anything else.  The first company to produce cyclecars in the United States was the Woods Company under Francis Woods, and he called his cyclecar the Mobilette.  Check out the 1914 Woods Mobilette right here, at the ATT!

QUESTION:  Which of the following was NOT the name of a cyclecar manufacturer in the United States?

a)  Castle Three

b)  Xtra

c)  Clooney

d)  Zendik

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Anyone who loves the circus has to give Phineaus Taylor "P.T." Barnum acknowledgement as one of the most famous promoters of the 19th century.  He was famous for many things (and falsely given credit for claiming that "There's a sucker born every minute," which was likely said by David Hannum in criticism of Barnum's work ethic), but his name has survived to today for his circus.  The first tour of that circus began on this day in 1835.  Almost 180 years later, people are still visiting his creation.

We honor history big and small here at the ATT blog.  You can decide for yourself which category this falls in:  ten years ago today, Ken Jennings won his first of 74 matches on the popular game show Jeopardy!  His success made him an intellectual celebrity.  And we like smart people!

BIRTHDAYS:

He was born in a country that no longer exists.  In 1904, it was considered Austria-Hungary, but is in Romania today.  Regardless, Peter Johann Weissmuller - more familiarly known as Johnny - celebrates a birthday today.  The famous swimmer won five gold medals in the Olympic Games in the 1920s, before making another name for himself:  Tarzan.  He starred as Tarzan in twelve films, while also swimming in numerous other movies between 1929 and 1976.

It's the Beav's birthday today!  Born in 1948, Jerry Mathers starred as Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver for the six year run of the popular situation comedy Leave It to Beaver between 1957 and 1963. Since then, he has run his own catering business and returned to television with Still the Beaver in the 1980's.

QUOTE:  No marriage can stand up under the strain of incessant association. - Johnny Weismuller  (We at the ATT don't quite know what he means, but if Tarzan said it, it must be wise)

Answer:  c)  Clooney.  That's the last name of a famous American actor.