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"Dusty" Lamkin, San Jose Bicycle Pioneer

This photo of A.G Col was part of a accumulation of photographs that were found when cycling was just starting in San Jose around 1884. Pictured is "Dusty" Lamkin in front of an unusual 'ordinary' bicycle that was not driven large wheel forward. It is intended to be ridden with the small wheel in the front in order to capsizing when hitting obstructions.

In a San Jose Mercury article, it references how unusual his outfit is versus 1908 fashion. It all seems out of place when compared to 21st century athletic attire.

Mr. Lamkin navigated the affair depicted here with fair success. He was very proud of it at the time that it first came from the shop, as you can tell by his pose in the photograph. The trousers which adorn his nether limbs were the "real thing" in the way of cycling "togs" in those days. They were blue and constructed of a sort of elastic material so that they did not hamper his movements when he pedaled his queer steed along the main streets of the city. The yellow stripes down the side of his trousers do not show in this photograph.

In the many club runs held by the Garden City Wheelmen Mr. Lamkin and his machine always constituted the rear guard of the "bunch," consequently he always rode in the thick of the dust kicked up by those in front, and condition of his face and hands was often such that his own friends could not recognise him. In this manner he gained the reputation of being able to collect more dust during a ride than any other half a dozen riders and acquired the sobriquet Of "Dusty."

78 South First Street where "Dusty" Lamkin had a clothing store called "Lamkin's Haberdashery"

What is a 'haberdashery"?

Haberdashery is an old-fashioned word for the store you visit when you want to buy a suit or a shirt and tie. In the UK, the meaning is different — a British haberdashery sells sewing notions like buttons, zippers, and thread. The word comes from haberdasher, "seller of small things." These small things sometimes traditionally included men's hats, which led to the American definition of "men's shop."



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