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2012年2月

2012年2月19日 (日)

Why the 1950's (Part 3)

次回この記事の日本語版を投稿します。

↓↓↓Click on photo to enlarge↓↓↓)Hikari

In the previous post we saw that immediately after the war bicycles were in great demand and quality was questionable due to lack of materials as well as standards.  However, in the early 1950's good materials are becoming available, with the passage of The Industrial Standardization Law which became the foundation for JIS (Japan Industrial Standards) standards began to slowly be implemented but would eventually take nearly a decade to spread throughout the entire bicycle industry.  This means that quality and interchangability would not be complete until the early 1960's and that bicycles from the 1950's are largely crafted.

At this time bicycles are the only affordable type of private transportation costing on average two months' salary and the status of a bicycle is nearly that of today's automobile.  Although munition factories had been converted back to peacetime production, automation was still lacking and, as the photos below illustrate, bicycles are made by hand. 

Frame brazing by hand
P1120314

Handlebar welding by hand
P1120312

Handlebar plating (chrome) by hand
P1120296

Handlebar assembly by hand
P1120313

Brake assembly by hand
P1120311

Frame painting by hand
P1120298

Fender painting by hand
P1120297

Leather saddle assembly by hand
P1120309

Badge enameling preparation by hand
P1120301

Fender ornament painting by hand
P1120302

2012年2月12日 (日)

なぜ昭和20年代後半~30年代前半の自転車が良いのか(第2回)

I'll be back with another English post soon until then stay trued and happy wheels.

(↓写真の上をクリック)
Fuji_hao_2

前回の投稿では、
昭和7年の商工省令によって、日本自転車業界に生産統制が始まり、
多くの自転車工場は軍需資材用工場に変わり、、
金属の回収指示で(お寺の鐘・橋の欄干・自転車・ミシン・学校前の金次郎像・子供の玩具まで)が回収され軍用品に生まれ変わったことを書きました。

戦後は、連合国軍占領で経済が混乱し、配給制度もまだ続き、資材不足。
軍需用工場が平和産業(自転車など)に変わり、自転車の需給が高く、
作れば売れるが、標準規格もなく品質は不安定。


昭和24年7月1日に、
「工業標準化法(法律第185号)」が制定され、
7月1日から
日本工業規格(JIS=Japan Industrial Standard)が実施されました。
しかし、自転車工業全体的に普及されるまで年月がかかったのが事実。

昭和28年: リム、スポーク、チェーン
昭和30年:チェーンホイール、クランク、ペダル、フレーホイール、スプロケット 
昭和31年:ブレーク、ハンドル、ハブ
昭和32年:フレーム、フォーク
昭和33年:泥除けフラップ、サドル
昭和35年:完成品

注: このJIS規格は自転車の年式を割り出すために一つの手口になります。P1120953 P1120962

昭和20年代後半に入って実用車黄金時代の条件が揃いました。
連合国軍の占領が終わりつつあり、軍需資材用工場が平和産業工場に変わりました。
需給が高く、自転車は現代の自動車ほど価値があり、
輸入枠緩和により資材が入るようになり、
工業規格(JIS)により品質が高まり、
統制経済から自由経済へ。
自転車工業が全体的によくなり始め、競争が激しくなるにつれ、より良いものが生み出されるようになっていきました。

2012年2月 3日 (金)

Why the 1950's? (Part 2)

次回、この記事の日本語版を投稿します。

(Click on the photo below)Fuji_hao

In the previous post we took a look at how bicycle production began to be controlled starting in 1932; how bicycle plants were transformed into munition plants; how bicycles were donated to scrap drives in support of the war-effort; how in the period immediately after the war high demand and low supply, in addition to rationing, created a desperate situation whereby what was made in the morning sold in the afternoon on the black market; how bicycles where of questionable quality due to lack of standards and materials but still sold even without tires

To correct the inferior quality and establish a legal base for manufacturing standards, in June 1949 Japan enacted The Industrial Standardization Law which became the foundation for JIS (Japan Industrial Standards). However, in the case of the bicycle industry, this was implemented incrementally and, as can be seen below, it took nearly a full decade for the law to be applied to the entire bicycle industry.

1953: Rims, spokes, chains
1955: Chainwheels, crank arms, pedals, freewheels, sprockets
1956: Brakes, handlebars, hubs
1957: Frames, forks
1958: Fenders, saddles
1960: Complete bicycles
1962: Shipments of completed bicycles

Note:  The JIS mark is one, among several other clues, that can serve as an important reference when trying to ascertain the year a bicycle was manufactured. P1120953 P1120962

So the stage is set for the dawn of the golden age of utility bicycles.  In the early 1950's the Allied led occupation is drawing to a close; munition factories have been converted to peacetime production; good materials are becoming available, industrial standards are beginning to be implemented, demand is high as bicycles are the only affordable form of good reliable durable transportation; the status of a bicycle is similar to that of today's automobile costing two months' salary, and a free enterprise system is spurring fierce competition thereby creating better products.

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