Baltimore’s Homemade Bicycle Circa 1920

Bernard J. "Boompy" Logue of 2527 E. Monument St. in Baltimore, MD, about 1920, on his home made bicycle.

Now this is a resourceful young man. The young man is Bernard Logue of 2527 E. Monument St. It appears that the image below is similar to the Google Street View, but we can’t quite determine where it is. Maybe you guys can.

Bernard J. "Boompy" Logue of 2527 E. Monument St. in Baltimore, MD, about 1920, on his home made bicycle.
Bernard J. “Boompy” Logue of 2527 E. Monument St. in Baltimore, MD, about 1920, on his home made bicycle.

Source: Shorpy

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?cbp=12,201.21,,0,4.26&layer=c&panoid=ZDwAahjTtB8fFOY_ihTLTw&cbll=39.29889,-76.581289&ie=UTF8&ll=39.266816,-76.540375&spn=0.339695,0.724411&t=m&z=11&source=embed&output=svembed]

Well, after a little research, we discovered that Bernard’s father, Bernard Logue, Sr., was a velophile and a pioneer bicycle enthusiast in the city of Baltimore. Below is an article that we dug up in The Baltimore Sun, printed on December 11th, 1984, about Charles Logue, Bernard’s brother.

Charles F. Logue is the keeper of legends passed down to him from “the old man from Swampoodle with the wheels in his head.”

The old man was his father, the late Bernard J. Logue, St., one of Baltimore’s pioneer bicycle enthusiasts who reportedly bought contraptions built for three, four, and five riders from Orville and Wilbur wright in 1902.

Swampoodle, now nearly forgotten, was a Bohemian “hollow” a neighborhood just north of Johns Hopkins Hospital that centered on a pair of tiny, parallel side streets named Barnes and Abbott.

It was in Swampoodle — where the Logue family lived for three generations — that the second family bicycle shop was established in 1912, at 931 North Broadway.

Some of those historic bicycles, once marketed as Kangaroos and grasshoppers, now reside in the last of the Logue family businesses, Charlie Logue’s bicycle-and-parts cluttered “Sport Shop” at 2527 East Monument street, near Milton avenue.

“I’m from the old school,” said Mr. Logue, who works in the window instead of a bench in the back; his way of keeping a mistrustful eye on “a dirty, noisy” neighborhood he says is going to the devil.

“Somebody comes in with a bent wheel, I’ll put a new rim and spokes on their hub. You go somewhere else and they’ll say you need a new wheel.”

“My father was an incredible man,” said Mr. Logue, pointing to his dad in the picture. “Three-year education’s all he had. My uncle had the schooling, but he couldn’t do nothing with these shops. My father was the greatest promoter of bicycles in the city of Baltimore.”

Before he died in 1965, Mr. Logue’s father explained the sporting way to disembark a high-wheeled Grasshopper (which Charlie rode in East Baltimore’s “I Am an American Day” parade up until 1970.)

Bernard Logue maintained that the proper way a rider dismounted a high-wheeler was by resting his feet on the handlebars while the bike was moving and then pulling back on the handbrakes with his fingers before “leaping off like a paratrooper.”

We found the Logue family in the 1930 U.S. Census below.

Logue family in the 1930 U.S. Census
Logue family in the 1930 U.S. Census

Source: Ancestry.com

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