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no pretty tulips

image credit: samhDOTnet, Flickr

Apparently these graphics come from a Bicycle Safety booklet that was distributed to elementary school children back in the 1950’s or 1960’s.  It boggles my mind.

While I am typically not an advocate of re-blogging, reposting material from other people, I’ve been captivated, fascinated (?!) by a set of scanned images posted by one of my Flickr contacts (samhDOTnet) and felt the need to share.

The propaganda  – the illustrations and accompanying captions – are nothing short of … crazy, terrible, horrific, mind-numbing, innapropriate, and countless other adjectives that I won’t list.  As a child of the 60’s, I remember some crazy stuff from back in the day in elementary school (a booklet I had as a school “safety patrol” crossing guard comes to mind) – but nothing quite like this.

Most of all, it makes me contemplate the evolution of attitudes towards cyclists vs. “the rest” (cars, trucks, rights to roadways, even pedestrians), not to mention the image some people continue to have of people on bikes.  And the fact that culpability for cycling fatalities and accidents in this country – for as long as we’ve been sharing the road – is often not well investigated and blame still seems to be placed on the cyclist rather than the driver of the motor vehicle more often than not.  It’s a little hard to think about, really.

The entire set can be seen here (if you want to hurt your eyeballs), in his Set titled “A RIde of Death”.

image credit: SamhDOTnet, Flickr

image credit: samhDOTnet, Flickr

image credit: samhDOTnet, Flickr

Posted by savaconta on March 31, 2012
13 Comments
  1. 03/31/2012

    Good Lord…that is awful.

    – Capt. Obvious

  2. 03/31/2012

    Check out the bike safety movie in this post –
    http://vannevar.blogspot.com/2012/01/1963-bicycle-psa-one-got-fat.html

    It does make the halcyon days of my youth seem less ideal.

    Cheers,
    Vannevar.

    • 04/1/2012

      Wow!!! That is amazing! Almost like the script was storylined from many of the illustrations ion the booklet – along with a healthy dose of Planet of the Apes. Good grief. The fact that the one kid who obeys all of the Rules gets “too fat” is fits right in with the level of crazy. Thank you for sharing!

  3. 03/31/2012

    Seriously? I can’t believe this was given to kids to promote safety. I wonder how it worked…probably not that well, I would say.

    • 04/1/2012

      And if you ever wonder about our generation being screwed up, now you know why … lol. The “accompanying” video from Vannevar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQgAMkMmsfg&feature=youtube_gdata_player) basically puts the booklet on film, with an added touch of mask-wearing by bicycle – because it’s safer than wearing a helmet? And as one video comment put it: “Watch your friends die, eat their food.” Insane.

  4. 03/31/2012
    David Little

    I must be a sicko or psycho….I had to laugh when I saw this stuff….maybe, it was a Mad Magazine moment…..or a flashback from the SNL skit, “I hate it when that happens!”
    So ridiculous!

    • 04/1/2012

      No – I rather agree; it could be an SNL sketch, and part of me was laughing at the sick ridiculousness. Lol. And if you’d like to see the booklet (along with a dose of Planet of the Apes) effectively used as a storyboard for a video, watch this one from Vannevar; it’s uncannily similar in points being made:

      Because we also used to ride around wearing paper mache monkey masks, looking for death (lol). With the lovely moral of the story being: follow the rules of the road, and you can be the “one (who) got fat”.

      (PS – looking at next community ride and picnic for Sat. 4/14 or 4/21 – will one work better for you? I have you on the list, and hope you can make it!)

      • 04/2/2012
        David Little

        I’m doing the Habitat ride, “Bike to Build” on 4/21…..what time of day are you thinking about?

      • 04/3/2012

        I forgot that day was the Habitat ride. Typically we’ve been trying to leave from the shop at 4:30, when he closes. When something is finalized, date/time I will let you know. 🙂

  5. 04/1/2012
    anniebikes

    Very disturbing. It’s good thing that propaganda wouldn’tt fly in today’s world.

  6. 04/1/2012

    Love it! Nothing says feel good like an infant skull fracture. The fact that oil tanker is spelled wrong and made it into publication is awesome, too!

  7. 04/2/2012

    Ahhh! They might as well have written: We think cyclists are imbeciles!
    It’s absurd! So un pc now! No sensitivity!

  8. 04/3/2012

    You are right when you mention that this could have something to do with the modern attitudes toward cyclists. I wonder how many people read this when they were children and went to bed at night terrified of some kid on a bike.

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