Charles S. Frey Memorial Bicycle Collection
Finding aid prepared by Sara Chetney, MA
Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library
800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont University Consortium. All rights reserved.
Title: Charles S. Frey Memorial Bicycle Collection
Collection number: H.Mss.1086
Axe, Ruth Frey
4.75 Linear Feet
(5 document boxes, 1 slim document box, 1 oversize flat box)
Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont, CA 91711
Abstract: The Charles S. Frey collection contains materials related to bicycling and bicycle enthusiasts
ranging from pamphlets and periodicals to illustrations and comic books. It was created by Ruth Frey Axe in honor of her nephew,
an airman who lost
his life during World War II. She began collecting in 1956, and acquired diverse and hard to find items, including some of
the earliest 19th century
pamphlets on bicycling.
Physical Location: Please consult repository.
Language of Material: Languages represented in the collection: English.
Collection open for research.
All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.
[Identification of Item], Charles S. Frey Memorial Bicycle Collection (H. Mss. 1086). Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges
Library, Claremont, California.
Provenance / Source of Acquisition
Gift of Ruth Frey Axe, 1983.
No additions to the collection are anticipated.
Processed, arranged, and listed by Andrea Bell.
Biographical / Historical
The Charles S. Frey Memorial Bicycle Collection was donated by Ruth Frey Axe of Los Angeles, CA. Mrs. Axe has long-standing
Pomona College, where she was Henry Raup Wagner’s assistant when he donated the Northwest Cartography Collection and other
gifts to the Carnegie
Library during the 1920s and 1930s. Their visits to Claremont were described by Mrs. Axe in her lively biography of Henry
Wagner published in AB
Bookman’s Weekly in 1980.
The reason behind the bicycle collection is a personal one. Ruth Axe had a sister-in-law, Annabelle (Norris) Frink Frey, who
graduated from Pomona
College in 1918. When Mrs. Frey's son Charles was killed in the Second World War, Ruth Axe, an avid book collector, decided
to dedicate a collection
to his memory and donate it eventually to Pomona College. In her own words, she “had decided at the start that [the collection]
would be formed in
the memory of my nephew…after Charles’s death (at age 21) [his mother] and I had established a small book fund at the College
in his memory. I thought
that the bicycle collection would add to that memorial.”
Both Ruth and her husband Harold were enthusiastic bicyclists for many years. Harold Axe started bicycling seriously during
World War II, when the
public was asked to curtail gasoline consumption. So cycling was the subject around which Ruth Axe accumulated her memorial
collection in honor of her
nephew. Over the years, she gathered a wide assortment of items, from children’s stories, newspaper clippings, correspondence,
pictures, and magazines
to several of the earliest books and periodicals on the subject. After Mrs. Axe donated her collection, it was put on display
in the Honnold/Mudd Library
from November 1983 – March 1984.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials relating to cycling that were acquired by Ruth Frey Axe in memory of her nephew, Charles
S. Frey. Dating as far back
as the late 19th century, this collection contains a diverse range of materials relating to bicycling and bicycle enthusiasts,
announcements, correspondence, periodicals, journals, pamphlets, illustrations, comics, newspaper clippings, publications,
and scrapbooks. Noteable items
include the very rare Volumes 1 and 2 of the 1897 pamphlet "Wheeling."
Organization and Arrangement
This collection is arranged on a file level.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library’s online public access catalog.
Genre and Form of Materials
Comic books, strips, etc.
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Box 1, Folder 1
Clubs and rallies - bulletins
Box 1, Folder 2
Bike trips - announcements
Box 1, Folder 5
Does not include the periodical The Wheelmen.
Box 1, Folder 7
Southern California Cycling Journal
Box 1, Folder 11
Bicycle Illustrations (folder 1)
Box 1, Folder 12
Bicycle Illustrations (folder 2)
Box 2, Folder 4
Horace Dobbins: the Arroyo Seco Cycleway
Box 2, Folder 6
Charles Russell; William S. Hart
Box 2, Folder 7
Touring: Atascadero bike trip
Box 2, Folder 8
Ruth Frey Axe's list of the Bicycle Collection (duplicate)
Box 2, Folder 12
Dr. Irving A. Leonard (1 )
Box 2, Folder 13
Dr. Irving A. Leonard (2 )
Box 3, Folder 3
Clippings - Mr. and Mrs. Harold Axe
Box 3, Folder 4
Clippings - summary listing only - bike lanes
Box 3, Folder 5
Clippings - bike advertisements
Box 3, Folder 6
Clippings - books about bicycles
Box 3, Folder 7
Clippings -bicycle legislation, city ordinances, commuters
Box 3, Folder 8
Clippings - police activities/ crime and bicycles
Box 3, Folder 9
Clippings - cycling accidents, dangers, deaths
Box 3, Folder 10
Clippings - bike races and racers
Box 3, Folder 12
Clippings - "how-to" - buy, repair, use, etc. bicycles
Box 3, Folder 15
Augustus Post: "The Evolution of the Flying Man"
Box 3, Folder 17
Clippings - bicycle revival
Box 3, Folder 18
Clippings - nostalgic essays
Box 3, Folder 19
Clippings - novels, plays, etc. about bicycles
Box 3, Folder 20
Clippings - bicycles and science/alternative bicycles
Box 3, Folder 21
Clippings - photos of bicycles and cyclists
Box 4, Folder 1
1964, 1971, and 1974
Includes: American Cycling Newsletter. Vol. 3, no. 3 (May 1964); American Youth Hostels. Los Angeles: Los Angeles Council
of American Youth Hostels,
1974 - various photos, announcements for bicycle trips, etc.; and Boethling, Bob, ed. The Bicycle Book. Los Angeles: UCLA
Alumni Press, 1971.
Box 4, Folder 2
Includes: The Bicycle Cash Register. Chicago: The Murray Co., n.d. and Bicycle Racing. Los Angeles: Southern California Cycling
Box 4, Folder 3
1969, 1970, and 1976
Includes: Bicycling! First issue. Vol. 8, no. 1 (January 1969); Vol. 11, no. 11 (November 1970); and Vol. 17, no. 12 (December
Box 4, Folder 4
1975-1976 and 1986
Includes: Bike Report. Vol. 12, no. 8 (August/September 1986) and Bike World. Vol. 4, no. 2 (February 1975) and vol. 9, no.
9 (September 1976)
Box 4, Folder 5
1895 and 1898
Includes: Century Magazine. Vol. 55, no. 6 (April 1898). Pages 837- 851: Pennell, Elizabeth Robins. "Over the Alps on a Bicycle."
Illus. Joseph Pennell.
Also 10 page ads near back for bicycles, bike parts, and accessories. The Cosmpolitan. Vol. 19, no. 4 (August 1895). Pages(386)-394:
de Koven, Mrs. Reginald.
"Bicyling for Women." Photos included, plus ads.
Box 4, Folder 6
Includes: The Gooseneck: Monthly Bulletin of the Los Angeles Wheelmen. Vol. 28, nos. 9-10 (September-October 1973). High Gear.
Numbers 13, 20, 21 (July 1974, May 1975, June 1975).
Box 4, Folder 7
1897, 1961, and 1980
Includes: Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly. Vol. 48, no. 1 (March 1961). Pages 35-68: Splitter, Henry Winifred.
"Los Angeles Recreation,
1846-1900"; Horne Study Magazine. Vol. 11, no. 2 (December 1897). Pages 345-348: Follows, G. Herbert. "Why Does a Bicycle
Stand Up?"; and Los Angeles Harbor
College. Calendar of Events. Wilmington, CA: Office of Community Services, Summer 1980. Cover drawing plus page 3.
Box 4, Folder 8
1900 and 1972
Includes: National Geographic Magazine. Vol. 142, no. 3 (September 1972). Cover photo plus pages 336-337: photo of Hadley,
antique bicycle club. Overland Monthly. Vol. 35, no. 210 (June 1900). Various ads in the first 3 pages, plus a poem on page
504: Otis, E.F.
"Wheeling in Honolulu." Also pages (521)-529: Rotifer. "The Wheel in the West" (Photos included).
Box 5, Folder 1
Progressive Springfield Monthly. Vol. 1, no. 14
Cover photo plus page 172 has ads.
Box 5, Folder 2
1900, 1961, and 1975
Includes: Byrne, John Frank, ed. Spalding's Official Bicycle Guide for 1900. New York: American Sports Publishing Co., 1900.
Sports Illustrated. Vol. 42, no. 21 (26 May 1975). Pages(36)-44: Cantwell, Robert. "Where All Roads Lead to Roam." Also ads.
Staten Island Transcript and Westfield Times. Vol. 86, no. 49 (8 December 1961).
Box 5, Folder 3
1965, and 1974, 1978
Includes: Sunset. Vol. 135, no. 1 (July 1965). Southwest edition, page 48: "The Bike Clubs Invite You Along" and pages (50)-57:
"The Bike's Comeback." Also laid in: Central edition, page 36: "Bike Clubs..." and pages 40-44: "Where the Biking's Good."
Northern edition has same laid-in material as central edition. Sunset. Vol. 152, no. 5 (May 1974). Southwest edition, cover
photo plus pages (78)-(85): ""What about Bike Tripping?" plus pages 42-46: "Biking at the Beach" (on Santa Monica), plus page
256: "More Bikeways in the West." Westways. Vol. 70, no. 5 (May 1978). Pages 50-52: Carroll, Richard. "Re: Cycling Challenge."
Box 5, Folder 4
1975-1979 and 1984
Includes: Vol. 6, no. 1 (Winter 1975); Vol. 6, no. 2 (Summer 1975); Vol. 7, no. 1 (Winter 1976); no. 11 (March 1977); no.
13 (December 1978); no. 14 (May 1979); no. 24(May 1984).
Box 5, Folder 5
Pink and blue-flowered scrapbook
Various bicycle photos, ads, illustrations, and articles.
Box 6, Folder 1
"Wheeling" pamphlet, Vol 1 No 14 and Vol 1 No 20
1897 May 15 - 1897 June 26
Box 6, Folder 2
Roger Durham Bicycle Ride journal
1974 August 17
Box 6, Folder 3
Two Wheel Trip: The American Magazine of Bicycling, Vol 1 No 1
Box 6, Folder 4
"Toys and Bicycles" magazine
Box 7, Folder 1
1879 and 1880
Oversize folder. Includes: Vol . 23, no. 1199 (1879 December 20) and Vol. 24, no. 1206 (1880 February 7).
Box 7, Folder 2
Oversize illustrations of bicycles
Box 7, Folder 4
Oversize bicycle illustrations
Oversize folder, four items.