The Motor-Cycle for Carpenters and Builders


The Boss Loses Out and Timmins Gets the Job
(Thanks to his Two-Wheeled Runabout)

     “Not this afternoon, Mr. Green,” the boss was saying over the phone.

     “We are pretty busy here in the shop and two of the boys are out on the other side of town on a job—” “I’m sorry, but I can’t get anyone out to you this afternoon.”

     “Have someone out there first thing in the morning, but—” “Won’t do, you say?”—“You’re working on your barn and want someone to come right out to help you.”—“Do I know of anyone you can get?”—

     “Well, let’s see. There’s a fellow over on the east side—name is Timmins—thinks he’s a carpenter. You might get ahold of him.”—“I don’t think he’s very busy, and he’s got one of them there motorcycles he dodges about on quite a bit. He ought to be able to get out there to finish up for you this afternoon.”—

     “Sorry I can’t come out myself, but I’m busy and it’s a pretty long drive to your place.”—

     “Why don’t I get a motorcycle?”—“Yes!”—“Yes!”—“I’d look fine set up on one of those things.”—“Nope, not for me.”—“Nothing in that stuff.”—“I don’t just favor all these new-fangled ideas and machines. Good old horse and buggy suits me.”—“Sure.”—“Goodby, Mr. Green.”

     And Mr. Green calls Timmins. And Timmins goes out on his motorcycle and finishes up the work Mr. Green wants done. And in the future Timmins will do all of Mr. Green’s work.

     The boss was wrong. Some new-fangled ideas and machines are playing a great part in this every-day work-a-day of ours, such a big part that none can afford to overlook them or the changing conditions they are developing.

     When the bicycle was first marketed it was looked upon as a fad—nothing but a fad that would soon die out. Did it?

     True it gave way to the automobile, but the wheel still holds its place as a time-saver and labor helper. The automobile fills that identical position in another sphere.

     And the motorcycle has come to fill that gap between the bicycle and the automobile. It has come to stay. It has come to grow in importance in its connection with the life of the day.

     The Motorcycle can be considered in but two phases—as a pleasure riding vehicle and as a practical, useful, time saving and space conquering, two wheeled commercial runabout.

     That in their first phase they thoroughly accomplish their purpose no one can deny. Pleasure bent, motorcycles will carry anyone any place they want to go—in just as quick time as they care to go—and the cost of their operation is a mere trifle.

     As a commercial proposition they are demonstrating their worth more fully every day. They are being used for all manner of delivery purposes. They are being used by men engaged in many various occupations and trades. They are an active force in the work these men are doing.


     Motorcycles open practically an unlimited territory to any man owning one. The field for your work is materially broadened. Where heretofore your jobs have been blocks away motorcycles allow of their being that number of miles distant.

     You want something from the shop in a hurry, or perhaps a certain piece of work can be done better at the shop than on the job. The motorcycle is handy and it gets you there and brings you back ere Dobbin would have much more that gotten fairly started.

     The boss didn’t think he would look well, “set up on one of those things.” Timmins thought otherwise.

     Timmins was out for business. He believed in getting away and keeping away from any particular narrowing locality. He would go miles to do a job because he knew it would pay him in the long run.

     The boss had been a good man in his day, but he had allowed himself to slip out of the general up-to-the-minute alertness all about us.

     Don’t follow the boss—but rather Timmins. There is not a carpenter or builder anywhere who wants to overlook the field the motorcycle holds open.

     Undoubtedly there are a good many of you carpenters who have and are making daily use of motorcycles. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to let us hear from you? Let us hear just what the machine has accomplished for you; such as widening your field, adding business, etc., etc. Let us hear just how practically useful it is to you every day. You can tell us a lot about that machine and yourself and we want to hear it. Address the Editor.

American Carpenter and Builder – July, 1912

—Jeff Burks

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5 Responses to The Motor-Cycle for Carpenters and Builders

  1. Roger says:

    I see a sidecar toolchest book coming up.

  2. Eric R says:

    Two of my favorite things: woodworking & motorcycles. What’s not to like?
    Good pick Jeff.
    central Florida

  3. woodgeek says:

    Zen and the art woodworking.

  4. carpenterman says:

    Does that come under ‘power tool’? 🙂
    I like the ones made by the guys from ‘American Chopper’.
    Good old school family run business.

  5. rockysstuff says:

    That’s all well and good. As I traveled to my jobsite with my tools packed carefully into the saddlebags behind me, a big construction Co. truck cut in front of me and forced me off the road where I went into a huge black berry bush then on into the irrigation canal on the other side. All this momentum caused my bike to crash into the far side of the ditch totally wrecking the front fork and wheel. The block on the engine cracked from the temperature change on entering the snow-melt water. My tools flew everywhere – most sliding down the bank into the frigid water of the canal. Fortunately I flew over the handlebars and landed on the bank of the canal with only 2 front teeth broken and a few bruises. My conclusion is that I would feel be safer in a big construction Co. truck than riding a motorcycle to work.
    Oh, by the way, this was a fiction out of my overactive imagination, but it could happen because these days we are not dodging around horse drawn wagons.

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