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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update To "Tray Bizzarre" Post!

If this is your first visit, please start by reading the previous post, click here

Some of the friendly readers of one of my favorite sites: Bits & Pieces were kind enough to take a look at the odd trays I presented in the last post. One of them -Scott - found the answers to all the questions I posed.

The trays themselves are likely "Tip Trays" just like the one offered for sale here.

The tray depicting the 2 men planning to bicycle around the US actually did make it and one of them wrote a book about their adventure. The mysterious Scott found a long Chronological bibliography on bicycling in which this book is listed and the compiler of the list makes a brief yet humorous comment on the book:

Murphey, Claude C. Around the United States by bicycle.  Detroit: Press of Raynor & Taylor, 1906.  {1471644}
            From May, 1904 through August, 1905, Claude Murphey and Clarence Darling  rode
through forty five states four territories and the District of Columbia to win a bet of five
thousand dollars that they could complete the ride within eighteen months supporting
themselves solely through the sale of trinkets.  They lost in Vermont when they ran out of

I sure would like to find this book and read it some day.

The tray with the heavy artillery piece from Hartford CT (Which I so grievously called a "cannon" and reader Don so politely corrected me that it was in fact a mortar) is a living breathing monument in Hartford!

Thanks again to Don, DJ, and especially Scott, the comment-ors, the curious, and the down-right ingenious for helping me wrap this mystery up!


  1. Look what I found! (Hope these links work)

    The 'Introductory' (http://www.archive.org/stream/aroundunitedstat00murp#page/n13/mode/2up/search/tray) explains the tray and the tray is shown on a page between pages 16 and 17 (http://www.archive.org/stream/aroundunitedstat00murp#page/n23/mode/2up).

    I was more interested in the Lusitania tray but found nothing.

  2. I'm actually reading the book. It's not extremely well-written, but I'm really enjoying it. I think you've got an interesting souvenir from one heck of a 13,000 mile bicycle trip.

  3. I'm considering publishing a story about this journey. I'll be looking for any original photos or illustrations. If anyone has any leads, please get in touch. Thanks.


    Michael Deme
    Publications Department Director
    Editor, Adventure Cyclist Magazine
    150 E. Pine St., Missoula, MT 59802
    (406) 721-1776 x 222

    Adventure Cycling Association
    Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle


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