Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 12:44:04 -0600 From: Thomas Creswell Subject: Re: Trouble Hunters on WHEELS Pat Courts wrote: > > Ron, as a child growing up in Chicago in a large Irish clan, I used to ride > what the family called an "Irish wheel." 4-wheels, very low to the ground, > you sat on it (almost like a go cart) and there was a lever-like steering > mechanism that you moved up and down to nmake the thing go. This is really > testing my descriptive powers, but I've never seen anythin like it since or > before. The mechanism that mobved it was similar to the 2-person railroad > carts: one person on each side of a lever moving it up and sdown to make > the cart run the rails. > > At 11:20 AM 11/27/97 -0500, you wrote: > >In disussing the archaism "trouble hunters," BP accidentally cites another: > > > >> "While riding his wheel he was > >bitten by a dog. ... " > > > >I wonder how may people know that WHEEL once commonly meant 'bicycle'? My > >Iowa great-grandmother (b. 1860) regularly used this slang (?) term, and I > >think also her daughters and her daughters' husbands used it. Farmer&Henley > >list this usage, but give no noun cites. Chapman does not list it, nor does > >Beale/Partridge. > > > > Cheers, > > Pat Courts Pat, The riding toy you mention was named by its manufacturer "Irish Mail." I was privileged to ride on one in the 1920's. It belonged to my older brother Sam, for whom my parents had bought it because it could be operated by pumping with the arms on a T-shaped handle. Sam, unfortunately, had had polio at a time during which there was no real treatment available. Fortunately, however, he had some control over his legs, which were used to steer the vehicle by turning the front axle in the desired direction. The pumping handle only operated the crank mechanism used to drive the back wheels. Tom Creswell