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Rockefeller’s Two-Wheeler

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I only just now paid close attention to this 1913 photograph of John D. Rockefeller that accompanies Glenn Reynolds’s recent, excellent essay in USA Today [2].  Here’s one of history’s iconic “richest men in the world” and look at his bicycle

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By the standards of an ordinary bicycle affordable by an ordinary American today, JDR, Sr.’s contraption is shaft-driven junk.  (The new bike, pictured below and available at Sears, is priced at $202.19 – which means that an average non-supervisory American worker today would have to work less than ten hours to earn enough income to buy this new bike.)


Continuing with my argument of a few weeks ago [3] I ask: which middle-class American in this, the second decade of the 21st century, would really wish to trade places with a Rockefeller in the second decade of the 20th century?

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