cool, my pushbike special editition reload back pack has the chance of being hip now. get a job, grow up and stop being a bro at dear mom. bet that bike has braze ons for a water bottle. frame made in china. posers.
Heh. Ditch the fixie affectation and get a real bike.
There is a fixie in the new McDonald’s commercial. Hello again shark.
even freakier are the old sparkly chrome bags
With that Timbuk label, it’s not really very old. Hella old is a bag under Timbuk’s original and way better name: Scumbags. Nothing Chrome is old.
Nothing compares to rolling with a Zo bag – the king of all kings and older than all.
My Courierware bag is from 1991 or so, how does that fit into the spectrum?
My old loincloth, which I have since fashioned into a messenger bag, is as old as the concept of time itself. Me win!
dammit, og always wins. I hate that guy.
Zo! bag. 1989. Special-T
Wish I had stolen that thing.
That’s right in there in the pretty early period and CW is certainly a respected early baggery.
Here’s a snip from the interwebs:
Manhattan Portage lists their start-up date as 1980, and while I’ve not seen their early bags, the basic design of their modern bags is, like most everyone else’s design, directly traceable to the De Martini bags. They claim as their firsts the use of Delrin buckles (rather than metal loops) to close the bag flap, and the use of Cordura (rather than canvas duck) as exterior material. Both claims have also been made by Zo Bags in San Francisco, which started in 1984, directly influenced, again, by De Martini. Zo Bags can, however, securely claim the introduction of one-piece construction (of the outer covering; previously, makers like DeMartini and Manhattan Portage constructed the flap as a separate piece, which necessitated a seam across the top of the bag), as well as the 3-panel bag design (currently used by Timbuk2), and the waist strap. Courierware, in Boston, started up in 1985, but never seemed to gain the same popularity amongst the messenger community as the other early/mid-80s starters.
1989 brought the beginnings of San Francisco-based Timbuk2 (originally called ScumBags) and Toronto-based (now in British Columbia) Pac Designs. These 2 companies were the forefront of the 3rd generation of modern messenger bags, inspired by their own interpretations of the DeMartini design as filtered through the lens of Manhattan Portage, Zo Bags and Courierware. Pac ushered in the blossoming of the highly-customized messenger bag, taking a leap from the very basic “big bag with a shoulder strap” to offering bags that converted from single to dual shoulder strap arrangements, and a whole spectrum of add-ons, pockets and subdividers
The early 90s brought Bailey Works (Portsmouth), Push (Toronto), Chrome (Denver, now SF) and Roach (Vancouver – one of the first, if not the first to introduce a 2-strap backpack-style bag) hot on their heels, initially with mostly local appeal (used to be that if you saw someone with a Bailey, they were almost certainly from Boston or Minneapolis; someone with a Roach was nearly always from BC – the advent of CMWC and the Internet changed that quickly enough…) They were followed by a host of other manufacturers from across North America, Europe, Australia and Japan, all working hard to satisfy the unique demands of bicycle messengers everywhere. regardless of whether they prefer simple single-shoulder bags, super-custom shoulder or convertible bags, or dual-strap backpack-style bags.
Frank DeMartini passed away in early 2000, but his bags continue to be made to the same pattern they always have been, by a former employee who bought the company shortly before his passing. I often wonder if he knew the lasting influence on a subculture his creation had, some 50 years down the line…
Are we supposed to read all this…? Really…?
If you have no interest, please don’t spend your 20 seconds doing so.
Interesting, always cool to see that sort of an in-depth history into something, even something so niche. Thanks!
Oh, and as for CourierWare, I don’t know if they were especially popular outside of the northeast, but they were definitely the most common bag in Boston and environs throughout the late eighties to mid nineties. I think their popularity declined when the closed their Cambridge retail shop and upped sticks to Vermont. They’re still very much in business though, and take their “lifetime guarantee” very seriously. Last year or so I mailed them my bag from 1991 for refurbishment (replacing some stitching and dead velcro) and they did it free of charge.
The other thing I always liked about them is that, as a small operation, they will basically make you a bag any way you want it. I had friends who would just bring them/send them upholstery fabric, velvet, old-tshirts, or whatever to be used on the flap, and they were always totally accommodating. Not really my scene, I’ve always just stuck with the basic black, but I like that they’re willing to do that for their customers without charging an arm and a leg, etc.
Yep that’s why I always like to deal with small and local and custom whenever possible. Not only is the service better, but that pride of ownership that comes from buying something that won’t be thrown away in 2 years and repurchased uneccessarily, feels good. Figured you were from the bosstone area when you mentioned CourierWare.
Usually I’m a total dick to you on the MM net, but ima let it slide this time. You might have one or two somewhat redeeming qualities after all.
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