I guess you're right that, although Taylor was famous in his day, his legacy was ignored for many years until recently. However, this is probably true of early American cyclists in general, as the popularity of bicycling in America declined drastically beginning soon after Taylor retired (the survival of 6 day racing for a few decades notwithstanding). This was largely due to the great popularity and easy affordability of automobiles and gasoline in America, and the consequent decline in bicycle use. As a child, I had read of Barney Oldfield's fame as an early auto racer, but only some years after did I realize that he first achieved fame as a bicycle racer. Oldfield's career adjustment, I think, illustrates the speed with which cars displaced bicycles as the principal means of transportation, particularly in America, where Henry Ford's pioneering of mass production technology and the large domestic petroleum deposits made auto ownership more affordable to the masses than in most other places.
> Hi Jerry,
> I was merely reflecting that despite being successful "for that time", Major
> Taylor died in poverty and was long ignored for some of the great things he
> Too often, our society and the media marvels at athletes like Major Taylor,
> only to discard them in their sunset years. Prehaps these are undiscussed
> personal hazards of being a player in spectator sports.
> The strength of Major Taylor's contributions to cycling were not recognized
> until long after he passed away and I merely refered to the fact the media
> ignored him.
> Regards, Steve Neago
> "Starting to gear up for the Spring in Cincinnati, OH"
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jerry & Liz Moos" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: "Questor" <email@example.com>; "Andrew Gillis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Cc: <email@example.com>
> Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2002 12:10 PM
> Subject: Re: [CR]WTK: Anything about this Major Taylor stem....
> > My only difference with this is that Major Taylor, from what I've read,
> > more than successful "for that time". He was a major international sports
> > star, and probably more famous in America than Lance Armstrong is today.
> > Remember, at the turn of the (20th) century, bicycling was actually a
> > sport in America, in the early days of college football, before pro
> > or any form of basketball. Hockey was almost entirely a Canadian sport
> > then, and the NHL had not yet been formed. Golf and tennis were elistist
> > country club pasttimes. The "big three" sports in America appear to have
> > been baseball, boxing and cycling. So most American sports fans were
> > probably not only familar with Taylor's name but with his specific
> > achievements, whereas today, most American sports fans are pretty vague as
> > to exactly what this "Tour de France thing" is that Lance has won three
> > times.
> > One other observation on Taylor in light of the above. I think I read
> > a couple of years ago the LAW (by then LAB), in a fit of political
> > correctness, issued a posthomous apology to Taylor for having barred him
> > from some LAW event or other on the basis of his race (LAW was also a
> > competition-sanctioning body in those days). Other than the general
> > sillyness and uselessnes of posthumous apologies and political
> > this overlooked the fact that Taylor, despite the undisputed bias, became
> > famous and won quite a lot of money in cycling in the late 19th and early
> > 20th century, while baseball, the top American sport of that time, barred
> > black players until the 1950's.
> > Regards,
> > Jerry Moos
> > Houston, TX
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Questor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > To: "Andrew Gillis" <email@example.com>
> > Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Sent: Saturday, January 25, 1997 2:48 PM
> > Subject: Re: [CR]WTK: Anything about this Major Taylor stem....
> > > Hello,
> > >
> > > "Major Taylor" was the first successful (for that time) Fro-American
> > > racer during the 1920-30s. In fact, Indianapolis has a decent velodrome
> > > named after him. Further details of the his life and times use to be
> > found
> > > at the following URL: http://members.aol.com/velodromes/MajorTaylor/
> > >
> > > Prehaps they may know who made these stems since their velodrome is
> > > for him!
> > >
> > > Regards, Steve Neago
> > > "Starting to warm up at 48 degrees Farenheit in Cincinnati, OH"
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Andrew Gillis" <email@example.com>
> > > To: "Warren Young" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <CYCLETRUCK@aol.com>;
> > > "Classicrendezvous (E-mail)" <email@example.com>
> > > Sent: Friday, January 25, 2002 12:34 PM
> > > Subject: Re: [CR]WTK: Anything about this Major Taylor stem....
> > >
> > >
> > > > All:
> > > >
> > > > I believe the stem was a "Major Taylor" because MT invented an
> > adjustable
> > > > stem for his own track bikes.
> > > >
> > > > Andrew Gillis (warm & sunny in Long Beach, good riding weather!)