about the correct spelling: the name of the bicycle company is "Girardengo", founded by the great champion by the name of "Costante Girardengo" and his two sons Luciano and Ettore in Alessandria, Novi Ligure, Italy. i found a website of a local newspaper that have a picture archive online; if you check out http://www.grumonevano.com/salvagrumo/images/Manifestazione_ciclistica_circolo_Girardengo_anni60.jpg you'll see a proof of the correct spelling of Girardengo's first and last name.
As of the bicycles coming from a prison, i found a notice on the web http://marketingesport.datasport.it/leggi.asp?id=1452933 which, if my limited knowledge of the italian language doesn't betray me, says that the assembly of the Girardengo Bicycles was moved to the prison of Alessandria, Novi Ligure only in the *mid-seventies*. AFAIK, the company had seized to make top-level frames at that time and produced midlevel stuff. But maybe some listmembers can shed light on that?
(in another picture, http://www.grumonevano.com/salvagrumo/images/Circolo_Costante_Girardengo.jpg, we see what miht be a factory entrance(?), and in http://www.grumonevano.com/salvagrumo/images/Gara_ciclistica_negli_anni50.jpg we see a typical racing scene in the fifties. the other pictures are on http://www.grumonevano.com/salvagrumo/antichiricordi.htm)
Martin Appel, proud owner of a Girardengo frame that his uncle claims to have bought new in 1951 for 150 DM in Munich, Germany.
dm> Dennis Stone (Stones Cycles, Alameda Ca) once told me that dm> many years ago, they began selling Gharidengo(sp?) cycles. One day dm> his uncle came into the shop to announce that the Gharidengo bikes dm> were made by prisoner labor. They felt that it was unethical and dm> stopped selling the Gharidengo.
dm> Maybe going there this afternoon-- Stones Cycles... Not prison. dm> Dave Martinez dm> Fremont Ca