Mid-Century United Cycle: The 1950s

The 1950’s ushered in a boom time for Edmonton, and United Cycle was able to capitalize and build during these years. In 1952, when Raleigh’s nephew Reg Brooks and his wife Lois took over and began to learn about the sporting goods and bicycle business, the population of Edmonton had grown to 169,196. Louis St. Laurent was Prime Minister, the Edmonton Mercury’s won gold at the Olympic games and CBC broadcast its first TV season. Superman premiered on television and Singing in the Rain was a top song. The average annual income was up to $3000, $42.99 bought you a top-quality bike and the average price of skates was $26.99. United Cycle was 16 feet wide by 100 feet long. One third of the space was for sales – featuring bikes, skates, bats and ball gloves, hockey, figure skates, wagons, trikes, and their two top sellers – fishing and hunting. The oil floored repair shop was used for key cutting, skate sharpening and bike and lawnmower repair. The unheated storage area at the back had planks covering a dirt floor. Top brands were CCM, Bauer, Spalding, Cooper, Winwell, Thistle trikes, and Leader. Products could be purchased locally from downtown distributors such as Marshall Wells, Ash Downs Motor, and Motor Car Supply.

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