Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another familiar Baldwyn Vehicle from the 50s

Shown is the familiar Cushman motor scooter that belonged to J. M. (Melvin) Duke in the 50s. (Incidentally that is not Melvin sitting on it!) Betty Smith is ready to take off for a spin, it appears.

The old scooter came from Chicago or somewhere, and was really utilized for transportation by J. M. and friends.

A little research IDs it a "50-series" model, produced first in 1946. Compare the two photos. The Buick trim (the round "portholes") were added by J. M. Also, my recollection of the scooter (which I rode several times) was that it had plenty of power and ran good, but the handlebar throttle broke and no replacement was available. For a long time it ran on the streets in idle position, but Melvin would reach down between his feet and open the throttle "butterfly" valve to get more power when needed to get up the hill in town and elsewhere. He finally added a throttle cable and handle that had to be pulled straight up to accelerate and pushed down to slow the machine. It was mounted on the side of the body, and worked well.

Melvin, let me know if that about sums it up....

If anyone has a photo of the old 3-wheeled scooter that Darrel "Dog" Mathis rode, please send a copy, preferably of him doing doughnuts in the center of town, trying to get the front wheels off the ground.

Wallis Nelson, do you have a photo of your scooter?

Photo courtesy of Betty Smith via Cynthia Mink
Made in the Duke front yard on West Main Street. The driveway in the background is to the Roy Rogers' (Frieda) home.


  1. And, if you remember, when you scooter owners parked in front of either drugstore for a while, Slim Weldon would make you move it if you hadn't "fed the monkey" (put a coin in the parking meter)!

  2. Not only that, he (Slim) told us one day (he was in a foul mood) that we were to get home and never bring those scooters back into town--scared us pretty good for a while -- then we got over it. Carl you captured it pretty good the only thing you missed was that it had a centrifigal cluthch which unknown to me was stuck due to rust, it was supposed to shift at a certain speed -- and one day it did, -- we went by Red like a shot, and I had no idea why -- and as I said earlier, I miss those times

  3. The scooter that Darrell Mathis had belonged to the depot and was used for hauling freight up the hill to stores in town. I think he may have bought it later. His daddy worked for the GM&O railroad, I'm sure. I can remember Mr. Mathis running the little work shuttle on the track, he gave us a ride to near Wheeler once on our way to Blue Mars.

  4. Huse Wood also had a scooter similar to the one that JM had. I remember it being red. I am not sure of the origin of it but he may have bought it from one of you guys. He used it to deliver the Tupelo Journal at the same time that I was delivering the Commercial Appeal. We would meet at a predetermined place and swap papers to be delivered in that area...that way we only had to cover half the route by delivering both papers...and they say we were not smart... JG

  5. I am sorry to say I do not have a picture of my scooter..But I remember it like yesterday when I got it..My mother ordered it from Sears and Dean Truck line Delvd it to Bingham's Grocery where mother had asked J W Bingham to uncrate it and put it together for me and put gas in it..Bingham's Grocery was next door to Chris's as they were brother and sister. I rode it off into the sunset from there..

  6. Wallis, I remember we rode many times together, we sure had lots of fun, NOW, I ask you -- do you remember what happened to our rides? As stated earlier, I have no remembrance of what I did with my scooter--


  7. Wallis, I believe you made me remember something about the scooter delivery. I think we were at the Western Auto Store and the truck was delivering there. Someone saw the scooter, got you there somehow, and when you found out it was yours, you beat the truck to Bingham's.

    You checked almost every truck that delivered in town during the shipping time, didn't you???

    Hope that is somewhat correct....

  8. JMD, you seem to be the only guy lucky enough to have a pic of your scooter.