fbpx

Image description

The image is side view of the Pegas bicycle, popular model in Communist Romania, facing left.

It is of low height, with a low wide saddle and high triangle shaped handlebar.

The embossed lines stand for the steel frame of the bicycle.

The framework has two medium-sized wheels, with the pedal positioned in a central location in relation to them (thickened lines).

The tyres are shown as embossed circles.

The mudguards, located in the upper side of the wheels, left and right, are shown in blank semicircles.

The handlebar is represented by two long thickened lines, above the framework.

 

Historical information

In the years after Stalin’s death, the leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union started an extensive investment process in the consumer goods sectors, to the purpose of improving the living standard of the population [1]. This process, to various degrees and extents, is visible in USSR in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the communist states in Central and Eastern Europe under the soviet influence.

One of these consumer goods was the bicycle, originally mass produced and sold in communist Romania in the fifties. The first Romanian bike manufactured in the communist epoch was called ”Victoria”, produced since 1954 by the ”March 6th” plant in Zărnești. The same industrial plant, that was secretly manufacturing weapons, started to produce, since 1967, the ”Tohan” bike for adults and the ”Pionier” bike for children [2]. The most popular and long-lived brand was Pegas. Inaugurated in 1972, the production of Pegas bikes survived the fall of communism in 1989, being halted in 2005 not necessarily by the difficulties of the postcommunist transition, but by the competition from the new Asian bike models [3] or Western brands.

In the seventies, according to official data, the Tohan Mechanical Plant based in Zărnești produced between 16.000 and 17.000 bikes per month [4]. This impressive number was brought about by the relatively low price on the national market. Taking into account their extremely long life, of over 40 years with minimal maintenance, a new Pegas bike cost 1680 lei in 1986, when the medium salary was 2000 lei. The Pegas bike was one of the brands that became a genuine emblem of the socialist period.

Bibliography

  1. Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2006, pp. 190-222.
  2. Adrian N. Ionescu, „Pegas în viață, Mobra în istorie”, in Jurnalul Național, retrievable at  https://jurnalul.antena3.ro/special-jurnalul/pegas-in-viata-mobra-in-istorie-70298.html  [22 November2018].
  3. „Fabrica de biciclete a murit, bombele au rămas”, in Adevărul, retrievable at  https://adevarul.ro/locale/brasov/fabrica-biciclete-murit-bombele-ramas-1_50aca2277c42d5a663873f90/index.html[ 22 November 2018].
  4. „Fabrica de armament Tohan își mărită acoperirea”, retrievable at  November https://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-arhiva-1235311-fabrica-armament-tohan-isi-marita-acoperirea-bicicletele.htm [222018].

 

Download image

https://tactileimages.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ENG2.png