2008-08-08 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

A Rockaway Blast From The Past… 1966 Do You Remember?
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

On May 5, 1950 the newly formed chain bike corporation purchased the old and closed John R. Murray ice plant at 350 Beach 79 Street, in Arverne. The old ice house just north of the freeway was fitted out as a bicycle factory to manufacture the famous "Ross Bicycles." The company had it's permanent showroom at 200 5 Avenue in Manhattan.

The company did well, manufacturing about 750,000 bikes annually, had 2,000 dealers nationwide, but, in 1986 the company was near death in bankruptcy court.

Before going under, Ross was making 40 percent of the mountain bikes here in the states, but importation of foreign made bikes all but killed the bike making industry here in America… until imports were curbed.

New owners brought Ross Bicycles, U.S.A. LTD. Back into the fold, it was headquartered in Farmingdale out on Long Island with a new main showroom, and with the bikes now made in Taiwan, off the coast of China.

Newsday published an article in 1990, which stated that the Ross Factory, not purchased by the new owners, was located in Allentown, PA and that the company was of Far Rockaway, N.Y.

Can anyone fill in the blanks as to the present disposition of the Ross Bicycle company? And who brought the manufacturing equipment in the Arverne factory? Thank you in advance.
If You have Any Old Photos or Historical Informaation
About The Rockaways
Please Send It To:
HISTORICAL ROCKAWAY
C/O THE WAVE P.O. BOX 930097 ROCKAWAY BEACH,
N.Y. 11693

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