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MESKO - Instrukcja Obsługi Rowerów 1963

MESKO - Instrukcja Obsługi Rowerów 1963

  • Publisher: MESKO
  • Date: 1963
  • Derailleur brands: ZZR
  • Derailleurs: ZZR pull-chain design
MESKO - Instrukcja Obslugi Rowerow front cover thumbnail

MESKO was founded in 1922 to manufacture ammunition for the Polish armed forces. It is possible that MESKO is an acronym of ME from Zakłady Metalowe (‘metalworks’) and SK from Skarżysko-Kamienna (the town where the factory is based). Like many other small-arms factoriers, MESKO branched out into the manufacture of bicycles. The company exists to this day and has a history page on its website.

Some of the grimmer highlights of this page include:

  • 1939... World War II begins...
  • 1940... First mass executions. Over thousand people murdered and the similar number was transported to ... compulsory work camps in Germany. Over 30 thousand workers died in the Factory's prisoner camp
  • 1941... On the 20th of May a Jewish ghetto was created (for over 3 thousand people)... At the end of September a mass murder of 1500 Jewish workers was committed by the Nazi occupant...
  • 1942... Intensification of sabotage activities. Jewish population is transported out of the ghetto of Skarżysko to the concentration camp in Treblinka, where it was annihilated by the German occupant in gas chambers
  • 1944... July - mass executions of the Jewish workers from the... camp of compulsory work at the Factory, by the Nazi occupant...

This all seems to be from another age, so very long ago - but 1944 was actually only 12 years before I was born and only 19 years before the printing of the bicycle instruction book in this collection.

Happily the 1950s bring some cheerier news:

  • 1955... Initiation of production of a horse pulled lawn mower...
  • 1957... A thousandth unit of bicycle TURYSTA was manufactured...
  • 1959... Constructional and technological production specification for NIMFA, OLIMP and EROS bicycles are devised.