Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 137, August 6

When you think of China, chances are you think of rickshas, among other things.  But did you know that most of the rickshas used in China were, for many years, made in America?

The foremost manufcaturer of rickshas in the whole world was a Yankee, John H. Birch.  He manufactured rickshas in a large factory in Burlington, New Jersey.

It started in the 1870s when Mr. Birch made a trip to China and noticed the unusual vehickles pulled by manpower.  He decided there was a great future in them and also decided that an American could make Chinese rickshas. 

Birtch arrived home, converted his buggy factory in New Jersey, and was soon exporting American made rickshas all over the world.  The rickshas continued for years until a new kind of vehicle emerged, Henry Ford's automobile.  Eventually, the factory was forced to close down.

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