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Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Sun 03 Jul 2022, 21:32
by Lormin
Honestly, if they have clocks making a bicycle or anything like it is really simple comparatively. I think it's fitting that since the technology is all there, maybe some odd inventor made it some time ago but of course hobbits being fond of walking never saw the usefulness of it and it ended up quickly in the mathom house.

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Sun 03 Jul 2022, 22:21
by Otaku-sempai
"Pop-gun" is spoken by Bilbo, although some may well interpret it as a translation. But it fits with the Shire as Warwickshire 1897, as do matches (in the source material) or velocipedes (a fun nod at the Shire's anachronisms relative to the rest of the setting from the TOR team in the Shire).
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As I recall, it's Gandalf speaking to Bilbo who uses the term "pop-gun". At least Gandalf should be familiar with black powder (or some equivalent) because of his fireworks.

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Sun 03 Jul 2022, 22:22
by Otaku-sempai
Honestly, if they have clocks making a bicycle or anything like it is really simple comparatively. I think it's fitting that since the technology is all there, maybe some odd inventor made it some time ago but of course hobbits being fond of walking never saw the usefulness of it and it ended up quickly in the mathom house.
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I generally assume that Bilbo's mantle clock was made by the Dwarves.

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Mon 04 Jul 2022, 00:56
by Dunheved
I can see how these small references can be described as the thin end of a wedge that might split apart the immersion for many people.

When I read clocks and pop guns in Tolkien (and velocipedes in the Shire supplementary) it can jar that immersion for me as well. But in fact, it doesn't actually derail my immersion, because the reference is not extended beyond that individual lapse into whimsy. I therefore find I can ignore these little oddities, or if that is not enough, some of these references I can think away:

1. Why do we always presume Bilbo's clock is a Victorian wind up spring clock? A water clock would not break immersion, and is perfectly low tech.
2. I would compensate for "like a pop-gun" by imagining Tolkien meant to write "with a pop".
3. Matches might be the very gift that Gandalf (the master fireworks craftsman of middle earth) donated to the hobbits in that bad winter: and so let them make fires readily to survive that time.
4. Velocipedes? I did that upthread.

The secret here is not to let the niggle destroy the story. If it is too difficult to incorporate something, I just drop it for interfering with the tale. And never let it spread out of the Shire.

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Mon 04 Jul 2022, 13:06
by Harlath
"Pop-gun" is spoken by Bilbo, although some may well interpret it as a translation. But it fits with the Shire as Warwickshire 1897, as do matches (in the source material) or velocipedes (a fun nod at the Shire's anachronisms relative to the rest of the setting from the TOR team in the Shire).
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As I recall, it's Gandalf speaking to Bilbo who uses the term "pop-gun". At least Gandalf should be familiar with black powder (or some equivalent) because of his fireworks.
You're quite right! I''d even checked a book and still wrote the wrong name...

Although pop-guns would fit the Shire's late 19th century setting. I think this all goes to its roll being easing the reader in to the story, helping the transition from a familiar world to a stranger one.

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Tue 05 Jul 2022, 14:44
by Valarian
"Pop-gun" is spoken by Bilbo, although some may well interpret it as a translation. But it fits with the Shire as Warwickshire 1897, as do matches (in the source material) or velocipedes (a fun nod at the Shire's anachronisms relative to the rest of the setting from the TOR team in the Shire).
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As I recall, it's Gandalf speaking to Bilbo who uses the term "pop-gun". At least Gandalf should be familiar with black powder (or some equivalent) because of his fireworks.
A pop-gun is a child's toy that fires a cork secured by a string. The action of the gun is a piston, pulling the handle back and pushing forward results in the cork leaving the barrel of the gun with a "pop". It's not black powder.

e.g. https://www.theforgottentoyshop.co.uk/p ... en-pop-gun

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Tue 05 Jul 2022, 16:21
by HunterGreen
I've been reading the Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and apparently the thing he put into the Shire that he felt was particularly a mistake, for being too advanced, was umbrellas.

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Tue 05 Jul 2022, 17:32
by Otaku-sempai
As I recall, it's Gandalf speaking to Bilbo who uses the term "pop-gun". At least Gandalf should be familiar with black powder (or some equivalent) because of his fireworks.
A pop-gun is a child's toy that fires a cork secured by a string. The action of the gun is a piston, pulling the handle back and pushing forward results in the cork leaving the barrel of the gun with a "pop". It's not black powder.

e.g. https://www.theforgottentoyshop.co.uk/p ... en-pop-gun
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I expect that I was thinking of a cap pistol which isn't quite the same thing. Thanks for the correction. Either way, no one in Middle-earth would be familiar with firearms. Even explosive devices would be rare and primitive (with the possible exception of Gandalf's fireworks).

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Tue 05 Jul 2022, 19:48
by baldrick0712
They have wagons and carts, so a velocipede could just be a primitive skateboard, i.e. a flat piece of wood with a pair of wheels at each end that you stand on with one foot and power with the other until it has "got going" then balance precariously on with both feet. It would no doubt have been frowned upon by conservative hobbits (pretty much all of them) as a dangerous contraption no good hobbit would be seen dead on.

Re: Bicycles in The Shire??

Posted: Tue 05 Jul 2022, 19:51
by Ferretz
Historically, a velocipede is a proto bicycle. You've seen them in old footage. They're the things with a giant front wheel supported by a small back wheel, and most often with a bloke with a mustache and top hat sitting way too high on top.