Bennett’s Scooters rentals


Lined up on a Cushman scooter are (from left) Valerie Ivory and cousins Donna Rigney and Sally Spencer. Spencer’s mother, Clara B., and her brothers, Edward and Robert, operated the scooter rental business in the 1940s. It started out with bicycle rentals.

In the late 1930s, Robert and Edward Bennett Sr., the sons of Clara Jolly and Shirl Bennett, opened a bicycle rental business that was run out of the Popcorn Ball next to the Youngstown Manor.

This business expanded into Cushman Scooters in the 1940s, after Edward and his brother Robert returned from military service.

Clara Spencer Jolly and her daughter Sally Spencer on bicycles in front of the Popcorn Ball.

That’s Sally Spencer in the front; Bob and Ed Bennett, her brothers, are on the bicycles towering above her.

A bicycle built for two, the two being Clara Spencer (left) and her sister-in-law, Josephine Farnbauer.

There was a bicycle track on the east side of Jolly Drive. People who rented a bicycle could ride on the dirt track.


Sally Spencer recalls there being 10 Cushman scooters plus one three-wheel Motorette in the fleet. It was her job to get them out of a barn every morning, wash them and make sure their gas tanks were filled.

The business was abandoned by the brothers after several years; it did not provide enough income in the few months of operation to tide them over and provide for their families.