Eastern Woods Research, otherwise known as EWR, hit the mountain bike scene in the early '90s. Jay de Jesus being the frame designer and man behind the action. Their frames, the Original Woods Bike (OWB) and E-Motion were a little different and reeked of East Coast goodness. Short chainstays, high bottom brackets, low stand over heights. These were singletrack machines. I seriously considered ordering up the more race oriented E-Motion frame at that time. However I did not - too bad - I should have.
EWR closed it's doors in 1998. One of the many mountain bike boom companies that eventually went bust. The '90s, especially for cross-country riding and racing, was the heyday. There's a long list of companies that participated in this era - some good, some bad. EWR would be on the good list.
After a 10 year hiatus, and a bout serious illness, Jay resurrected EWR in 2008. The frames look better then ever, updated for disk brakes and a longer travel fork - yet retain some old school coolness, being a steel hardtail. Bilenky Cycle Works, based out of Philadelphia, is welding up the frames for EWR. A quality pedigree for sure.
The new OWB is available in 26" and 29" wheel versions. I'll take the 26" version myself, built up with XTR and a Fox fork. Hey, a boy can dream can't he? I just read on the website, they're also planning to release a 29er titanium version of the E-Motion race frame. Sweet. I'm curious to see what the modern version will look like.
Nothing wrong with today's modern production bikes - most welded in Asia. For the money/performance quotation, they can't be beat. However, there's still something very special about people like Jay and crew welding 'em up in small batches right here. You can't argue with old school, mountain bike soul.
Give the EWR site a cruise. Even if not your type of bike, take some time to admire what they're doing.