almost done, I should have got spokes for the wheels while I was doing other things. after I install the rear brake the 3 speed wheels are next. I think I'll need a shifter and a new (old) rear brake cable housing, then it is on to the next rusty bike.
Not a lot of good choices for rims if you want to retain the original size. S6 Stainless would be my first choice, but are really, really hard to find. Regular S6 isn't bad. S5 would be the third choice, but S6 is the better choice for a 1950 lightweight. Oddball types would also be an option, like the old Lobdell 599mm size, and the early unmarked Schwinn types from the 1940s, but your best bet is a decent set of S6 rims from a 1960s or 70s era bike. If your brakes will reach, you could go with a 590 size, like a set of old Sturmey Archer or Dunlop rims, then run a little bigger tire like a Schwable Delta Cruiser or Col de La Vie. I had a couple 1940s era New Worlds that needed wheels, and when I built them, I used regular steel S6 rims from the 1960s or 70s.
The S6 rims are the best choice. Flat top looks like early rim/ You can pick up a good wheel set from a later Schwinn lightweight. These bikes are being parted out more lately. Including some really nice ones. For a reasonable price you can get original wheels that have never been apart with great chrome, clean spokes, and original hubs. Low mileage Sturmey Archer 3 speed hubs that look the same as early. The real plus is tires are available. Kenda is the choice but they are OK. Black, gumwall, and whitewall. Tires can be a pain to get mounted correctly but it is worth it. I did this on my 40 New World and it rode great!