1905 Singer Lady’s de Luxe
Frame No 190242
Turn of the century Singer bicycles are rare birds these days and, unfortunately, their catalogues are just as hard to find. Nevertheless, their type hardly changed over a decade between the 1905 bicycle featured here and the illustration from the later 1913 catalogue, below. As you can see, the only actual difference is the mudguard extension (a chaincase was optional).
The machine itself is in good all-round original unrestored condition, with some of its box lining intact and the remains of its transfer (decal).
The Singer Cycle Co had agents all over the country. Shops that sold Singer bicycles would display the Singer sign outside. I’ve enlarged the relevant portions so you can see them in these two postcards.
The Dover postcard is doubly interesting, because opposite the cycle shop is the Dover Cycling Club HQ (below).
Dover’s Crabble Athletic Ground, below, provided a 600m cycle track.
Machinist George Singer of Coventry England left his job at the Coventry Machine Shop of James Starley to form theSinger Cycle Company in 1875. He manufactured sewing machines and safety bicycles, and patented a bicycle fork in which the ends of the fork were curved. This improved steering and made for a smoother ride, because the forks absorbed more of the shock from rough roads, rather than transmit the shock to the handlebars.
Singer purchased Coventry Premier in1920, and the company sold bicycles using that name. They did not make bikes during WW1, but after the war bicycle production continued until 1928.
The pictures above and below are from 1900.
The Motorwheel (above and below) was first produced by Singer in 1900 after acquiring the licence from Perks and Birch. A 2hp engine was fitted within the aluminium spoked wheel. It appeared in various forms, including Gent’s and Lady’s bicycles, tricycles, tri-voiturettes and even milk churn carriers.
The company began manufacturing motorized three-wheelers in 1901. They stopped producing motorcycles at the outbreak of WW1. The first Singer car was made in 1905, under license from Lea Francis.
Info with thanks to the Singer Owners Club – http://www.singeroc.free-online.co.uk/
I couldn’t find a Singer catalogue from 1906; the Singer Lady’s de Luxe illustrated below is a later one.
1905 SINGER LADY’S DE LUXE & 1910 SINGER MODELE DE LUXE TOURIST