ORIGINS: AMERICAN BICYCLES

There have been American invasions of this country by makers of agricultural machinery, boots, domestic machinery, typewriters, motor cars, and, of course, bicycles.

Of those articles enumerated all have come to stay except bicycles. Various opinions have been expressed as to the reason why American bicycles did not attract popular favour in this country. They were largely advertised, important firms rented expensive shops for retail purposes, and at one time it looked as though the American bicycle would catch on. The attempted invasion failed; a small army reached our shores but it got swallowed up and the officers retired with discomfiture.

The reason may be explained as follows. American makers produce one pattern of any article in large quantities and expect all purchasers at home and abroad to buy what they make. The American bicycles that reached this country were no exception to the general rule. They were made for American boulevards and asphalte roads of cities and were totally unsuited for touring and general riding conditions in this country. The mudguards and rims were of wood, the tyres were single tubes that could only be repaired with rubber plugs (a method not understood in England), the brakes were inadequate for our hilly roads, and the only redeeming feature of these machines was lightness. They arrived at a time when home manufacturers were at their wits end to supply the demand or practically none would have been sold, and those that were disposed of mostly caused trouble and loss of custom to the retailers.

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Items in this Collection

1876 Pope Brothers Rifle Air Pistol

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1880 Juvenile Propellor Tricycle

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1887 Overman Victor Light Roadster 54″ Ordinary

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1887 Overman Victor Light Roadster 56″ Ordinary

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1887 The Victor Safety (Cross frame Springfork)

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1889/1890 Overman Victor Spring-fork Safety

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1890 G&J American Ideal Rambler (for Girls)

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1890 Mascotte ‘Safety No 4’ Cross-frame (George Townsend & Co)

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1890 Union Cycle Mfg Co ‘Convertible’ Safety

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1890s RACING SCRAPBOOK (USA)

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1891 Columbia Light Roadster Safety

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1891 Overman Victor Spring-fork Safety

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1892 Century Columbia (Duplex frame)

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1892 Elliott Hickory ‘A’ Safety Bicycle

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1892 Kirkpatrick Saddle

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1892 OLD HICKORY ALMANAC

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1893 Columbia ‘Century’ Model 32 …with Ellipictal Gear

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1893 Columbia ‘Century’ Model 32 (For Restoration)

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1893 Columbia Century Roadster

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1893 Columbia Model 32 Road Racer with Elliptical Chainwheel

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1893 HICKORY WHEEL Co CATALOGUE

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1893 Overman Victor Flyer

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1893 Overman Victoria Single Tube Ladies’ Bicycle

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1893: OVERMAN VICTOR DISPLAY at the WORLD’S FAIR

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1894 Elliott Hickory Ladies Safety

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1894 Men’s Rambler Model 16

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1895 ‘Electric’ Lightweight Road Racer

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1895 Ariel Roadster (Goshen, Indiana, USA)

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1895 Gormully & Jeffery ‘The Rambler Tandem’

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1895 Gormully & Jeffery ‘Model D’ Ladies Rambler

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FOR SALE

1895 New Mail Safety (Wm Read & Sons, Boston, USA)

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1895 Overman Victor Safety

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1896 Columbia Model 40 Military

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1896 Eagle ‘Model B’ New York Police Bicycle

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1896 Fowler Truss Frame

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1896 Stearns: The Yellow Fellow Yearbook

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1896-1898 American Premier Helical (Bridgeport, Conn, USA)

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1896-1898 Humber Standard-Grade Special Light Roadster (American Export Model)

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1897 ‘THE AMERICA’ Truss Frame

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1897 ‘THE AMERICA’ Truss Frame Tandem

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1897 Columbia Racing Tandem

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1897 Fowler Straight Frame Bicycle

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1897 Fowler Truss Frame – Catalogue

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1897 Geneva Rear-Steering Tandem

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1898 Columbia Ladies Chainless (Shaft drive)

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1898 Columbia Model 50 Chainless

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1898 Crescent ‘No 3’ Boy’s Bicycle

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1898 Gormully & Jeffery ‘Rambler’ Rear-Steering Tandem

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1898 Monarch Defiance

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1898 Stearns ‘Yellow Fellow’ Rear-Steering Combination Tandem

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1898 Union Supply Co ‘Union Jack’

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1899 ‘Oxford’ (Goodby Rankin Co, Providence, RI)

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1899 Cleveland Model 47 Men’s Bicycle

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1899 Gormully & Jeffery Men’s Medium Weight Rambler Roadster

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1899 Gormully & Jeffery Rambler (Denmark)

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1899 Luthy & Co Fairy King

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1899 Stearns Special Model C for Ladies

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1900 Barnes ‘The White Flyer’ Cushion Frame

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1900 Mead ‘Kennebec’ Road Racer

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1900 Pierce Men’s Chainless

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1900 Velo de Course E. Collesson (Great Western Mfg Co American Export)

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1900 WESTERN UNION Messenger’s Bike

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1900s SEMI-SUBMERSIBLE WATER BICYCLE VIDEO

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1901 Albaugh Dover ‘Victor’

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1901 Ames & Frost ‘Imperial’

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1901 Gormully & Jeffery Rambler Model 38 Chainless

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1901 Monarch Men’s Chainless

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1902 Gendron Men’s Bicycle (Canadian)

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1902 National Chainless

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1902 Tribune BLUE STREAK

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1902 Tribune Model 750 Track Racer

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1903 Columbia Model 106 Cushion Chainless

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1904 Columbia 28″ Cushion Arch-bar Chainless Roadster with Hartford Tire Coaster Brake

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1904 Pope Men’s Rambler Chainless ‘Model 451C’ with Hygienic Cushion Frame

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1908 Racycle Cushion Frame Pacemaker with Safety Cushion Tri-Spring Fork

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1910 Sears & Roebuck ‘Red Head Elgin King’

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1910s Iver Johnson Truss-Bridge Roadster

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1912 Lovell Diamond Truss Frame Roadster

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1912 Racycle ‘Model 174’

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1915 Dayton Spring-Fork Roadster (with Kelly Adjustable Handlebar)

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1915 Miami Hudson Arch bar

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1916 Columbia Men’s Chainless ‘Model 604’

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1917 Iver Johnson Cushion Truss Frame Track Racer

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1917 Red Wing Truss Bridge (Archbar) Bicycle (Westfield Columbia)

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1917/1918 WW1 Columbia Military Model U.S Army Issue #USA748

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1918 Harley Davidson Men’s Single Bar Roadster

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1918 Harley-Davidson Model 318

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1918 Pope Daily Service Commercial Bicycle

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1918 Western Union Messenger Delivery Bicycle

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1918 WW1 Columbia Military Model (Black)

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1918 WW1 Columbia Military Model (US Army Issue Green)

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1918-1923 Hendee Mfg Co – Indian Girls Roadster Model 154

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1919 Columbia Model 912 Roadster

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1919 Emblem Women’s Roadster Model 35

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1919 Harley Davidson ‘Motorcyke’

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1919 Haverford Black Beauty ‘Pacer’ Arch bar

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1920-1922 Johnson Motor Wheel on a 1930s Iver Johnson bicycle

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1920s Columbia Archbar

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FOR SALE

1920s Emblem ‘Greyhound’ Young Girls’ Bicycle

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1920s Western Union ‘Messenger Special’ Bicycle

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1921 Evans PowerCycle ‘Modèle Luxe Ecclésiastique’ 119cc

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1922 Excelsior ‘Motorbike’ with 119cc Cyclemotor Engine

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1924 Indian Junior Roadster Model 150-H

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1924 Indian Motocycle Co – Motobike Model 151

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1926 Columbia ‘Junior Roadster’ 50th Anniversary Model

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1928/1929 Columbia Bicyclet

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1929 Elgin Cardinal ‘Motobike’ (Sears & Roebuck)

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1930 Excelsior Triumph ‘Motorbike’

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1932 Presto Speed-O-Byke

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1936 Monark Silver King Flocycle Model No. M037

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1937 Mercury Men’s Bicycle & Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky

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1938 Elgin Twin 20 ‘Model 502’

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1939 Colson ‘Looptail’ Double Bar Juvenile

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1939 Mercury World’s Fair Velocipede Tricycle

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1939 Monark Silver King Flocycle 26X

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1939 Motorola B150 Bicycle Radio

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1939 Murray Mercury Pacemaker – New York Worlds Fair Model

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1940s Western Union Messenger Bicycle

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1946 BSA Paratroop Model 904ACP – American Export Model

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1946 Columbia Compax ‘Paratrooper’ Sports Traveler

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1946 Monark Silver King ‘Hextube’ Motorised Custom

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1947 Columbia ‘Compax Paratrooper’ Folding Bicycle

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1947 Saginaw Powerbike

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1949 Shelby Donald Duck Girls Bike

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1950 Huffman ‘Dayton’ Dial-Your-Ride

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1951 Indian Scout 22″ Three-Speed

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1951 Monark ‘Gene Autry’ Boys’ Bicycle

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1951 Monark ‘Gene Autry’ Girls’ Bicycle

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1951 Monark Silver King ‘Gene Autry’ Girls’ Bicycle

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1952 Hopalong Cassidy …Finished and on the Road!

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1952 Rollfast Hopalong Cassidy Girls Bicycle

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1952 Rollfast Hopalong Cassidy Young Girls Bicycle

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1955 Huffy Radiobike

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AMERICAN BICYCLES

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Columbia & 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair Museum

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CYCLE ATTACHMENT ENGINES: 1915-1919 Smith Motorwheel

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CYCLE ATTACHMENT ENGINES: 1919 Evans Power-Cycle 119cc

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LAUREN STEADMAN RIDES VINTAGE: 1896 Raleigh Road Racer v 1918 Harley Davidson VIDEO

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RAMBLER BICYCLE MUSEUM

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