Clement & Cie was one of France’s top manufacturers in the early years of cycling, and a leading contender in racing. Adolphe Clement recognized the importance of the automobile, so he merged his company with Humber and Gladiator in 1896, and the new concern started manufacturing cars. Further down the page, extracts from the 1896 Humber catalogue illustrate how Humber was influenced by this Clement bicycle to introduce their own Path Racer and Road Racer models.
Clement also understood the importance of advertising, and many beautiful posters were created to advertise his bicycles. The bicycle featured here is particularly interesting because it is the actual model featured in one of the company’s most famous posters (below).
1897 Clement & Cie
Velo Piste (Fixed Wheel)
Superb Original Unrestored Cosmetics
New cream balloon tyres (47-622 or 28 x 1 3/8 x 1 5/8)
Clement name engraved in the handlebars, pedals, etc
Lampugh of Paris saddle
As you can see by comparing the poster above and the bicycle below, this is the actual model featured in the 1897 Clement poster.
The original paintwork is faded and the transfers have worn off. Apart from its new tyres, everything else is original on this bicycle. The nickel is still quite good on the handlebars, and the ancient Lampugh saddle is beautiful and still usable. It has been serviced and is ready to ride.
1896 HUMBER CATALOGUE
SADDLE by LAMPLUGH of PARIS
Lamplugh & Brown were the earliest manufacturers of bicycle saddles.
William Middlemore and Lamplugh & Co merged to form Messrs. Middlemore and Lamplugh of Birmingham and Coventry. I’m not sure of the date of the merger, but in the biography of the son of William Midlemore, Sir John Throgmorton Middlemore, it mentions that he ‘Worked in Middlemore and Lamplugh, family saddlery and leather business (ca 1858-60).’
This confused me, as I’ve seen later saddles with the Lamplugh badge. So I asked saddlemaker Tony Colegrave about this, and he told me that Middlemores merged with one branch of the Lamplugh company, but that the branch of the company based in Paris carried on making saddles under the original name.