Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

1882 Stanley Cycle Show

From Graces Guide
Athletic News Report.
Athletic News Report.
Athletic News Report.

Note: This is a sub-section of the Stanley Cycle Show

1882 February 9th-18th. Held at the Agricultural Hall

Report from 'Athletic News' [1]

The experience gained at last year's show proved that, should the committee of this club desire to make their venture of 1882 successful any that have taken place hitherto, they most secure larger building than the Holborn Town Hall, which has been the for the past two years. Originally started as an adjunct to a mixed entertainment in 1878, it has year by year so grown that the extensive galleries of tie Agricultural Hall afforded none too much space; several applications for stands having for this reason to be declined.

Among those we missed were our old friend Jack Keen, who one time held that position that is now universally assigned to the firm which his late rival, Fred Cooper, is member, and Carver, of hollow-spoke notoriety, neither whom were represented. On the whole, there could not have been less than 450 machines exhibited, the principal portion which both regards materials and workmanship, were turned out in a style that did credit to the respective makers.

In the bicycle but little change has been made from last year’s patterns, but in nearly every case minor improvements have been added; but, as regards the “three-wheeler,” many radical alterations have taken place, nearly every firm of note now adopting the double-driving the original Salvo pattern, introduced by the late Mr. Starley in many different forms. Encouraged by the patronage the last-named machine has received from Royalty, the makers have evidently laid themselves out for doing a big trade this year, nor do we think that they will be disappointed; it only requires the Heir Apparent to be seen in public either of the machines he has just put chased (both which are show), to cause a tremendous run on the resources of the tricycle manufacturers.

Not the least feature of the exhibition is a new motion which exhibited now for the first time, in three different forms - the ‘Merlin’ of Messrs. Bricknell, the ‘Multi-Patent’ of Morris Brothers, and the ‘Overmann’ tricycle Messrs. Singer and Co.; and if we think it has been already tested in an admirable form in the ‘Omnicycle,’ it will soon become appreciated the cycling public, not the least point in its favour being the total absence of dead points.

We feel compelled to give a word of praise to Mr. Arthur Fox (the hon. sec.) and his lieutenants for the manner in which they have themselves in the discharge of their arduous duties, and congratulate them on the success of their undertaking.

For the convenience of our readers propose to take the various exhibits in alphabetical order. We shall commence with those of the Arab Company (late J. Harrington) of Coventry, which comprises six bicycles of the well-known “Arab” pattern, and two tricycles, one of which (the Magnet) is on an entirely new principle, being worked by a couple of levers which cannot possibly get out of order. This machine will doubtless be a success, many good judges being much pleased with it. It is almost needless to state that all were fitted with the well-known Arab spring, coated with Harrington’s enamel.

A very well design spring is not the least feature of the three bicycles shown by G. W. Ash of Southsea, who also has a well-constructed tricycle.

Andrews, of Birmingham, represented by six well-made bicycles, under the charge of C. A. Palmer, the well-known amateur rider. The fact that these machines are the favourite mounts of several of the leading Midland men speaks more in their favour than words of ours can. An extremely light racer, weighing under 24lbs., is splendidly constructed, and seems capable of standing any amount of work. Andrews’s patent head is now used by a large number of the leading makers, and is, of course, fitted all the ‘Sanspareil’.

The simple fact that machine is turned out by the Birmingham Small Arms Co. is guarantee that both the materials and workmanship are the best to be obtained. No better-finished machines are exhibited than the two bicycles and two tricycles belonging to this firm. Their novelty is the ‘Compressible’, a back-steering tricycle, designed in such a manner that it, a simple contrivance, is reduced to 2ft. 4in. in width, so as to enable it to pass through the smallest doorway.

The Bicycle and Tricycle Association have six bicycles and five tricycles, five of the former being the firm’s own production, the now well-known ‘Matchless’ which has been further improved since last season by the addition of Andrews’s head, and sundry minor changes. The past years’ experience has proved that the rubber cushions will stand as well as any part of the machine, and it now stands prominent among the leading roadsters of the day The Omnicycle, which is now manufactured by this firm is also shown, and is sure to command its share of public patronage.

The exhibits of Bayliss, Thomas, and Co. are 11 in number (seven bicycles and four tricycles), but beyond a folder on the parallel ruler principle nothing new has been introduced since last year.

The name of W. Bown, of Birmingham must be familiar to every cyclist, and he may be justly termed the father of ball bearings. His stand one the most attractive in the show, his well-known bearings being exhibited in every shape and form. Those adapted to the front wheels of bicycles have been still further improved the substitution cast steel in the place of the gun-metal cases hitherto used; a fact which adds considerably their durability. Here also is to seen castings and stampings of every part of the bicycle, both in the rough and finished. He also shows a case of different forms of the Newmarket horse clipper, of which he the patentee. The new tricycle bearings can also be seen and fully explained.

A new lamp, on the” King of the Road” principle, but opening at the top instead of the bottom, is the speciality of the Crown Lamp Company.

Hard by Clare and Son, of Fenchurch-street, have a stand devoted every article required by cyclists.

Challis and Co., of Homerton, have still further improved their patent stop bell, samples of which are for sale on their stand and it is now without doubt perfectly silent bell at the riders’ will. This firm also supply general cycling accessories.

Two bicycles and a tricycle represent the Coventry Imperial Company, who now exhibit for the first time, and all are serviceable, well-finished machines, at a very moderate price.

A new form sociable, the ‘Four-in-hand’, by the Centaur Company, of Coventry, makes its first appearance. It is designed to carry four persons, the two front seats being suitable for ladies, whilst a couple of saddles are fixed behind. This firm also show samples of their new Convertible Sociable front-steering double driver, and their well-known ‘Centaur’ bicycles.

On the next stand are seven tricycles, the productions of the Caroche Company, all of which are on last season’s lines with the exception of Juvenile Sociable, which ought to take well.

Coupe, Addy, and Hall have one of Hall's Patent Safeties on view, but beyond its size we fail to see any special points of safety about it.

As far as appearance goes, at least, there is no display made equal to that of the Coventry Machinist Company, their stands containing 4 machines, are a perfect blaze of electro-plating and no expense has evidently been spared in turning out such a show of machines as will add still further lustre to their already well-earned fame. Their ‘Cheylesmore’ tricycle, which was produced last season, has already become one of the most popular machines of the day, and has in the recess been still further improved in many minor details. The ‘Club’ racer is one of this firm’s novelties, and it will belie its looks should it not prove a ‘clipper.’ The’ Universal Club’ has been designed to meet the news of those who desire a first-class machine at a moderate price; and a folder on the ‘Cheylesmore’ lines is also introduced, and for those who prefer front steerage the ‘Imperial Club” has been brought forward, We must not omit to state that this firm has been honoured with an order for a ‘Cheylesmore# tricycle for the use of the Prince of Wales.

A tricycle and a bicycle fitted with Dutton’s Patent Gearing are shown C. H. Binney, of Hackney-road, but we are scarcely of opinion that, whatever may be the advantages to obtained from the use of such a mass of cog or ratchet wheels, it will ever become popular; the noise made will enable the cyclist certainly to dispense with a bell.

A splendid display of lamps are shown on the stall of Mr. Dearlove, whose name has so long been associated with this department of cycling requisites. A great improvement has been made in the ‘King the Road,’ which now ranks first among those used for this purpose. In addition. Mr. D. also supplies all the appurtenances of cycling, and is agent for the wellknown W. Bown.

The five machines made by J. Devey and Sons of Wolverhampton, are certainly marvels of cheapness, and are to be recommended to those who desire to possess sound, serviceable article.

We now come the stand of Ellis and Co., Fleet Street, who are represented by six ‘Faciles,’ a safety machine now in general use. Their novelty is the ‘Special Facile’, a 5in. machine, to which this principle is applied, which the inventors think will prove speedier than the ordinary machine. The real safety in these valuable little bicycles is the fact that the pedal being fixed behind the front forks it is almost impossible by fair play have a ‘header’, while last years’ experience prove that the ‘Facile’ is but a little behind the ordinary as regards speed, and is quite its equal at hill climbing.

W. T. Kades, of Birmingham shows two well-built ‘Monarch’ tricycles.

Ford’s, of Wolverhampton, six bicycles, certainly have the merit of cheapness to recommend them.

Wherever cyclists resort there the name of Goy is known and with good reason, as many would not now be riding but for the method of deferred payments which was first introduced by him. On his tastefully decorated stand are to be found everything that it possible for a cyclist to require, but does not confine his attention to this branch of sport alone as in his warehouse in Leadenhall-street may found almost everything that appertains to the world of sport.

Gorton’s machines (seven which are on his stand) are too well-known to need description; but those of Hillman, Herbert, and Cooper must not lightly passed by, six tricycles and nine bicycles being shown. The standard pattern of the latter, the ‘D. H. F.’ has, our readers are aware, already acquired a world-wide reputation; and the Royal, which is now made by this firm is a similar machine with the Stanley head. The feature of the stand is a splendid double-driving tricycle, built specially for the Duchess of feck, and a smaller machine of the same class for the Khedive of Egypt, facts that speak for themselves. Their cheaper machines will also bear favourable comparison with the low-priced machines of any other

On the stand of Hickling and Co., of Maidenhead and London, are three tricycles and eleven bicycles, their specialities for this season being the ‘Pilot’ racer, and a new back-steering double-driving tricycle. The former is on the same lines as its roadster namesake, and is sure to make a name for itself, as those who have already tried it speak highly In its favour; while the success of last season’s roadster was such rendered it inadvisable to make any radical change in its construction. Our old friends, the ‘Timberlake’ and ‘London’ have many riders who swear by them even face of the many recent innovations. A telescopic tricycle with centre gearing seems good.

T. Harrison, of Bristol, shows a curiosity in the shape of a headless machine; and the Howe Machine Company have four bicycles and four tricycles on their stand. Not the least attraction in the exhibition is stand of Humber, Marriott, and Cooper, whose racing machine is allowed to be the swiftest made; their 14 bicycles, though perhaps not possessing such outwardly attractive qualities as those of some others, have that business-like appearance about them which cannot fail to strike the eye the practical judge. All are sold and to those who will do them justice too. Their tricycle, which also is allowed premier at least as regards speed, has also been altered to meet the demand for ‘Ladies’ and ‘Sociables,’ samples of each being on view

Hydes and Wigful well sustain the name earned in past seasons for the production of sterling roadsters, their high-class machine, the “Registered Stanley,” ranking among the best. One these machines fitted with a new patent ball head, the neck which is brought up in such a manner to render it perfectly dust proof, an improvement which was most favourably regarded by the cognoscenti.

Our fellow-townsman, W. Harrison, has a novelty in the shape of a new stop bell, fixed on the handle bar, which when sounded means a wheel being brought into contact with the bicycle tyre. It is one of the best have seen. He also shows a well-made bicycle, with newly-designed coil spring; and a curious tricycle, capable of being worked from one four persons, both hands and feet being used.

Four low-priced bicycles are the exhibition of . Lloyd & Co. of Birmingham.

H. Keat, of Stoke Newington, has a stand devoted to his well-known bugles, near which W. Keen and Co. show a couple their ‘Norwood’ bicycles.

The Leicester Tricycle Company produce four of Kirby’s patent tricycles, a machine whose somewhat ungainly looks are its greatest fault. a simple method it can be folded so as to occupy a space of only 18in. in width, and in the hands of the patentee it seemed capable of being managed by child, added to which perfectly safe. Taken altogether, we were most favourably impressed with it.

The London Champion Company and W. E. Lewis of Romford, were each represented by two useful bicycles.

Of the many and varied productions of Lamplugh and Brown little need be said, their merits being too well appreciated by those who use them - but their new long-distance saddle will certainly a boon to tourists. A new bicycle spring, consisting of broad strap of leather drawn taut in the place the usual steel sprint has, we fear, too much side play to ever become popular in its present form. Fronde’s tourist saddle also made by this firm.

The Manchester Tricycle Company have sale couple of tricycles - one worked by the hands alone, which must prove invaluable to those who cannot use their legs; whilst their other, the ‘Dreadnought’, is cleverly contrived, as both hands feet (or either) can be used This tricycle is also turned out in most creditable style.

Maynard, Harris, and Co., of Leadenhall-street. bring before the public for the first time ‘The Special Devon’, which is the ordinary tricycle of that name (which is also exhibited) with the addition of a method by which the saddle can, by merely turning a wheel, moved backwards or forwards as the exigencies of the road require.

Morton and Co . better known as the patentees the Sanitas Shoes, have a curiosity on their stand in what they term a bi-tricycle, a bicycle with two hind wheels, which, when the rider wishes to stop and remain seated, can be expanded means of a lever fixed on the head of the machine. A most extraordinary-looking machine the ‘Merlin, ’ a small-sized bicycle to which a new motive power is added, for which the inventors claim speed equal to the larger machine. A tricycle is also shown, to which the same power is used.

The same motion, but in another form, also used by Morris Brothers, of Cardiff, to both a Safety and a tricycle and there seems no reason why these machines should not take high rank among the cycles of the day. This firm have also added an ingenious method which the stroke can altered when the machine is in motion.

Another new firm, as regards the manufacture of cycles, is the National Arms and Ammunition Company, of Birmingham. Certainly, they have reason to be proud of their maiden effort, as their double driver is second to nothing shown, the patent differential axle, which causes the power to equally distributed between the two wheels, even when rounding the sharpest carves, being an admirable invention, and the method by which the pedal shaft is attached to the frame is also worthy of notice. Their bicycles also will find favourable comparison with others regards both class and price

The National Company, of Coventry, is responsible for nine well finished machines - four tricycles and five bicycles, no pains having evidently been spared in their manufacture.

The exhibits of Norman and Co., King William-street, and S. Simpson, of Mansfield, are one and two tricycles respectively; and the North of England Company have brought a couple of well-made bicycles from Newcastle.

One only of the productions of the Otto Bicycle Company was their stand, in which limited space the clever young lady, whose face is so wellknown in the London streets, endeavours to show its powers.

H. Pawsey, of Clapham, with four bicycles and one tricycle, and J. T. Porter, who hails from the same place, with three bicycles, receive their fair share of attention.

Half-a-dozen well-made machines (three bicycles and three tricycles) were brought by Albert Phillips from Birmingham, near whose stand the Royal Machine Company make grand display, both their 12 bicycles (the ‘Royal Mail’) and seven tricycles being turned out in such a manner as to elicit universal approbation. The patent adjustable handle one of the features of their bicycles, and can be easily raised or depressed to suit the rider.

D. Rudge & Co., of Coventry, were worthily represented eight machines, which reflect great credit on the courteous manager, Mr. H. Osborne the celebrated amateur rider: a grand plated 56in. bicycle, built for the champion, R. Howell, taking the pride of place. Though still retaining the old shape, the ‘Coventry’ tricycle has been greatly improved, and is now fitted with centre gearing, allowing ordinary pedals to be used, and the firm claim for the machine the credit of being the fastest made. The ‘Rudge Bicycle, No. 2,’ is turned out with almost every modern improvement, including the well-known bearings back and front, and there is nothing exhibited at theprice (£11) that will bear comparison with it.

The firm of M. D. Rucker and Co., though it has been in business only one year, is able to hold its own against all comers as regards the production of fifst-class roadsters, and the names the purchasers of several of the exhibits are sufficient guarantee for their quality. The ‘Devon Safety’, a high machine worked by levers with the power applied behind the forks, is also manufactured by this firm, whilst their new tricycle, which is laid down on the best lines that experience can suggest, is sure to take.

Another firm of one year’s standing is Settle and Co, the eminent watchmakers of Coventry, who last year turned their attention to the manufacture of cycles, and their novelty, a new double-driving tricycle is turned out in almost perfect style; a remark which equally applies to their bicycles; the ‘Fleet’ and the ‘Grand’.

In addition to the ‘Flying Scud,’ the South London Machinists Company are responsible for a new tricycle, the ‘Incomparable’ an excellent machine at a moderate price; and their three bicycles are finished in workmanlike style.

Two bicycles for H. L. Cortis (who, from this, it seems likely we shall again see on the track) are the features of the Surrey Machinists' show of twelve.

The veteran Sparrow was seldom away from his pair cleverly-designed, hut fear useless, ladies bicycles.

A tricycle similar lines to those of the Leicester Company is sent by W. Roper of Reading for which he claims exceptional qualities.

W. Spurrier exhibits a case of specimens of silversmiths’art'.

Beyond stating that they are well made and finished, the two bicycles of George Snelling, of Kentish Town, need no notice, but the three tricycles aid five bicycles of the St. George’s Company, were closely criticised, the differential gearing of the tricycle in particular, meeting with approbation, it's value being evident even to the veriest tyro, and the machine is so constructed that it can easily divided and taken through the narrowest doorway. A ‘Sociable’ is to be also produced on the same pattern. The bicycles to, seemed to give satisfaction, that made for H. O. Duncan, of Uxbridge specially deserving notice; and all their high-class machines are fitted with the patent rapid bearings, which experience has proved to be second to none.

Thos. Smith and Sons, of Saltley. Birmingham, who are about the largest manufacturers of bicycle stampings and fittings in the trade, show nine specimens of their well-known “Viaduct" bicycles and tricycles, and the fact that but a few minor changes have been made in their construction speaks well as their success last season.

The stands Messrs. Singer and Co. present greater variety than those of any other exhibits numbering twenty (twelve tricycles and eight bicycles). Without doubt, the newly-introduced ‘Overmann’ tricycle attracted the most attention, both of the side wheels of which are worked by a new continuous motion, and there is but little doubt that will speedily earn a name for itself both as regards power and speed. Another novelty is the ‘Challenge, No. 6’ tricycle, a double driver of the ‘Salvo’ type, evidently a machine of the highest class. Samples of every one Messrs. Singer’s well-known patterns are there; and in bicycles the only new machine made is the ‘Special British Challenge,’ which, with the exception of an open, instead of a ‘Stanley’, head, differs but little from the “British” of last year. The ‘Xtra’ too, has this year been greatly improved.

Sargent and Pettes, of Camden Town, have turned out three bicycles in exceptional in style and a comfortable spring has evidently been made a special object them.

John Stassen and Sons, of the Euston road, have sixteen machines which, except in minor details, differ little from last year’s pattern; but a sample of their new tricycle (in the rough), with a new centre gearing on a principle which prevents the machine from running away, and thereby dispenses with the use of a break, created a favourable impression.

For to praise the lamps of Salisbury is needless, as all his articles are far too well known to need description; sufficient, therefore, it is for to say that better cannot be had.

E. Tyler, of Exmonth-street, W.C., had several cases of the medals for which he is so justly noted, as well a series of silver cups and three splendid clocks (all at a very low price), suitable for prizes.

The Tension and Arrow Company (late Grout) had two of their tricycles (one sociable) fitted with the hill-climbing gear, which has greatly pleased all who have tried it.

Seven tricycles of different patterns are on the stand Warman, Laxon, and Company, of Coventry, the special feature of which a newly-designed non-stretching chain, which will, doubt, be appreciated those who patronise tricycles in which chains are used.

Stephen Withers and Company, the Cheapside outfitters, besides their stall of accessories, have a fine plated roadster, by H. Moore, of Brighton, the well-Known amateur rider.

Our labours conclude at the stands of the Zephyr Bicycle Company, on which are some of the best exhibits in the hall. a ‘Rob Roy’ tricycle built for the Prince of Wales being prominent. Two tricycles are novelties for this year, one of which, the "’Dual’ is fitted with differential gearing, a series of cog wheels being placed on each side of the frame, and simple movement of a lever throws one side out and the other in as may be required. In the ‘Special Zephyr’ all chains and cog-wheels are dispensed with, the working being effected by the means of a compound lever of peculiar form, and as there is literally nothing to get out of order, the proprietors naturally expect a fair proportion of popular patronage. A ‘Rob Roy’' Sociable is now shown for the first time, and their two bicycles are also first-class machines in every respect. Several of the minor manufacturers are represented in different parts of the hall by one or two machines each, but there was nothing in their construction or shape to call forth comment on our part.

Exhibitors from 'The Cyclist'[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Athletic News - Wednesday 15 February 1882
  2. The Cyclist 1882/02/15