Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,815 pages of information and 211,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Bartleet's Bicycle Book by Horace Wilton Bartleet and published in 1931/2.
Note: These are some odd extracts not placed elsewhere
My museum became my constant and only hobby, and when it grew to reasonable dimensions and comprised some 40 complete machines I made arrangements to rectify the omission which Rowley Turner had so deeply regretted. I bequeathed the whole collection to Coventry, the City authorities accepting the gift, agreeing to house the machines and allow them to be inspected free of charge by the public for ever. Here let me interject an extract from a letter from Rowley Turner: writing in December, 1913, anent the election of Mr. S. Bettmann as Mayor of Coventry, my old friend said, “a better choice it would be hard to make, for a more progressive and more careful business man I have never met. I wish that he would take up the idea I sketched for my old friend George Singer, when he was Mayor—the foundation of a Museum and Public Library of Cycle Works, Models, and Inventions.
The fiftieth anniversary of the bicycle's introduction into England, via Coventry, will soon be with us. Would not that be a suitable date to open the doors of such an Institution? And if the suggestion is acted upon may we of the old school who read and write these lines be there to fête the event." Alas, Turner did not live to witness the fruition of his favourite scheme, but it would be a graceful tribute to his memory to associate his name with the Institution which will ultimately, I hope, house the Bartleet collection. Purely Personal. I have alluded to certain unsuccessful inventions of my own: these included an attachable carrier for the easy conveyance of a bag of golf clubs on a bicycle. An instantly attachable metal framework for carrying a tradesman's basket on the forks and handlebar—I used this for carrying a pet dog. A “banked " pedal, having its surface raised on the outside to compensate for the tendency of the human foot to lean outwards.
During the boom in “cross" frames, about 1899, I designed two quite original frames, lady's and gent's, but an ungrateful public did not seem to want them. A similar reception awaited a combination of waistcoat and braces, for men, which I invented about the same time: it had the merit of lightness, and was an improvement on the “cummerbund” which enjoyed a meed of popularity at the time. When my son was a baby I designed a three-wheeler, somewhat on the lines of the tradesman's carrier tricycle, on which I carried him thousands of miles. It had a three-speed hub giving gears of 40, 52, and 70, and that it was easy to propel is proved by my having surmounted Handcross Hill, on the Brighton Road, on several occasions, even with a seven-year-old passenger. When “week-end” saddle bags became popular, after the war, I designed a stay from the rear of the bag to the seat pillar of the bicycle, to prevent the bag swaying about, and to keep it from contact with the machine: I also made a bag with sides extended upwards to form a cover for the contents, the over-lapping sides being secured by glove fasteners. These improvements were taken up by the bag manufacturers.
To obviate the necessity of draping one's cape round the lamp—when the lamp-bracket is placed in its usual position on the steering head of the bicycle— I attached a lamp-bracket to the centre of the fork crown: this was specially convenient when riding at night with a cape, and had the additional advantage of bringing the light nearer to the road; but the trade refused to recognise the merits of the idea, though I used it with great satisfaction for many years, and several keen cyclists copied it on their own machines.
For the convenience of cyclists who have occasion to ride in light shoes and wide boots alternately, I re-invented (the idea had been adopted as far back as 1884, and been forgotten) a pedal with rattrap surface on one side and rubbers on the other, the rubbers being instantly detachable: a famous manufacturer made a pair of pedals for me, embodying the improvement, but declined to put them on the market. The fact remains, however, that every practical cyclist who saw my pedals praised the scheme of rattrap and rubber in combination, so that the rider could use either at will by merely turning the pedal over while riding.
In the early days of motoring, before the introduction of the electric horn, when horns were operated by a bulb and an unsightly length of plated flexible tubing, I invented (and patented in conjunction with Mr. S. F. Edge) a horn with its tube concealed in the upholstery of the car body and running inside the chassis frame to the right front dumb-iron, where it emerged and joined the trumpet part of the instrument. The bulb projected above the upholstery on the driver's right side, convenient to his hand.
Single-seated four-wheeled velocipede, date about 1862. (See Plate 8.) The main frame is of solid forged iron, the wheels and long swinging levers—on which the "pedals" are placed—being of wood. The axle carrying the rear pair of wheels is cranked, and is rotated by the forward movement of the aforesaid levers. The front pair of wheels is steered by the iron handle in front of the rider, through a turn-table. The machine is innocent of any attempt at springing, and vibration, added to the great weight of the machine, must have reduced the speed to a very modest average. Old readers may remember that velocipedes of this type were available for hire in the grounds of the Crystal Palace up to about 1883.
About this time (1871) James Starley contrived a geared-up fan, to create a draught for his brazing forge, driven by a cord in the rim of a large cycle wheel, which was turned by a handle on the crank in lieu of a pedal. There is no doubt that the experience gained with his lever tension wheel gave Starley the idea of the tangent wheel, which he patented in 1874, patent No. 3959. This will be found on the Coventry Tricycle, exhibit No. 7. (Plate 15.) The "Ariel" was first advertised in "The English Mechanic," 15th September, 1871, the price being 0, or " with speed gear 02." In 1873 J. Moore rode 14 miles 440 yards in one hour on a bicycle of this type, this being a best on record at that time. Front wheel 48 inches, back wheel 22 inches; weight 51 lbs. Plain bearings throughout. Purchased in Ballymena, Northern Ireland.
No. 8. 56 inch "ordinary" V rims: 1 inch tyres; solid forks and backbone. Maker unknown; probably the work of some clever local mechanic who embodied several ingenious features in his production. Note the guide on backbone to keep end of saddle-spring in position; eccentric on handlebar to operate brake plunger rod: shaped clip on wooden wedge under saddle, to keep saddle straight. Purchased in Reigate, Surrey.
Awards and Accessories
No. 13 (Plate 18) in the Bartleet collection, a diamond ring, a gold medal, and a silver-plated tea and coffee service. Other riders received awards for accomplishing lesser distances; and at the close of the proceedings Mr. George Lacy Hillier proposed the health of the chairman.
P. A. Nix died on 30th December, 1910, falling dead in the club rooms of the Brixton Ramblers B.C., at Loughborough Junction, S.E. He had been Hon. Secretary of the National Cyclists Union Records committee (dealing with records made on the track) from 1891 to 1895, and at the time of his death was President of the Southern Road Records Association, which was founded on 22nd August, 1899.
No. 26. "The last of its race". Wooden mounting stool, used by riders of the old "ordinary" or high bicycle. In the days when the "ordinary" was the popular type of bicycle (as signified by the word generally used to describe it), a mounting stool was part of the equipment at every racing track: this identical stool did duty at Herne Hill track (opened April, 1891) until the "ordinary" became obsolete as a racing machine. It must be remembered that racing bicycles were not fitted with steps, which were universal on roadsters, and the rider had no means of reaching the saddle without the aid of an assistant to hold the machine upright while he mounted by the pedal: this was done at the start of a race, the assistant acting as "pusher-off". (Plate 26.)
Tracing the history of the mounting stool to its origin, we find a very interesting story: when bicycle racing began, the "boneshaker", with 36 inch front wheel, was the vogue; at the report of the starter's pistol, the competitors ran a few yards with their machines, vaulted nimbly into the saddle, and pedalled away as fast as they could. My old friend Rowley Turner used to tell how he scored in a race at Trent Bridge Ground, Nottingham, by running some distance before springing into the saddle, having discovered that he could run faster than his rivals could ride.
As front wheels increased in height, and rear wheels grew smaller and lighter, the vaulting mount became difficult and dangerous, and the "starting stool" was evolved. Each competitor was provided with a stool, from which he supported himself with one foot till the signal to start was given; he then pushed himself off and the stools were removed from the track by attendants. A few years later the practice of having a "pusher off" became general, amateurs adopting the new method of starting more readily than professionals. Cash riders continued to use the starting stool up to about 1880.
The first organized race on bicycles ever ridden in England took place in a field near the Welsh Harp, Hendon, on Whit Monday, 1868, the winner being A. Markham, from whose lips I often heard the story of this historic event. Unfortunately no documentary evidence exists describing the race; but Mr. Markham (who was engaged in the cycle trade in Edgware Road, London, up to the time of his death, on 19th June, 1917) was confident of the accuracy of the date, and his statement has generally been accepted by historians.
Velocipedes, Bicycles, etc
The Michaux Velocipede in the Bartleet Collection (No. 2, Plate 12) was purchased from Mr. Markham: it is not the machine which he used in the 1868 race, though he rode a bicycle of the same make. After the starting stool became obsolete for racing purposes, the mounting stool remained in universal use for training. As far as can be ascertained, this is the only specimen still in existence: it is therefore of special interest to riders of the old "ordinary " bicycle.
No. 32. Rear part of tandem tricycle; detachable, so that machine may be used as a single. Purchased at Hadlow, Kent. Maker unknown. Weight 19i lbs. Note the wire mesh dress-guard, footrests, and this should interest motor-cyclists, the web extension below the main lug, to strengthen the frame tube. The curved strut, of tapered tube, at rear, acted as a prop in case the tandem should tip up backwards. Adjustment for the rear chain was provided by sliding the bracket along the main frame tube, a "feather" on top of the latter maintaining the bracket in a central position. A handlebar was fixed in the forward upright tube, the set-screw for securing this being plainly visible; the saddle, on its L pin, was fitted on the rear upright tube. The idea of an attachment—such as this—to convert a single tricycle into a tandem, was patented by Thomas Humber in 1883, No. 5583. (Plate 30.)
In the same specification Humber patented an appliance "for keeping the steering wheel of a tricycle running in a direct line without the use of the hands." Vide Starley's “Psycho,"
No. 56. The identical "Centaur" frame used by the late H. H. Gayler, Polytechnic Cycling Club, when he made fastest time - 4 hrs. 49 mins. 8 secs. — in the open 100 miles road race promoted by the Anfield Bicycle Club on Whit Monday, 1914, and put up the competition record of 223.1 miles in 12 hours. Gayler, who was one of the most popular men in the cycling world, was killed in action in India on 23rd June, 1917. The Polytechnic Club perpetuate his memory by running a 12 hours' race each year for "The Gayler Trophy," and long distance riders consider it a great honour to win this important event. (Plate 32.)
The Centaur Co was one of the oldest manufacturers in the City of Coventry, having been founded about 1876. For many years its destinies were directed by Edmund Mushing, formerly a Coventry schoolmaster, and George Gilbert, an engineer who had been trained in the works of the Coventry Machinists Co. The London Depot, under the management of that very popular clubman W. J. ("Dick") Welch, was opened in December, 1909 and closed in December, 1925. After the death of Mr. Mushing, Mr. W. G. Jenks became managing director. Finally the works were closed down in 1910, and the name and goodwill were sold to the Humber Co., who continued to make and sell cycles bearing the "Centaur" transfer. Mr. Mushing sponsored two revolutionary features which were embodied in the "Centaur"; these were the cross-framed "Feather-weight" and the "Featherbed Featherweight". The former was for many years one of the most popular high-priced models on the market, its peculiar frame with twin tubes running from the top head lug to back fork-end making a strong appeal to cyclists who desired a distinctive mount, while its weight was several pounds lighter than the standard roadster. The “Featherbed” Centaur was the same machine fitted with light open-sided tyres of two inch cross- section: this was introduced about the year 1908, and thus anticipated the modern "balloon" tyre.
Frame weight 10 lbs. Presented by E. J. Winn, Polytechnic C.C.
Humber " safety " bicycle: date 1884; wheels, 17 inch front, 30 inch back, geared to 60; wheel-base 41 inches; weight 40 lbs. Patented by Thomas Humber, 24th April, 1884, No. 6767. (Plate 34.) The origin and development of the "Humber" safety makes an extremely important chapter of history, and the dates of the various modifications deserve careful attention by any one who aspires to connect the different links comprising the chain of evolution by which the bicycle reached its present state of perfection.
At the Harrogate Camp of August, 1883, an American named Bert Owen appeared on a "Star" bicycle, which promptly attracted the attention of my friend J. W. (" Billy ") Maude, who at that time represented the Humber Company. Maude thought that a similar system of driving, applied to a smaller road wheel, would be more successful, and he suggested the idea to Thomas Humber. Humber constructed a machine with 18 inch front and 30 inch rear wheels, the latter driven by an endless chain, gearing it up to 60. This was completed in October, 1883, the experimental model having the front fork curved backwards, giving a "castor" action. It was nick-named "The Blondin Donkey." He patented this machine as per particulars quoted above; and in November, 1884, adopted the forward sloping fork with direct steering by a long socket head.
No. 52. Juvenile bicycle, maker unknown; probably the product of some local manufacturer. Period about 1890. Note the twin solid rods running from the bottom head lug, passing under the bracket, to the back fork-end. Plain bearings throughout, except the pedals, which are Keen's patent hanging pedals with a single ball bearing: these were the invention of "Jack" Keen, the famous professional rider, his patent No. 14867/1887. Presented to the Collection by R. J. Farnell, of Clapham Common, London.
No. 55. The oldest pneumatic tyred bicycle in the world! The actual machine ridden by Wm. Hume at Belfast, on 18th May, 1889.
Parts and Accessories.
No. 104. Portion of the wood surface of Herne Hill cycle track, composed of pitch-pine battens secured by iron tie-rods, with cork washers between the battens to allow for expansion. The track, when first opened in April, 1891, had a surface of red ballast. This was replaced by wood in February, 1893. Later a cement surface was laid, the banking being “hog-backed," viz: steeper on the inside of the bends, easing off towards the railings. After a short time this was replaced by the present cement surface with ordinary banking.
No. 105. Section of Dunlop Carriage Tyre, made under Welch's patent No. 22669/1892. Attached to the exhibit is a personal letter from Charles Kingston Welch (died 7th December, 1929) the original patentee of the method of securing pneumatic tyres to rims by means of endless wires in the edges of the cover, patent No. 14563/1890. This system is now known as the "well-base rim", and is almost universally used on motor cars, motor cycles, cycles, and aeroplanes. The Dunlop-Welch wired-on detachable tyre was put on the market in 1892, and came before the public at the Stanley Show at the Agricultural Hall, London, 18th to 26th November, 1892. It was first used in competition in the Dublin to Limerick race of the Irish Road Club in July, 1892, when it was ridden by H. V. Binns, scratch: Binns suffered a puncture, and, having started without a pump, was compelled to retire. (Plate 45.)
No. 106. Lucas "King of the Road" Hub Lamp, made to hang on the spindle of the front wheel of the "ordinary" (high) bicycle. Note the red glass in centre of reflector, an early instance of the red rear light also double catch to secure front of lamp, and leather-faced guides to keep lamp central between the hub flanges. Date about 1886. Presented by G. H. Gardner. Note: Messrs. Lucas exhibited an electric lamp for cycles at the Stanley Show of 1888, held at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster.
No. 107. Lucas "Captain" head-lamp.
No. 108. Lucas Hub Lamp: this was a cheaper model than the "King of the Road".
No. 109. Lucas head-lamp.
No. 110. Simpson "Lever" Chain, a much boomed novelty which enjoyed a brief but hectic career, 1895- 1897. The great matches at Catford track, Simpson v. plain chain, are referred to elsewhere.
No. 111. Carter's Trailing Brake, patented by Charles Carter of Brixton. No. 2893/1875 and fitted to his "Acme" bicycles. Taken up by Singer and Co. of Coventry, under license, and fitted to their "Special Challenge" Bicycle. By twisting the handlebar a leather cord brought an iron stud in contact with the surface of the road, behind the back (or "trailing") wheel of the bicycle. Presented by A. W. Marshall, F.O.T.C.
No. 112. Pedersen Three Speed Gear.
No. 113. Pair of “Leaf " pedals, patented by Graham Inglesby Francis, 32 Coundon Road, Coventry No. 14231/1908. The body of the pedal—an aluminium casting is detachable, leaving the bearings un- disturbed. An alternative body, with “rat trap” teeth, was provided for in the patent. Presented by A. H. Allin, Croydon.
No. 114. Roller Free-wheel Clutch, fitted to the “Cheylesmore " tricycle, made by the Coventry Machinists Co. Invented by J. White and G. Davies, both of the C.M. Co., patent No. 512/1881. This was the earliest commercially successful free-wheel. The "Cheylesmore" was a rear-steering tricycle, the two large front wheels, 44 to 48 inches in height, being driven by separate chains, each with its own free-wheel clutch on the end of the crank-shaft. Presented by Messrs. Swift of Coventry, Ltd.
No. 115. Bicycle bell, date about 1886, made by Messrs. Snell and Brown, Skinner Lane, Birmingham, and 11-19 Great Eastern Street, London. Snell and Brown were the predecessors of Brown Brothers Ltd., the great modern factors.
No. 116. “Hamilton" calliper rim brake, patented in 1899. Among the advantages claimed for this brake was that it could be attached to the ordinary plunger-rod which operated the tyre brake previously in general use; also that the brake blocks did not foul the spokes or valve. Facility for removing the wheel was not claimed as an advantage, though when the calliper system was revived (nearly 20 years later) this was its main asset. Presented by the late Felix Langton, of Clapham.
The calliper method of bringing brake-blocks into frictional contact with the rim of a cycle wheel was utilized as far back as 1876, in which year (patent No. 3,700) Messrs. Thomas Browett and W. H. Harrison, of Manchester, applied a calliper rim-brake to the back wheel of an “ordinary."
No. 117. Bown's adjustable ball-bearing for front wheel of “ordinary " (high) bicycle. Patent No. 3531, issued to Joseph Henry Hughes, 17th September, 1877. After protracted and costly litigation, the validity of this patent was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 16th January, 1885, in the case of Bown v. Humber, Marriott and Cooper. The subject of the patent was the provision of a detachable catch for locking the laterally adjustable cone. The rival method, patented by Dan Rudge (see exhibit No. 118) in 1878, relied upon a bolt clipping together the two ends of a split ring to hold the adjustable cup or cone in position.
Hughes' patent was taken up by William Bown, 308 Summer Lane, Birmingham. Bown's bearings were in general use throughout the cycle trade during the life of the patent, an enormous number being sold.
No. 118. One of the most interesting and (from a sentimental point of view) certainly one of the most valuable exhibits in the museum. Pair of "Rudge” ball bearings for front wheel of "ordinary" (high) bicycle: single bearing of lighter type for a racing machine: ball bearing pedal; and hub—with ball bearings—for rear-wheel of “ordinary” bicycle. Made under D. Rudge's patent No. 526 /1878. These are the actual traveller's samples carried by Mr. S. George Wootton, who represented Messrs. Rudge and Co. of Wolverhampton in the period prior to 1883. Note the flanges of the hub are not drilled for spoke-holes; this would be done by the cycle maker, according to the number of spokes and their gauge. The smaller (racing) bearing is of a later date, made while Mr. Walter Phillips was manager of the Rudge Works: he left the company and joined Humber’s, in April, 1893, and died on 24th November, 1920. In addition to his cycling interests, Dan Rudge was landlord of the Tiger's Head Inn, Wolverhampton; he died on 26th June, 1880.
No. 119. “Pivot" chain, made by the Cycle Components Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Birmingham, 1896. Note the point on which each link works:
impresses one as having been copied from the common or garden weighing scales, as used by retail tradesmen.
No. 120. Light saddle for racing “ordinary” bicycle, or tricycle; about 1883. Note the raised rear portion; this was designed to prevent the rider slipping backwards when pushing on his pedals, the theory being that he should sit well forward, "over his work."
No. 121. Pair of Kelsey's metal handles, ventilated and shock absorbing. Quite an ingenious idea, as they would afford a good grip and would prevent the hands becoming hot and clammy.
No. 122. Pair of "S.F." banked pedals, patented by H. W. Bartleet, 1909 and marketed by Messrs. Stanley Feast and Co., Walworth, London. The frame of each pedal is made up of four sections, stamped from sheet aluminium, riveted together. The main feature is that the outer side of the pedal is raised (or "banked") the object being to counteract the tendency, which is apparent in most people, to wear the outer portion of the sole of the boot more than the inner side. It was also claimed as an anatomical advantage, in that it corrected any tendency to " bandiness " on the part of the rider. The pedals were rustless, and weighed only 71 ozs. the pair. The price was 10s. 6d.
No. 123. American saddle, built up on a framework of wood, padded and covered with leather. No provision is made for tensioning the top. A relic of the “American invasion" of 1896-1899, when Yankee cycle makers flooded the European market with their products.
No. 124. Pair of “Heel Clips," invented by G. E. Osmond, 1889. The “heel clip” was bolted to the rear plate of the pedal (in contradistinction to the “toe-clip," which was secured to the front plate) projecting backwards so that its point would catch the heel in the event of the rider “missing his pedal." That the " heel clips " could sometimes act as their inventor intended was demonstrated on one occasion when the writer won a race riding the last half-lap with the clips in operation!
No. 125. Share Certificate in "The Cyclists' Country Club, Limited", Eaton Socon. This club, founded in 1892, was supported mainly by road- racing cyclists, the Secretary being W. M. Crosbie, a well known speed man; A. J. Wilson was one of the Directors. The Club was closed in September, 1895. One of the cycling papers of the period commented thus: “The decay of road racing has finally killed the place, as it is killing many other things." This, of course, referred to paced racing on the road, which later gave place to unpaced racing under time-trial conditions. The writer of the above comment could not have foreseen the enormous popularity of modern racing on the highway. Unpaced time-trials were first held in 1894, but did not become general till a few years later. No. 126. Chain-wheel and crank with eccentric pedal-pin to give a variation in crank length: invented by J. Goddard, and fitted by Humber and Co. Ltd., to their “Beeston " models from 1891 to 1895. Note recessed boss of chain-wheel, to bring chain-line directly over the bracket bearing. Goddard was Works Manager at Humber's Beeston factory, and left in 1892 to found the firm of Humber, Cripps and Goddard, making the “Nelson" cycles in Nottingham.
No. 127. "Buglet," made by H. Keat and Sons, Military Musical Instrument Manufacturers, Matthias Road, Newington, London, N. Introduced about 1878 300 being sold by the makers in the first year. The price was 20/-. This illustrates the strength of club life at the period, and recalls the time when the club run " was conducted on more formal lines than is the case to-day. Each member was punctiliously garbed in the official uniform of the club: the captain rode at the head of the procession, accompanied by the bugler, who conveyed his chief's orders to the members by sounding " calls " on the buglet which he carried on a cord slung over his shoulder: the sub-captain brought up the rear.
According to the engraving upon it this particular specimen was awarded as third prize in a 3 miles handicap for members of the Atalanta Bicycle Club, which was run off on the road at Ham Common, Surrey, on 6th July, 1878: and won by F. C. W. Osborn, 170 yards start, in the time of 10 minutes, 15 seconds. The scratch man was E. Gill, and the "lap" round the Common measured 14 miles.
No. 128. Wheel with solid rim for 1891 pattern "Clincher" Tyre. W. E. Bartlett's patent No. 16783, 21st October, 1890. Note metal protector for the rubber valve. It is particularly noteworthy that the edges of the rim are only slightly inclined inwards, and would not have kept the cover on the rim if the air-tube had been capable of unlimited expansion under inflation. The rubber air-tube was built up with an insertion of canvas which prevented it expanding beyond certain limits: this was sufficient to grip the edges of the cover between the inflated air-tube and the edges of the rim. Later the lips of the rim were turned inwards in the form of hooks, and the present type of “beaded edge " cover was evolved.
No. 129. 14 inch by / inch endless solid tyre, for steering wheel of tricycle or rear wheel of “ordinary " bicycle. Tyre is new, the mould mark being discernible.
No. 130. Pair of Butler's patent Pedal Slippers for converting rubber pedals to rat-trap: invented by J. Butler, - 63 Queen's Road, St. John's Wood, London, 1887. Price 2/6 per pair. Fitted to a pair of plain bearing pedals made by Messrs. Warman and Hazlewood, of Coventry.
No. 131. Aluminium hub for front wheel, date about 1893. Maker unknown, but possibly the product of M. Clement, of Paris, who is known to have used aluminium in cycle construction about the year mentioned. It will be noted that the flanges are drilled for direct spokes, which may account for the failure of this early attempt to use aluminium. Direct spokes would be liable to strip the thread in the softer metal of the hub; whereas with tangent spokes hooked into the flange aluminium is quite successful.
No. 132. Mirror for attachment to the side of the standard head-lamp, to reflect the beams of light which emerge through the coloured glass at the side of the lamp. Date about 1900: an anticipation of the modern reflector.
No. 133. Small (7 inch) pump, as supplied with each pair of tyres from 1888 to 1893, and carried by the cyclist in the standard tool bag of the period.
No. 134. Telescopic pump, giving the power of an 18 inch inflater with the overall length of a pump of one third that size.
No. 135. Tool-bag bearing the badge of the Kent Bicycle Club (a metal reproduction of the White Horse of the hop county) and the initials K.B.C.
No. 136. Early Morrow hub and back pedalling brake, made by the Eclipse Machine Co., Elmira, U.S.A. Introduced to England by G. W. Houk.
No. 137. “Facile " Bell, invented by Henry Lee, of Ashton-under-Lyne. Note chain and rubber ring for putting the tongue out of action and silencing the bell.
No. 138. Kay's patent rubber brush spoon brake, to operate on the tread of the tyre. Date 1896.
No. 139. Racing saddle and L pin combined, designed by H. W. Bartleet in 1895 to save weight and obviate the likelihood of the saddle shifting its position during a race.
No. 140. Pneumatic Brake, invented by J. G. Kitchen, 28 Rose Grove, Ardwick, Manchester. Patent No. 16581, application 4th September, 1893. The rubber bulb was clipped to the handlebar, and from this, air, under pressure, was conveyed via the small rubber pipe to the brake-pad fixed just clear of the tyre. The air caused this pad to expand, and rub on the tyre.
No. 141. Foot rest, as used on practically every roadster bicycle prior to the introduction of the free-wheel. One of these little fitments was attached to each front fork blade, the rider resting his feet upon them when “coasting" down hill.
No. 142. All-metal valve as fitted to Dunlop racing tyres in 1893. This was more or less an experiment, and very soon gave way to the Woods Valve.
No. 143. Whitfield's patent automatic inflater: date about 1898. This ingenious contrivance was fitted on the barrel of the hub, the nozzle at its lower end being screwed on to the valve instead of the usual dust-cap. As the hub revolved the eccentric action of the operating wheel caused the plunger to rise and fall, giving the impulses of an inflater with a two inch stroke. It was claimed that the little pump would keep a leaking tyre inflated by pumping in air as fast as the puncture allowed it to escape. What happened when the action of the pump overtook the operation of the puncture has not been revealed to posterity!
No. 144. Back wheel hub of American "Columbia" bicycle; 1898: drilled for 36 spokes. Note the hollow spindle in two pieces. The spokes, though running at a tangent to the hub, were "direct" (that is to say they had no bent head) their heads being threaded through the studs which took the place of the usual flanges on the barrel of the hub. The studs are held in position by two inner sleeves, pressed into position one on each side. A clever, but expensive, piece of work.
No. 145. Early “derailleur" gear! Driving chain-wheel of the “Whippet " two-speed gear, invented by C. M. Linley, Patent No. 13839/1893. The hub carried two sprockets, side by side, the inner (larger) one being provided with a shoulder to assist the chain to run off one sprocket on to the other when changing gear. A fork, operated by the rider from the top-tube, shifted the chain from one sprocket to the other, a jockey pulley (running on ball bearings on an arm depending from the chain-stay) taking up the slack in the chain when the smaller chain-ring was in use. A chain of the “silent" type was used, the teeth on the chain engaging with the cross bars on the periphery of the chain-wheel.
No. 146. "Esmond" patent rocking saddle, made by the Esmond Cycle Saddle Co. Ltd., Botolph House, 10 and 12 Eastcheap, London, E.C. The price of the saddle was 25/- in 1897, which was reduced to 15/- in 1899. Among the many advantages claimed were that the saddle "gives greatly increased power," and "sideslip is reduced by fifty per cent." The saddle is displayed on No. 147. Welch's patent divisible seat-pillar.
The top of the 71 pin, carrying the saddle, is instantly detachable, so that the saddle can be removed and carried away when the cycle is left unattended, thus making the machine almost thief-proof. This clever idea was the invention of W. J. (" Dick ") Welch, London Manager of the Centaur Cycle Co., and it is strange that it did not catch on with the cycling public
No. 148. Piece of "Helical" tubing, used in the construction of "Premier" bicycles by Messrs. Hillman, Herbert and Cooper Ltd., of Coventry. Patented by William Hillman, No. 88/1892. It is worth noting that Edgar Brooks of Birmingham patented a method of making gun barrels "and other articles of a like manufacture," by coiling a rod of iron round a mandrel and submitting the tube so formed to compression: his patent was No. 1603/1857.
This may have anticipated Hillman's invention, but the latter's patent covered the application of tubing so made to bicycle construction.
No. 149. Pair of Brampton's “King" pedals. Patent No. 13043/1910.
No. 150. “Pathfinder" hub-lamp.
No. 151. "Rignal" pedal and stand combined. The frame of the pedal, carrying the usual rubber blocks, is hinged on the barrel and secured by a spring-clip: by releasing this the frame swings downwards, forming a stand to support the bicycle.
No. 152. Replicas of J. B. Dunlop's 1889 and 1891 valves: made by A. J. Wilson and presented by him.