Many of you have long since forgotten about these - (or would prefer to) but I have long wondered about Ashtabula cranks.
- Not about the mechanical details or the servicing of them, but rather their HISTORY.
All I know is that they are peculiarly American, and there is a city by the name of Ashtabula in Ohio, the name of which means "river of many fish" in native American.
I Googled "Ashtabula Crank" and led me to an old C&V post referencing the Ashtabula Bow Socket Company. This was the "new" name given in 1907 to the Ashtabula Carriage Bow Company, but I can't seem to make a positive connection between the manufacture of these cranks and the Ashtabula Bow Socket company - or even to the city itself.
A patent search turned up nothing (or more precisely, everything but!).
There must be at least 300 million such cranks in the USA - but does anyone know ANYthing about these ubiquitous chunks of cycling history?
I'm sure this is a tall order - but I'd like to know who designed it, what company first manufactured it, and what bicycle builders were first to adopt it - when.