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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 11-05-07, 09:37 PM   #1
scottbot84
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OLLLLLD Fixie: Can anyone ID this one?

old_bike.jpeg

larger version: http://sdlitwiller.homelinux.net/kscan_0001.jpeg

Hi everyone

My girlfriend just came back from a photography convention with this picture. No idea what this bike could be, but I'm kind of curious. Anyone have any ideas?

The type of photo dates it to the early 1900's. Presumably it was taken at or near Ava, IL, so it could be a Chicago bike company (either Mead or Schwinn)

The head tube angle on this thing is crazy, but it looks like it still has horizontal dropouts. Could be for touring or similar but I'm not sure.

This probably belongs in the vintage forum, but i figure I should give the fixie/ss crowd first look.

Last edited by scottbot84; 11-05-07 at 10:01 PM. Reason: added new link
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Old 11-05-07, 09:39 PM   #2
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looks like a pista
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Old 11-05-07, 09:51 PM   #3
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I think it's an old schwinn. I saw a pic recently of a very similar bike, with the same wacky seat setup with the support post. It also looks like cottered cranks. the headbadge doesn't look like the right shape, though..
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Old 11-05-07, 09:56 PM   #4
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yeah the headbadge is what's throwing me too. Also the crank doesn't look like the right style to be a mead (Sheldon Brown has a mead ranger I think).

On another note the gearing looks pretty crazy, but the cog is probably large too
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Old 11-05-07, 09:56 PM   #5
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mercier kilo tt
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Old 11-05-07, 10:00 PM   #6
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link to a bigger version (still not a ton of detail though)

http://sdlitwiller.homelinux.net/kscan_0001.jpeg
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Old 11-05-07, 10:03 PM   #7
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http://media.nasm.si.edu/webimages/6...-28254_640.jpg
is a 1910 wright bros bike; your bike looks to be the same period.
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Old 11-05-07, 10:07 PM   #8
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that looks really close, obviously the same style.

I think it was taken between 1910-1920, so same time period yeah
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Old 11-05-07, 10:21 PM   #9
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this is driving me nuts. Mead also had a big factory In chicago, but trying to id this bike throught the chainring is a labor of love.
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Old 11-05-07, 10:29 PM   #10
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thats a slack chain, super rake model
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Old 11-05-07, 10:31 PM   #11
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lol don't forget that Sears and possibly Montgomery ward were making bikes at this time possibly. Looks to be too nice to be one of those though.

Its driving me nuts too, but I'm not sure where to look. Should it get bumped to vintage maybe?
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Old 11-05-07, 10:33 PM   #12
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Those handlebars are gangsta! He needs to tighten up that chain.
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Old 11-05-07, 10:34 PM   #13
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I'll laugh if C&V id's this bike in 5 minutes. It could be a columbia, with thte size/shape of that headbadge, too.
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Old 11-05-07, 10:43 PM   #14
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I'm thinking the sloped fork crown is going to be one of the telltale ID marks, but this is way above my pay grade.

In 1969 they did a reprint of the 1902 Sears catalog, and there are still copies of it everywhere. I don't have one, but I remember it having a bicycle section. If you can find one of those (local library?) it might be of some help.
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Old 11-05-07, 11:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Samuel D. Lee was a photographer in Ava, IL in the 1900 census. By 1910, he had moved to Herrin, IL. The 1890 census does not exist for Illinois, and I could not find him in the 1880. So, the photo is apparently no later than 1909 (just in case Samuel Lee moved just prior to the census in 1910), and could be earlier.

Now let's see if someone can come up with the bike!

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interesting stuff from the vintage forum
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Old 11-05-07, 11:37 PM   #16
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i found the geneology of L.D. Lee. didn't include any information about the bike though. lived 1914-1968. i wonder if that's him or if L.D. Lee took the picture.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:45 AM   #17
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s.d. lee is probably the photographer or at least the owner of the studio the picture was taken in. before cameras were a household item, people would go to pose for photographs in a studio. you would go sit for a photo with some kind of prop that was popular in those days, i.e. civil war soldiers often posed with sabres and other acoutrements of war. that bike is most likely a prop in the photographer's studio.

when you were done sitting for the photo, the photographer would develop it and mount it in a little cardstock frame like that to keep it safe. i'm a history major and i've seen a lot of old photos like this one. my grandmother actually has one much like this hanging in her living room, i'll see if i can get a picture of it and maybe some information about it when i see her next.
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Old 11-06-07, 01:02 PM   #18
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Ask the C and V folks.
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