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Pre-war ('33-'34) Schwinn positive ID dilemma

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Pre-war ('33-'34) Schwinn positive ID dilemma

Old 08-21-10, 07:58 PM
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Pre-war ('33-'34) Schwinn positive ID dilemma

I have, what I suspect is a late '33 Schwinn model B9. According to the 'experts', beyond bolt-on items such as stainless fenders and hit-and-miss crank numbers, 1933 and 1934 cannot be positively differentiated. When asked about the serial number differences, they clam-up. Yes, I realize that Schwinn lost many records around 1948, but with the number of unrestored originals now surfacing, I'm seeing differences in serials between these two years. Mine has a 5 digit serial begin 28XXX. Four 1934's I've run across have 6 digit serials, ALL beginning with "5". Of the 3 suspected 1933's, including mine, ALL are 5 digit. In 1935, serials began with a letter.

Although many of the early records were destroyed, annual production numbers are apparently known and have been published.

1933 - 46,090
1934 - 86,986

Why is this so important to me? Because 1933 was a pivotal year for Schwinn - it was the introductory year of the 'balloon tire' in the USA. And since there was nearly half as many '33's built than '34's, the '33's would be far more desirable to collectors. This would undoubtedly coax '34 owners to 'claim' they have the more valuable 1933.

Any input regarding these two years would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-21-10, 08:03 PM
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Sounds like someone needs to do a serial number poll. You might try over at www.thecabe.com. They're more knowledgable about this kind of bike.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:14 AM
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Uh...please post pictures! Please!
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Old 08-24-10, 06:51 AM
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In my limited experience with serial numbers, I've noticed a disturbing trend: it's pretty easy to take a small amount of data and discern a pattern. As you add more data, your pattern is likely to become more complicated, and if you get enough data, you may find your pattern evaporates or becomes completely unworkable.

Now, that's not intended to discourage you. It's just that I wouldn't hang all your hopes on figuring out the serial numbers, that's all.

I have New World, which is dated to 1940 by its Sturmey Archer hub. I'll try to remember to post its serial number for your list.
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Old 08-24-10, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
In my limited experience with serial numbers, I've noticed a disturbing trend: it's pretty easy to take a small amount of data and discern a pattern. As you add more data, your pattern is likely to become more complicated, and if you get enough data, you may find your pattern evaporates or becomes completely unworkable.

Now, that's not intended to discourage you. It's just that I wouldn't hang all your hopes on figuring out the serial numbers, that's all.
Those who least expect are rarely disappointed.

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I have New World, which is dated to 1940 by its Sturmey Archer hub. I'll try to remember to post its serial number for your list.
Appreciate the help, but any serials that have a 'letter' preceding the numbers won't help - which I suspect yours does if it is later than 1934.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:03 PM
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IIRC the New Worls was built in the Paramount "cage". It will have a # in series with the other fillet brazed bikes.
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