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Mystery ca. 1890's Bicycle (photo heavy)

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Mystery ca. 1890's Bicycle (photo heavy)

Old 01-15-11, 08:25 PM
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AZORCH
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Mystery ca. 1890's Bicycle (photo heavy)

This is not my score, but someone I know acquired this bicycle frame yesterday. The previous owner, an elderly man, said it had belonged to his father and that it had been built in Michigan in the late 1800's. My friend did some internet research and found a photograph of a very similar bike with the same unusually elaborate head badge and the odd "hangers" - or whatever they are - on the fork. The construction is pretty utilitarian, the chain looks like skip tooth; the reference photo he found indicated the Michigan builder made bikes for about a year in 1895, I believe he said. Handlebars are very cool: wood; the seat is in great condition for the age and is still somewhat supple and pliant. Crazy seat post, straddled on a right angle system sort of like a Pivo handlebar stem. The head badge, incidentally, is mounted upside down. I can't read the writing very well, but it appears to say, "S. (unreadable) Brewster" - I told the new owner I'd put out a few feelers to see if anyone had ever seen anything like this thing. So, here are some pix:










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Old 01-15-11, 08:45 PM
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pretty cool! I believe the 'hangars' on the fork are foot pegs for coasting (like highway pegs on a motorbike)
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Old 01-15-11, 08:57 PM
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I love that style seat. Handlebars, too. I'd like to find a set to replace my Northroads.
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Old 01-15-11, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I believe the 'hangars' on the fork are foot pegs for coasting (like highway pegs on a motorbike)
Beat me to it.
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Old 01-15-11, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
pretty cool! I believe the 'hangars' on the fork are foot pegs for coasting (like highway pegs on a motorbike)
which is interesting since the bike was a fixed gear. I guess maybe you used them for downhills that were too fast to keep your feet on the pedals? But then you better wait until you've slowed down a good bit to try to put your feet back on.
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Old 01-15-11, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
which is interesting since the bike was a fixed gear. I guess maybe you used them for downhills that were too fast to keep your feet on the pedals? But then you better wait until you've slowed down a good bit to try to put your feet back on.
I got that idea when I was reading The Lost Cyclist. although they were talking about coasting down the Alleghany Mtns. on highwheelers too
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Old 01-15-11, 09:49 PM
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Wrap a sheet of paper around the head badge and rub a crayon that you pealed the paper off the side over it. Might get a more legible image off it.
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Old 01-15-11, 09:57 PM
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This is the oldest bike I think I've ever seen. I love the handle bars, and the seatpost is interesting. I'm guessing that they didn't have as many frame sizes then. Possible only one. This bike should be in a museum.
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Old 01-15-11, 10:44 PM
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The condition of this bike surprises me if it was indeed built in 1895, I've seen worse from 1995
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Old 01-15-11, 11:00 PM
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What's interesting is how familiar most of the major features of the frame are for a 100 year old bike. Turning the head badge right side up would make it easier to read.
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Old 01-15-11, 11:04 PM
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Freakin sweet.
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Old 01-15-11, 11:42 PM
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congrats on the bike . i missed getting the bike by about 15 minutes or so said the old boy at the door, it was on craigslist and def worth the money. prob around late 1800s and yes the pegs on the fork were for your feet when coasting
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Old 01-15-11, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kccomet View Post
congrats on the bike . i missed getting the bike by about 15 minutes or so said the old boy at the door, it was on craigslist and def worth the money. prob around late 1800s and yes the pegs on the fork were for your feet when coasting
Not my score... But it sure would have been had I known about! I'm just helping with the research.
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Old 01-15-11, 11:48 PM
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For some reason I'm having that "raindrop are falling on my head" song from that Butch Cassidy movie bouncing around in my head.
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Old 01-16-11, 02:04 PM
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If you flip the photo you can make out Brewster Manufacturing Holly, Michigan. Holly is a small town between Flint and Detroit. Google didn't shed any light except for 1895-1896. You might followup on Holly's history. Maybe something will turn up there.

Here's a link to another one that was sold in 2009. Nice pictures of a more complete bike.

https://copakeauction.auctionflex.com...enum=1&lang=En

Walt

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Old 01-16-11, 02:25 PM
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I've seen many bikes from this time period and they seem to be basically the same setup. Sweet sweet bikes! Looks alot like my tandem frame!? Hmmmmm......



not the corre t crank















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Old 01-16-11, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MPC Biker View Post
The condition of this bike surprises me if it was indeed built in 1895, I've seen worse from 1995
Not really, like I mentioned above, I've seen many bikes from this time period in much better condition, just depends on how much they were loved. ;0).
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Old 01-16-11, 02:45 PM
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I'd love to see the pictures of the headset when it was eventually taken apart. I want to see how the races were constructed compared to more modern bikes.
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Old 01-16-11, 07:26 PM
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Cool bike, I have three dated before 1910. It's tough to find pedals and cranks for these machines. This bike has a gents Troxel which is a very desirable saddle that looks to be in good shape. Most of the headsets of this era are not "angular contact" like modern bearings. They are closer to thrust bearings than AC bearings in design (cup/cup rather than cup/cone). The better frames of the ere had weights comparable to bikes 100 years newer. They really are amazing machines.

IMG_3632 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

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Old 01-16-11, 11:21 PM
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The bike according to Antique Bicycle, Donald Adams: is a Brewseter made by, as the head badge reads, Brewster Mfg. They procuced only one modle for one year 1896. Those are coasting pegs as mentioned earlier. The saddle, handlebars and chain are wonderful examples in fairly good shape, the seat post is typical of the period as is the frame and fork. The Bike is from the 1st American Bike Boom 1895-1900. Great find and will make a fun winter project. Hope you friend enjoys his project!
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Old 01-16-11, 11:41 PM
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I would have guessed that those fork pegs were 'buddy pegs' for riding a passenger on the bars since the teeth are facing upwards. I had an old prewar bike as a kid that I delivered news papers with on which someone drilled two holes in the forged forks and installed two long bolts through two old black rubber pedal bocks bolted right through each fork blade, an old timer told me back then it was so a buddy could ride up front.
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Old 01-17-11, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ilikebikes View Post
I've seen many bikes from this time period and they seem to be basically the same setup. Sweet sweet bikes! Looks alot like my tandem frame!? Hmmmmm......




Thats very cool. I hope you have the fork.

I was just reading about those style tandems yesterday.

Thats a "Courting tandem" The "lady" would ride in the front where she could enjoy the view (and could be shown off in all her finery). The gentlemen of course couldn't trust the woman to chart his way so the gentleman could steer from the stoker position. Just repeating what I read so don't shoot the messenger.
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Old 01-17-11, 08:42 PM
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Looks like it's hanging in a bat cave....Why am I not surprised by that?
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Old 01-17-11, 09:50 PM
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I saw that bike posted on KC craigslist. I am always missing the good deals on craigslist.
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Old 01-19-11, 07:48 PM
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looks like your friend is a flipper eh?

https://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Bike-S-W...item20b69cea5e
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