TOC Fairy Velocipede Help

Discussion in 'Tricycles, Kid's Bicycles and Riding Toys' started by 47jchiggins, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. #1 Posted Jan 9, 2017
    47jchiggins

    47jchiggins Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    I am looking for some information on this early Velocipede, year, value etc. any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Sorry for the bad pics, it's all I got.
    Todd

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  2. #2 Posted Jan 9, 2017
    ridingtoy

    ridingtoy I live for the CABE

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    I see this is a Worthington Fairy. I believe Colson either merged with, or bought out Worthington, but I'm not sure what year or what took place at the corporate level. There was some info on the tricyclefetish site about it, however that site seems to be down now. I'll throw a guess out there as to age. I'm thinking mid/late teens and purely by the tire style used. As these get older the tires tended to be smaller until you get to the steel wheel models of the later 1800s. I know Colson had taken over Worthington by the 1920s, so late teens would still be badged Worthington. Maybe some Colson experts on the CABE know when the company name for the Fairy models would have changed, so as to narrow the year down a bit more accurately.

    As for value, I've seen these sell from anywhere between $300/400 to over $1000, depending on original condition. These trikes were designed for girls, so that they didn't have to straddle a bar which was considered an un-ladylike riding position at the time, even for girls of the age these were made for.

    Dave
     
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  3. #3 Posted Jan 10, 2017
    Rambler

    Rambler Finally riding a big boys bike

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    "ridingtoy" is correct. Most of these riding toys such as the Fairy Trikes produced by Colson and others are from the 1920's - 30's though many people often incorrectly date them 1890's.

    The one you posted photos of is in pretty good condition, better than most I see for not being restored. As "ridingtoy" said, probably $300-$400 would be where I would place the value due to the reasonably good original paint, striping and plating. It may sell for a bit more to the right person but $300-$400 is more or less the going rate for most of these unless they have some rare or desirable feature. Yes I too have seen them priced at $1000+ but you won't likely have much luck selling this one for that price.


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  4. #4 Posted Jan 11, 2017 at 1:09 PM
    ridingtoy

    ridingtoy I live for the CABE

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    Rambler, would you happen to know approx. what year that ad is from on your post? Trying to figure out what year Colson took over the Worthington line of children's vehicles.

    Dave
     
  5. #5 Posted Jan 11, 2017 at 2:49 PM
    Rambler

    Rambler Finally riding a big boys bike

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    Dave,
    The only information I have from the book "Colson Bicycles" by "John L. Polizzi" from which that image came is "Children's vehicles from 1928 to 1932. So I would believe based on that identifying information, the Colson Fairy image that I posted must be from that time period. The book contains 11 pages of Colson riding toys reprinted from what I assume to be a catalog from that time period.
     
  6. #6 Posted Jan 12, 2017 at 12:31 AM
    Wing Your Heel

    Wing Your Heel Wore out three sets of tires already!

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    Dave, here is the answer to your question from my research a few years ago:
    Garford bought Fay’s business in 1891, absorbing it into his own company. Fay’s products were still made, but Garford also adapted his saddle design to suit the new safety bicycle and, by the late 1890s, the company was making over a million seats a year. His padded leather saddle helped to popularise the bicycle as much as pneumatic tyres. The company was sold again, in 1897, this time changing its name to the Worthington Mfg Co, with George C Worthington as president. Vice President was Fred Colson. Worthington left the company in 1903 and Colson took over.
    In 1917, Colson persuaded stockholders to merge the Worthington Company and another division of the Fay company to form the Colson Company. As president, Colson created a line of children’s bicycles, scooters and tricycles which were sold to hardware and department stores such as Sears Roebuck & Co under the ‘Fairy’ name. By the 1920s, Colson also operated a chain of stores in 17 American cities.

    http://www.oldbike.eu/museum/childrens/1910s-rh-macys-triumph-tricycle/
     
  7. #7 Posted Jan 12, 2017 at 12:22 PM
    ridingtoy

    ridingtoy I live for the CABE

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    Thank you very much for the Colson history information, WYH! So, the mid/late teens sounds like the latest years these would still be badged "Worthington". I had forgotten about Fay figuring into the corporate changes around the turn of the century.

    Dave