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akikuro
05-22-2008, 12:14 PM
Does anyone know where I can research Hawthorne serial numbers?
I believe i have a prewar bike but I can be sure.

tks

RMS37
05-22-2008, 02:04 PM
Hawthornes were supplied to Montgomery Ward by various manufacturers. Early prewar balloon bikes seem to have serial numbers not specifically coded to M-W. Later prewar models have serial numbers which may cross manufacturer?s lines and relate to codes specific to M-W. Either way I don?t believe any lists of serial numbers for M-W are readily available. If you post a picture of the bike with detail shots of the frame (The crank hanger from above and below, rear drop outs and the upper rear fender bridge are useful) the model and year can probably be deduced.

akikuro
05-23-2008, 12:01 AM
Here are some pics of the bike...any help is always appreciated.

akikuro
05-23-2008, 01:01 AM
a few more pics of the crank

RMS37
05-23-2008, 11:41 AM
Hi, Thanks for posting the photos.

Your Hawthorne is definitely prewar and is one of the models made for Montgomery Ward by Cleveland Welding. That frame style typically dates to 1938-1939 but I think yours is later.

Hawthorne used three different chain rings on their full size prewar balloon models, the ?snowflake? the ?speed-comet? and the ?torque-star? (my names). The torque-star chain ring didn?t appear until 1940 so if it is original to your bike that would date it to 1940-1942.

As for serial numbers you have plenty to choose from. I believe the ?H? number is the CWC serial number. It is hard to read, my interpretation being H06958. I have a girl?s CWC Western Flyer in my collection that is H88113. It is a 1941-1942 model.

From the above evidence I would call your bike a 1941 and guess it was probably made between late 1940 and the end of prewar production sometime in very early 1942. If my assumptions are right, your bike would prove that this style frame remained in production longer than any previous evidence I have seen would suggest.

The other numbers could be several things. One possibility is the LPD number refers to a police department. Sometimes stolen or abandoned bikes were re-numbered by police departments before being sold at auction. Some of the other over-stamps may have to do with Montgomery Ward numbering for their record keeping.

As I noted in my first post, earlier CWC numbers seem to follow a more straight-forward pattern than later prewar numbers. If more people will post crank hanger/serial number photos, comparisons will lead to more general knowledge on the subject.

Your bike looks to be generally original with an accessory rack. I can?t tell from the photo if the broad box pinstripe around the badge is original or an addition. I have not seen this on a Hawthorne but I have a base model CWC Western Flyer that has a similar stripe. In that case it was a less expensive paint treatment than head darts.

Thanks again for the photos

Phil

AntonyR
05-23-2008, 12:55 PM
I actually think it is earlier than '41-42. The straight down tube and twin curving top bars are all indications of an earlier frame, most likely '39, 1940 at the latest. That brake arm is the clincher. That is definitely '30s. My '41 Roadmaster is original, with the ND hub having the '40-42 ND script, but with the later straight-edged form, unlike the chrome one with the bulb end like the one pictured. And of course with the exception of the larger letter/number combo punched into the hanger, the other stuff was added later by who knows who.

But of course, all of this is based on personal experience with similar frames, and since bikes back then were built using current as well as left over parts from previous years, The exact year will remain unknown... :rolleyes:

37fleetwood
05-23-2008, 01:16 PM
why don't you guys do like I did and start a CWC serial number list in the retoration tips section here. my Huffman list has been helpful several times since it was started.
Scott:cool:

RMS37
05-23-2008, 02:04 PM
Hi Anthony, you bring up some good points and underline some of mine. The change to N-D hub brake arms wasn?t part of my knowledge so I didn?t pick up on that. The chain ring on the bike doesn?t appear on Hawthornes until the spring-summer 1940 catalog.

The issue with dating a bike by anything other than the frame is that these parts may have been changed at any time. If the changes were made early on, the overall patina doesn?t prove or disprove originality. The bike may be sporting an earlier wheel set or a later chainring.

I agree that the frame in question typically can be dated to 1938-1939. It doesn?t appear after 1939 in Roadmaster consumer catalogs. The frames of this type I have encountered have all had Dxxxx serial numbers which I associate with 1938. I have a 39-40 style 5-Bar Zep and a 1940 style girl?s Supreme with Exxxx serial numbers.

As I have posted before, the earliest CWC frames I have found have Zxxxx serial numbers, followed by Axxxx serial numbers. The A, B, C, and D, and E serial numbers seem by model to fall into a straight forward pattern of alpha-numeric sequencing that would have started in 1935-36 and continued through 1939-40

I have found later prewar frames with F, G, H, and K serial numbers, some of which have additional stampings that seem to point to special stamping for some Hawthorne and Western Flyer production. I associate these numbers with 1940-1942 production.

The one standout oddball is an All American frame with a serial number A 15251 and an additional stamping (which appears to be factory) of a symbol followed by 138. In addition this bike is a Western Flyer not a Hawthorne.

I haven?t collected postwar CWC numbers, I believe some postwar numbers duplicate prewar numbers but, other than the earliest postwar production, those bikes are obviously later.

Anyway, my main reason for dating Akikuro?s bike as late as I did was on the basis of the H serial number. While 1941 was the introduction year for the CWC curved down tube, I believe straight down tube models may have continued in production as the basis for low spec. models offered to distributors.

Again, Anthony, thanks for your post; I have noted from your posts that you have a good eye for catching detail, (often ones that I have missed)

This is a lot about serial numbers. I have studied CWC and serial numbers for some time. Still this is only based on what I have seen and then conclusions the information has led me to. As more people post, my conclusions may be reinforced or prove incorrect.

Phil

old hotrod
05-23-2008, 10:16 PM
And just to further mix the CWC pot, you can include mine with the X serial number...:D

AntonyR
05-28-2008, 12:32 PM
Hi Anthony, you bring up some good points and underline some of mine. The change to N-D hub brake arms wasn?t part of my knowledge so I didn?t pick up on that. The chain ring on the bike doesn?t appear on Hawthornes until the spring-summer 1940 catalog.

The issue with dating a bike by anything other than the frame is that these parts may have been changed at any time. If the changes were made early on, the overall patina doesn?t prove or disprove originality. The bike may be sporting an earlier wheel set or a later chainring.

I agree that the frame in question typically can be dated to 1938-1939. It doesn?t appear after 1939 in Roadmaster consumer catalogs. The frames of this type I have encountered have all had Dxxxx serial numbers which I associate with 1938. I have a 39-40 style 5-Bar Zep and a 1940 style girl?s Supreme with Exxxx serial numbers.

As I have posted before, the earliest CWC frames I have found have Zxxxx serial numbers, followed by Axxxx serial numbers. The A, B, C, and D, and E serial numbers seem by model to fall into a straight forward pattern of alpha-numeric sequencing that would have started in 1935-36 and continued through 1939-40

I have found later prewar frames with F, G, H, and K serial numbers, some of which have additional stampings that seem to point to special stamping for some Hawthorne and Western Flyer production. I associate these numbers with 1940-1942 production.

The one standout oddball is an All American frame with a serial number A 15251 and an additional stamping (which appears to be factory) of a symbol followed by 138. In addition this bike is a Western Flyer not a Hawthorne.

I haven?t collected postwar CWC numbers, I believe some postwar numbers duplicate prewar numbers but, other than the earliest postwar production, those bikes are obviously later.

Anyway, my main reason for dating Akikuro?s bike as late as I did was on the basis of the H serial number. While 1941 was the introduction year for the CWC curved down tube, I believe straight down tube models may have continued in production as the basis for low spec. models offered to distributors.

Again, Anthony, thanks for your post; I have noted from your posts that you have a good eye for catching detail, (often ones that I have missed)

This is a lot about serial numbers. I have studied CWC and serial numbers for some time. Still this is only based on what I have seen and then conclusions the information has led me to. As more people post, my conclusions may be reinforced or prove incorrect.

Phil

I don't know where my frames fit into that yet. I have a K series S/N Roadmaster frame that is by all accounts an earlier frame than my E series numbered WF frame, both with curved down-tubes. Actually the only difference between the two bare frames are drop stand ears on the Roadmaster. Besides that the frames are identical. The WF had wooden blocked Torrington pedals, the Roadmaster had a horn tank and a drop stand. From what I can tell, it seems that the frames should only be a year or so apart, with the non eared frame being the later one, but as the CWC date table gets more entries, I suppose we'll either prove or dis-prove this.

ejlwheels
05-29-2008, 01:23 PM
I agree that someone should start a CWC serial# database here.
I am not a CWC person, otherwise I would volunteer to maintain it.

I have a CWC Cycle Truck with serial # D26917.

There is also one on Nostalgic.net with serial # D24645.
http://www.nostalgic.net/bicycle585.htm

I think CWC Cycle Trucks were only made/sold in 1939.
That is consistent with Fxxxxx numbers appearing in about 1940.