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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Los Angeles


    EDIT: I found Phil's interpretation of Bill Smith's research:

    Quote Originally Posted by RMS37 View Post
    Iver Johnson production dates by serial number

    Based solely on data collected from Bill Smith’s posts on the Wheelmen webpage I have constructed a timeline for Iver Johnson serial numbers. Among the postings on that site, Mr. Smith identified the year of manufacture for several Iver Johnson bicycles based on their serial numbers. I have used those posted serial numbers/dates to infer the serial number breaks at 100,000 unit intervals. Please understand that this is an approximation of where those breaks might occur and use this information as it was intended, that is to give a very basic model to help attribute an Iver to roughly the decade it was built in and not to date any bike to the actual year of construction. If you desire to date a bike more closely, Mr Smith has provided contact information on the Wheelmen site and seems to be very helpful with regard to dating individual bikes based on his collected data. I’m sure additional information he might receive from our inquiries will also help add to his model and its accuracy.

    Mr. Smith relates the early history of the Iver Johnson company and gives 1890 as the year for the beginning of bicycle production. From that point through 1896, Iver Johnson constructed bicycles for the Lovell Diamond company. In 1896, the Iver Johnson company first began building bicycles under their own name and in 1900 the absorbed the remains of the Lovell Diamond company and began branding their production under both names.

    It appears that the serial numbers were stamped and recorded in a simple numeric progression over the years, assumedly beginning with 1 and ending at around 610,000 in 1941 or early 1942. It is not clear if “Old No. 1” should be attributed to 1890 or 1896 but enough data is published on the Wheelman site to make the following generalizations.

    The 100,000th bicycle was probably laid down just after the turn of the century. The bicycle market was very volatile in the first few years of the twentieth century so simply apportioning production between two serial numbers gives 1904 as the 100,000 break but in reality production during this time period as during any other could vary from year to year by a substantial amount due to general economic conditions or decisions made at the factory. Considering the data points available from this time period I would think the accuracy on this break is about plus or minus two years.

    The 200,000th bicycle, again determined by apportioning production evenly over a five-year gap, would have been produced during 1912.

    The 300,000th bicycle would have been produced in 1916 or 1917; Bill’s data links the serial number 292617 to 1916

    The 400,000th bicycle produced should fall between 1923 and 1924. This is the largest gap in numbers and the date was arrived at by simply dividing the period between my placement of 300,000 and 500,000 in two.

    The 500,000th bicycle was likely made during 1930 or 1931 as Bill has listed 505785 and 505,768 as being part of the production for 1931.

    I used 610,000 at the end of the line for production considering several bits of information. That would place the 600,000th bike near the beginning of 1941.

    My main interest has become bicycle manufacturers and production during the prewar Balloon era. To that end, and again by simple division of estimated Iver Johnson production over the period of 1930 through early 1942, The earliest Balloon tired Iver Johnsons should clock in around 530,000 and the annual production between 1933 and the end of Iver Johnson production would be around 9,000 to 10,000 unit per year if the bikes were produced at an even rate during that time.

    That sprocket looks exactly like the one on every iver ive owned.. so far about 4...

    I have a truss bar that look almost identical to that..

    My iver is 283460 - im guessing 1914 or 1915
    Last edited by lobsterboyx; 05-14-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New England


    Huh. I guess I'm used to the early ones

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Denver, CO

    Default Update from Mr. Bill Smith - the mystery continues

    So, Mr. Bill Smith was kind enough to answer my email about the serial number and trying to pinpoint a date of manufacture. He said look again, there has to be another digit in the serial number, so I took this photo and sent it back. He also said the model of my bike didn't arrive until 1915. I sent a photo & pointed out how the truss bar, specifically the right side seems nearly straight or parallel with the upper bar (to the right side of the welded bar the joins the two in the middle). Most Ivers I've seen photos of have this bar arcing downward more severely. I'll let you know what he says.

    PS, I do realize this must be way more interesting to me than anyone else, but thought I'd update just in case. Oh, I added some NOS Persons pedals & cork grips (they look new and out of place now, but they will be black from greasy fingers soon enough). Probably have 20 miles on it since last Sunday. Need to rebuild bottom bracket before I do much more. Any tips?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IJ.jpg   IJ serialnumber.jpg   IJ4.jpg  
    Last edited by tailhole; 05-18-2012 at 11:15 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default saneens

    Hi we have some Antique bicycles as well.

    antiques silver items
    Last edited by saneens; 05-19-2012 at 12:34 AM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Wrentham, MA


    "...I do realize this must be way more interesting to me than anyone else..."

    Actually, this is one of the things I find most interesting about this hobby - delving into the mysteries of the early, and especially the defunct manufacturers. Please do keep us informed with your ongoning research into this cool bike.


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Denver, CO

    Default This is what Bill Smith said.... still a mystery.

    Hi Scott

    The number you gave me is for a 1892 Lovell Diamond bicycle. This frame style came out in 1915 as a Truss Bridge Roadster and was made till the end in 1941. In 1913 / 14 they relocated the serial numbers to the seat post tube. Your crank type is from 1914 - 1914. I'm lost???


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