Gormully & Jeffery was an American bicycle company, founded in Chicago by Thomas B. Jeffery and R. Phillip Gormully in 1878. It was at one time the second largest bicycle manufacturer in the US, and was sold to the American Bicycle Company in 1900.
The Rambler is an American bicycle brand manufactured by the Gormully & Jeffery Mfg. Co., in Chicago from 1878 to 1900. This bicycle brand was created by Thomas B. Jeffery and was the predecessor to Jeffery's Rambler automobile.
In 1897 Jeffery built his first automobile, it was a simple single cylinder car with bicycle wheels. It was a forerunner of the 1901 Rambler Model A.
In 1900 Thomas B. Jeffery sold his successful bicycle company to focus on Rambler automobiles after the exhibition of a $900 Runabout at auto shows got favorable responses.
The Rambler was still a proud piece of machinery when low prices took precedence over high quality. Its body featured flared metal tubing for extra strength at the joints, which were brazed by immersion in molten brass. These techniques continued even after Gormully & Jeffery (G&J) and Rambler became names of the American Bicycle Company, or Bicycle Trust, which was not known for the best manufacturing techniques in all of its lines.
Thomas B. Jeffery was an inventor and bicycle manufacturer with his partner, R. Philip Gormully, who built and sold Rambler bicycles through his company, Gormully & Jeffery Mfg. Co., in Chicago from 1878 to 1900. The Rambler was still a proud piece of machinery when low prices took precedence over high quality. Its body featured flared metal tubing for extra strength at the joints, which were brazed by immersion in molten brass. These techniques continued even after Gormully & Jeffery (G&J) and Rambler became names of the American Bicycle Company, or Bicycle Trust, which was not known for the best manufacturing techniques in all of its lines. By 1900, Gormully & Jeffery was the country's second-largest bicycle maker and Jeffery had gained fame for developing, among other things, the clincher rim that enabled pneumatic tires to be used.
Invention of Clincher Rim
Dunlop's pneumatic tires for bikes were pretty much like the garden hoses they started out as. They were tubular in shape, and were secured to the bike rims by glue, and air pressure pressing them against the rim. The rims were wooden, and had a concave surface for receiving the tube. These tires sometimes came off the rims, and a more secure type of tire was needed. Thomas B. Jeffery came up with an improved tire that was held on by a wire that was embedded in the rubber of the tire, and the wire could be tightened onto the rim. He got a patent on the ancestor of all clincher tires in 1882.
1845 - Thomas Jeffery is born in Devon, England.
1863 - Jeffery emigrates to the US and moves to Chicago, Illinois.
1878 - Jeffery partners with Phillip Gormally and starts the Gormally & Jeffery Bicycling Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Illinois.
1882 - Jeffery invents the "Clincher Tire".
1897 - Jeffery's builds a rear-engine Rambler prototype using the Rambler name previously used on a highly successful line of bicycles made by G&J.
1899 - Positive reviews at the 1899 Chicago International Exhibition & Tournament and the first National Automobile Show in New York prompt the Jefferys to enter the automobile business.
1900 - Jeffery sells his stake in G&J to the American Bicycle Company.
1900 (Dec 6) - Thomas B. Jeffery finalizes a $65,000 deal to buy the Kenosha, factory of the defunct Sterling Bicycle Co. with money from the sale of his interest in the G&J.
1901 - Two more prototypes, Models A and B, are made.
1902 - First production Ramblers - the $750 Model C open runabout and the $850 Model D (the same car with a folding top). Both are powered by an 8-hp, 98cu. in., 1-cyl. engine mounted beneath the seat, and both are steered by a pioneering right-side tiller (a new concept at the time). First-year production totals 1,500 units making Jeffery the second-largest car maker behind Oldsmobile.
1910 (Mar 21) - Thomas B. Jeffery dies while on vacation in Pompeii, Italy.
1910 (Jun 10) - Charles T. Jeffery incorporates the family's car business as a $3 million public stock company.
1914 - Charles T. Jeffery replaces the Rambler name with the Jeffery moniker in honor of Thomas B. Jeffery.
1915 - Charles T. Jeffery survives the sinking of the RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast