Ca. 1896 Schwinn "The World" Men's

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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
In 1897 Schwinn was building bikes for Sears and others using different chain rings.
This certainly opens up the possibility that there are yet more of these than might be thought lurking in collections out there. Just curious Brant about serial number breakdown by months? Do you have years as well? I’m pretty sure my bike is a very late ‘98. V/r Shawn
 

Jesse McCauley

McCauley Cycle Works
you have to please tell me the secret of removing a cork handle from the handlebars without destroying it!
again, a very nice project
geeez, you find them all
MAx
Certainly an ongoing experiment - in this case I boiled water submerged the grip I wanted to try and remove.
Regularly removing, drying, gripping, and doing my best shift it ever so slightly without crushing it.
Dip, dry, repeat.

It didn't come off perfectly but ultimately it looks good.

I will also admit that I keep all my cork grip remnants and have often shaved pieces of cork down to deal with grip damage caused from removal or just life.
 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Looks to me like these "Stolen" ads would possibly be a good way to get an idea of the serial number ranges. According to what we've seen so far thanks to @Blue Streak. I say possibly because unless they identify the year of the bike it wouldn't be definitive. Based on what's been posted we know there were more than 5000 made in '96. One could assume they may have made more per year in '97 and '98 but I think there was a bike 'bust' in '99 which likely put a damper on production. Does anyone have yearly production data from the early years? V/r Shawn
 

Blue Streak

Finally riding a big boys bike
Can you tell me the date of this article? Thanks, Shawn
Article is from December 19, 1895 issue of The Bearings:

1339230

 

Blue Streak

Finally riding a big boys bike
Shawn - I have found using period stolen references to begin piecing together rough production numbers a good place to start. I have been able to build a pretty accurate list of Tribune serial numbers and yearly production using this method. Most stolen references do not list a model year but the ones that do help lock in serial numbers that do not list the year. I also try to narrow down years by the date they are stolen or missing meaning one stolen in early to mid year 1896 would not be 1897 or later model. Comparing this type of information with actual existing bicycles will help validate the production volume and model year. I found references for Schwinn product volume for 1897 and 1898. Will post those soon. I think 1897 production was projected to be 15,000 bicycles. Jeff

Here are two more Schwinn references:

From June 30, 1897 issue of the Nevada State Journal (Reno)
1339232


From September 25, 1897 issue of the Omaha Daily Bee
1339233

 

Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Shawn - I have found using period stolen references to begin piecing together rough production numbers a good place to start. I have been able to build a pretty accurate list of Tribune serial numbers and yearly production using this method. Most stolen references do not list a model year but the ones that do help lock in serial numbers that do not list the year. I also try to narrow down years by the date they are stolen or missing meaning one stolen in early to mid year 1896 would not be 1897 or later model. Comparing this type of information with actual existing bicycles will help validate the production volume and model year. I found references for Schwinn product volume for 1897 and 1898. Will post those soon. I think 1897 production was projected to be 15,000 bicycles. Jeff

Here are two more Schwinn references:

From June 30, 1897 issue of the Nevada State Journal (Reno)
View attachment 1339232

From September 25, 1897 issue of the Omaha Daily Bee
View attachment 1339233
Thanks Jeff! I believe the '97 number (15000) to be a bit optimistic given that the serial number on my '98 is 13678. I believe my bike to be a late '98 based on several factors. Considering there were more than 5000 made in '96 that would put the number at 20k + by the end of '97 which would mean the number on my bike would obviously be much higher. I look forward to what you come up with here and maybe with a little more sleuthing we can start piecing together the pre-1900 numbers. V/r Shawn
 

New Mexico Brant

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Just curious Brant about serial number breakdown by months? Do you have years as well?
I am not sure if a breakdown exists by months or years, this is a question that should be asked of: Judith Crown or Glenn Coleman, authors of No Hands.
What is known:
-Schwinn's hiring E.C. Bode was a major coup for the firm. Bode was the sales arm of the fledging company and secured a significant number of pre-orders during October/November of 1895. On individual trips, it was reported orders in excess of 1,000 and 1,450 units were secured. Likely these number were exaggerated but regardless Schwinn needed to get wheels out the door.
-It was Schwinn's initial intention to start shipping product late October. Delays in setting up the manufacturing plant prevented this from occurring.
-Based on first hand accounts from bicycle industry trade publication writers who visited the Schwinn plant in person, the company was ready to build bicycles by the third or fourth week in November. Completed wheels were slated to start shipping in December of 1895.
-The first quarter of 1896 was extremely busy for Schwinn to fulfill the orders Bode secured in the fall of 1895. It was reported on Saturday night, April 18th, 1896 that Schwinn had a special "Dutch Lunch" meal for its employees in celebration of the 3,000th bicycle being produced in a "specified time."

Jeff's research of the theft reports is extremely valuable information, especially when serial numbers and model years are mentioned.
 
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