ca. 1915 Great Western built Mead 'Pathfinder' Motorbike

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SKPC

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jesses' Great Western made motorbike (omg!) matches none of the advertising images nor would you expect it to. Nor does the advertising shown mention the actual makers. This era of jobbers, suppliers and actual manufacturers of frames/forks and parts was apparently changing constantly, so GWM, Emblem, Mead, Columbia, Westfield, Davis & others manufacturing the frames and forgings/castings & stampings seem to have been involved in some way. True it is that so much information is missing. Would love to see mention of makers in the old ads..
 
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SKPC

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Late teens the war was on and again, it has been mentioned before that many different makers supplied frames, forks, wheels and other key parts then pieced together by the Retailers like Mead. We know not much was standardized. Ads were missing many details and not always accurate. Jessies' bike has the characteristic Great Western frame/fork & 1/2" pitch Fauber ring and crankset that looks early Mead "style"
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This GW bike is Very different from the maker of the Mead Pathfinder below with Davis, GW, Emblem and/or Consolodated features.
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Wonder about the different manufacturers of Mead bicycles, and the dates of each.
I believe that GWM had a patent on a stamped seat post from 1916.

The pathfinder of the catalog looks to have an Emblem chain ring sprocket; Sears Elgin like, (but not)
Yes AS, the Sprocket Compilation https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/sprocket-compilation-pic-heavy.41683/page-20
mentions the Elgin-looking(but not Elgin) ring seen on the 1919 pathfinder on pg.1., post #8 here. It came on a Shelby Frame Builders 23-25 bike with an incorrect crank..(unfortunately) Perhaps Emblem/Miami related and often mentioned elsewhere.
 
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whisper2scream

Look Ma, No Hands!
Ca. 1915+/- Great Western built Mead badged “Pathfinder”
An excellent survivor machine highly reminiscent of it’s motorcycle counterpart in the catalog.
I haven't found a 15' catalog that shows the Pathfinder but by 20' when the Pathfinder shows up in a few catalogs it has adopted many later traits. I would love to see any images you fine sleuths dig up!
The closest I've found is the attached 1915 advert for another GW built Mead, the Ranger Superbe Motorcycle Model, but there are a couple discrepancies between mine and this model.

Original matched rims sport the same sexy maroon & black with gold bar outlined paint as the fenders. The maroon and flowing black pin stripes are strong throughout the frame but like a well-aged burgundy, difficult to show but intoxicating in person.

I’m not generally a fender man given I’m working primarily with racing machines of the 1890’s but these fenders speak to me.
Dual factory braces that run well outside the wheel well of the fender all intact.

The tiller bar stance, those motorcycle style pedals and longspring with the welded truss rod forks combined with the fenders really drives this one home for me as a proper "motorbike" from the period.

As a Great Western built machine it’s no surprise to find a fine half inch pitch Fauber crank hanger, at this point I love to see an early machine with original 1/2” pitch drive.
Sadly the badge is basically electro printed on brass and has not held up well enough to photograph well either but you will just have to visit the shop to appreciate it.

Gear rundown:
-Troxel “Tip Top” long spring saddle with tool kit
-Standard Co. pedals
-Atherton coaster brake hub
-Bull dog grips
-Goodyear Blue Streak tires

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Gorgeous bike. Absolutely splendid. Can you say more about the 1/2" pitch Fauber crank hanger? I've recently acquired a Mean Ranger that appears to be Great Western built and it has a Fauber crank. Just trying to land on a birthdate for the bike. Others have suggested '15-'17.

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