Does anyone here know how to tell a real Major Taylor stem from a non MT?


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bricycle

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 18, 2009
20,956
5,440
Chicago area west
#1
Does the Ankh symbol have anything to do with it? always wanted to know this as I have had several. Thanks.
 
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bike

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 26, 2007
4,980
1,318
Bicycleland
#2
You have to have provenance it came from one of his bikes........
no really I dont think there was a brand or design that was ALWAYS Major Taylor but I welcome challenge
at least look at pix! They are avail from members and the magical Google...........
I Would like to know the answer as well-- thanks Bri
=pg
 

locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 15, 2011
2,247
1,278
Quebec, Canada
#3
Does the Ankh symbol have anything to do with it? always wanted to know this as I have had several. Thanks.
that is a very good question, I always wonder the same as well
I think the actual MT stem is round, not diamond shape.

looking forward to reading the replies
 
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mongeese

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 20, 2014
2,049
1,512
Kenosha, United States
#4
They were tools to measure for a solid stem and somehow just made it to the race tracks due to finances.
 
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anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
893
944
44
Southern California, USA
#6
It’s true that MT raced with the round top tube for mot of his career. I read that later he collaborated with the Accles & Pollock Tubing Co. to create the angular “no slip” top tube.
 

anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
893
944
44
Southern California, USA
#12
It’s true that MT raced with the round top tube for mot of his career. I read that later he collaborated with the Accles & Pollock Tubing Co. to create the angular “no slip” top tube.
With this being the case, “the actual “ MT stem is the diomand shape tube by his design. Even though we always see the earlier pics with the round tube. With the diomand shape coming later in his career I imagine their are very few pics of him using it. I would love to see one...
 
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anders1

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 18, 2018
893
944
44
Southern California, USA
#13
With this being the case, “the actual “ MT stem is the diomand shape tube by his design. Even though we always see the earlier pics with the round tube. With the diomand shape coming later in his career I imagine their are very few pics of him using it. I would love to see one...
The above information was shared with me so I don’t know if it is factual information or not?
 
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shoe3

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2011
1,093
877
Springfield, United States
#19
Does the Ankh symbol have anything to do with it? always wanted to know this as I have had several. Thanks.
From my understanding the first Major Taylor stem was mfg. by Worksman Cycle in NY. I believe later at some point Taylor may have lost pat. rights or was beat out of any profit from the stem.
 
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fordsnake

I live for the CABE
May 12, 2010
1,842
628
#20
Has anyone ever seen a photograph of Major Taylor with an extension stem other than the popular circular tube stem?
Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 1.58.45 PM.png


Taylor's autobiography (which reads like a personal journal) it’s a good account of the milestones in his life. Unless I missed something when reading it, there's no reference or mentioning of producing or endorsing a "stem". However, he openly admits to adopting and pioneering an existing one.
Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 8.14.10 AM.png


The circular tube extension stem seen in many of the photographs of Major Taylor was designed and made by Bradshaw Jack, an English bike maker in 1900. It’s possible Taylor was introduced to the stem while racing in Europe?
Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 7.10.04 PM.png


The no-slip Accles & Pollock (squared tube) stem, often called the Major Taylor stem is also British made. The company founded in 1896, originally produced steel tubing for bicycle frames. It’s possible the Englishman Bradshaw Jack sold his design and patent to A&P for production and later incorporated the no-slip diamond tubing as a "new" feature and ostensibly credited Major Taylor? (this is pure speculation on my part).
Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.31.42 PM.png

This is the stamped Ankh on the bottom of my stem, I was told it's an A&P stamping, but I've never found the registered symbol.
Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.42.53 PM.png

The chances of Taylor being involved with creating, restyling, or modifying the stem is highly unlikely…why? Because of his manager Louis “Birdie” Munger, the man who plucked him out of a tempestuous world of racism and made him a champion!

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 12.19.44 PM.png

Munger (an ex-cycling champion) helicoptered over Taylor's career; he was so intertwined that Taylor wouldn't make a move without Munger's advice or counsel. This is germane, because if Taylor had pursued a novel bicycle "stem" rest assured Munger would have contracts drawn for Taylor to be handsomely compensated for his involvement! (Taylor did his share of product endorsements).The two were a formidable team and they benefited lucratively over the years. Plus, Munger would have promoted the hell out of Taylor’s endorsement in the newspapers and trade pubs!
Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 10.52.58 PM.png



Louis “Birdie” Munger wasn’t just a trainer, coach and manager, he was a self-made businessman. When he wasn’t training Taylor, he was occupied with the operations and the production of some reputable wheels manufactured by his companies.
Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 8.30.53 AM.png




Additionally, Birdie was an inventor with several US patents under his belt! He knew how to navigate the US patent operations; securing, protecting and selling ideas...after all Munger’s father worked for the US patent office and exposed Birdie to the world of inventions!

If you thought applying for a US patent was a cake walk…this read will give you a new perspective (Cycle Age 1900)
Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 11.12.42 PM.png



Subsequently, Birdies patents paid off and made him a wealthy man!!!
Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 4.32.47 PM.png


Here’s the rub, Munger was also Taylor’s financial advisor – looking after the champion’s “interest”. Munger died a rich man. Its hard to imagine that Birdie wouldn't installed some safe guards for Taylor's money? A modest royalty check may have kept Taylor afloat during some rough patches...instead, three years after Birdie's death, Major Taylor died destitute and penniless!


Until there’s documented evidence that shows Taylor's involvement with an extension stem…the only conclusion that can be drawn is that while he was alive, he did not endorse or produce a stem. Everything that has been made was done so without his involvement! However the gesture of publicly connecting his name to the extension stem – and crediting him for something he pioneered and introduced to racing...is a well deserved posthumous honor!

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 7.54.01 AM.png
 
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