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

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locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Has anyone ever seen a photograph of Major Taylor with an extension stem other than the popular circular tube stem?
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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.
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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?
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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).
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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.
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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!

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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!
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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.
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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)
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Subsequently, Birdies patents paid off and made him a wealthy man!!!View attachment 899227

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!

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good dissertation .... good thought process
man I would love to be able to find that Massey Silver Ribbon bicycle !!!
MT on a Massey.png
 

locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
About 14 years ago in hindsight I could of bought this 1904 CCM Massey Harris Model 17 Track racer in NView attachment 900005

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ew Zealand when I was there. I think the bike is in Australia now.
O well. Has Hussey Bar stem. In my catalog it says 28in Westwood steel or Laminated wood racing rims

very nice bicycle David, thanks for sharing
the good old days of having actual pictures of bikes :)
now we have to take pictures of pictures to share, crazy how times change fast

but how do you date a pre-1917 CCM to specifically 1904???

Max
 

corbettclassics

I live for the CABE
It does appear to have the earlier chainring for the Model #7 rather than the chainring for the Model #17. Definitely a #17 though because of the fork crown and not the #7.

It's such a great bike and very rare to find one for sale these days. I've looked for 25 yrs with no luck but it would most likely show up in Australia if you were to get lucky and find one.

Dave - do you still have pics of the Model #7 Special Racer? I'll go and post the Massey Harris stuff in the "TOC RACER" thread.
 

David Brown

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Yes I still have the catalog showing the Model 7 special racer. The model 17 posted above does have the earlier sprocket than the model 17 in my 1905 catalog. The bike above does have a Marked CCM made Hussey bar dated 1901
 

fordsnake

I live for the CABE
Accles & Pollock were still selling them as "Major Taylor" stems in 1952, image from their catalogue (can be seen in full on the V-CC library site).....

This is a great find! Now, the question is when did Accles & Pollock first produced the stem and if MT was involved? Apparently A&P produced an expanded their range of sports and leisure equipment in the late 1940’s...not sure if the stem was introduced then? I've reached out to the Sandwell Archives in the UK, they're the historical service for the Access & Pollock Company. Hopefully, they can enlighten us to A&P's involvement and the timeline of this stem?
 
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locomotion

Cruisin' on my Bluebird

fordsnake

I live for the CABE
I received an email today from the Access & Pollock archive service in England regarding any involvement, endorsement or a relationship with the champion Major Taylor and the ankh stamping. The email sums up what I had thought...there is no documented evidence of Major Taylor's participation in the company's archives. Accles & Pollock probably used his name as a way to market their product. I doubt that the company ever had to pay for his name! Before Jan. 1, 1978, the public domain laws were more flexible and less constrained, public domain was often based on the creator's life plus a certain number of years after death. Since Taylor's first burial was in an unmarked grave...I'm guessing his estate or any Major Taylor entity during the time ever protested the usage of his name?
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shoe3

I live for the CABE
In Memoriam
cant find ad from bicycle magazine 1907 era selling round Major Taylor stems from worksman cycle Ny Ny!
 

fordsnake

I live for the CABE
cant find ad from bicycle magazine 1907 era selling round Major Taylor stems from worksman cycle Ny Ny!
Was the ad marketing a Major Taylor stem or just an extension stem? It shouldn't be that hard to find the connection to Worksman Cycle...they've been around since 1898 and are headquartered in Ozone Park in Queens in NYC. If you'd like I can send an inquiry about a 1907 Taylor connection?
 

shoe3

I live for the CABE
In Memoriam
I sent request for information, they said they did not keep any information about the company's early history. The ad I saw was a actual Major Taylor stem. Not sure what they called it.
 
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