Earl , Model C, ~1900

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FreedomMachinist

'Lil Knee Scuffer
dnc1 said:
Are there any makers marks on the saddle, it's beautiful?
Fantastic bicycle!
Paul Watson (in Australia) makes some lovely replicas of American saddles of this era.
Here's a link:

paul.watson.bicycle@gmail.com

Thanks, and thanks for the advice.
There is actually a small makers stamp underneath the saddle.
I overlooked it at first sight, it only got visible after applying a tiny amount of leather grease to the saddle for conservation. I did not take a picture yet, but will do so tomorrow (need to dismaount it).

Hello dnc1,

Here are some pictures of the seat- in yellow I wrote what I could decipher - no clue if it makes sense...



The bottom side has two markings:

On the left side there seems to be a maker stamp:

1337317






right side the model number:


1337318

I could not see "Garford" yet.::


Unfortunately the last bolt holding the polster saddle and the cariage toegther is very tight. The nut doesnt come lose, instead bolt and nut are spinning.
I turned about 10° and dont want to go futher - I can feel and hear the material (wood ?) holding the bolt to the body is not strong enough to widthstand the force of the frozen nut.
I have no way of holding the bolt it in place, welding a dummy bolt onto the tip is too dangerous with all the fragile leather and wood around (I think).
However, I'd like to separate the two and manufacture my own replica saddle to the original undercariage.

Any advice ?

Tommorow I will also reach out the guy you mentioned for some tipps on this and/or maybe just a replica saddle.


1337335



1337336



1337334
 

dnc1

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I would STOP and not force anything on the seat. If you want to ride the bike, buy a reproduction saddle and undercarriage. Then, I would put your original saddle back together and put it in a safe place on a shelf.
I completely agree with @oldmtrcyc.
Don't force it!
That saddle is only original once, I wouldn't want to replace the top.
I would go down the replica route, or simply stick a Brooks saddle on when you ride it, or perhaps a German equivalent if that's easier to find.
Do you have any knowledge of "American Makers" , Ohio?
@Jesse McCauley
@catfish
 

FreedomMachinist

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Thank you so much Blue Streak for investigasting the origin of the saddle - it indeed looks very much like the "Garford 290 Modell".

That would place the Earl-machine also around season 1903, wouldn`t it ? Nice ...

Also big "Thanks" to Barnegatbicycles for more company histroy of Meiselbach.
 

FreedomMachinist

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Oh, and please don`t worry about me destroying the saddle. I`m very much aware of the value - not refering to "money-value".

I could not forgive myself altering an item of this age and originality to a state which could not be reversed.

Opening a bolt and temporarely mounting another seat sounds like I´m not appreceating, but since the undercariage has no rust or weakeness of any kind I thought about this option, but I will abondon this route now for a complete replacement- it will only be for a short test ride, so period-correctness is not a major issue...
 

FreedomMachinist

'Lil Knee Scuffer
By the way, talking about value of original state:

I`m very glad about the change of mind in recent years in Europe and I believe/hope in the US it is similar:

Back until the late 1990s, the only acceptable condition for an "good" oldtimer would be full restauration, stealing all history out of an item.

But these days in Europe we are at a mindset that a restauration, no matter how good it is done, is much less atractive and moneyworth, as an orginal item, in let's say media condition.

I`m very glad about this, because it might prevent people from unnecessarly painting or coating over beautifully grown patina from years of use or storage. Many items have survived decades in their true and honest state, to be destroyed shortly before being truly apreciated - kind of sad.


Even though I ride many of my old bicycles, I find it to be sufficient to just use wax for preservation and to prevent further corrosion.

Wax is completely reversible and therefore the perfect treat for an historical item - not just for display, but also for riding.
Some people also use line seed oil or "ovatrol"-oil, but it hardens out, over time getting a yellow shine, and cannot be removed without issue.
So over here it is mainly agreed that wax is the route to go, at least for smaller items like bicycles - cars are a whole different animal (body cavity preservation etc.)

Just for curiosity: What is common practice in the US?
 

gkeep

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I'd say most people here would completely agree with you on preserving original finishes when possible. They're only original once with all the scars , bumps and scratches the years have put on them. I've done restoration work on 19th century sailing ships, schooners, fishing boats and with a salt water boat everything gets replaced over time since they were only expected to last 15-20 years originally. But the bikes are a different animal. Like a fine old piece of furniture the patina can so much. I have used a linseed oil lightly wiped on my 1916 Pierce with wax over that for protection. I live very close to San Francisco Bay and the air is damp and salty so metal rusts quickly here if not protected. Other than that it's the original finish all the way! I ride it all the time.
1341211
 
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