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prewarmachine

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 15, 2017
259
32
West Linn
Just picked up this rusty G&J Rambler. I was hoping someone with some knowledge on these might be able to help identify the year and model it might be. I was told 1893. Curious if the number by the seat post might be the model? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

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prewarmachine

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 15, 2017
259
32
West Linn
Sounds like the Rococo started in 1898/1899. There was a similar badge that actually has American Bicycle Co on it that I found here on the Cabe. I'm guessing that was made right after the ownership change in 1900 maybe for 1901.
I guess I would have to say 1899 unless that "32" stamped by the seat post clamp means model 32, which is supposed to be a 1900 model. Maybe a 1900 G&J built before the company sold??
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prewarmachine

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 15, 2017
259
32
West Linn
Thanks for the photo! I'd say it's pretty well narrowed down to 1899 or 1900. Hopefully going to straighten this frame up and put some good wheels and everything else on it and make it another rider here some day soon. Thanks for all the input on this mystery!
 
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slcurts

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jan 30, 2013
82
Indianapolis
I have an early-1899 Model 26, per the tag in the seat tube. SN 52256. It has the less-fancy lugs. Attached is a G&J ad from 1899 advertising their new rococo frames, though, so they must have started that year.
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G&J 1899 Cycling Outfit.png
 

mrkmcdonnell

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 3, 2013
496
Haddon Heights, New Jersey
That is a 1900 model 32 with that style badge. ABC took over Rambler in 1900. Those lugs came out 1900 as did the 32. The early 1900 releases had an extra smaller badge above the main badge declaring "ABC, successors to (GJ"). Your photo does not show it but if your frame has a single hole on front of the head tube just below the headset then it's early 1900. Otherwise the main badge later incorporated the above phrase. You don't have the top portion of the badge where it would be but if there is no hole in front of the head tube then it later 1900.

Posted photos demonstrates both examples. The early two badge is a 32. The later single badge is a 34.
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mrkmcdonnell

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 3, 2013
496
Haddon Heights, New Jersey
On closer examination of your badge I'd say it's earlier 1900 two badge version as there is a portion remaining of the diamond shape space where the 32 was stamped. The later single badge version has the model higher in the rectangular space to make way for the script "Successors to....."

My bet is you have the single hole drilled above the main badge.
 
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prewarmachine

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 15, 2017
259
32
West Linn
All that information is awesome! Thanks for sharing. I had to go take another look.
I've never seen that 2 badge setup before. That's really unique!
So here's what I got...
Stamped "32" frame
No secondary hole
Early style "V" shape in top of badge

There is red paint in the badge detail and a little red paint still on the frame, so it seems to me like a different badge might have been put on this before a red respray a LONG time ago. It sounds like a late model 32 with the wrong badge.

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mrkmcdonnell

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 3, 2013
496
Haddon Heights, New Jersey
The plot thickens! Safe to say 1900 though.

There is a remote possibility the single hole was filled. You could look inside the head tube for evidence of that. However, anyone that would spray over a badge instead of removing it would probably just leave the hole there....or fill it with toothpaste.

I guess it is possible some 1900 models squeaked out without the added small badge, the early, early 1900 releases?!
 

prewarmachine

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 15, 2017
259
32
West Linn
Yes I'd go with saying 1900 model 32 is the safe statement haha
No evidence of a hole being filled. The badge and screws sure look like they've been there the entire time, but I don't think I'll ever know if it had been changed early on. I'm calling it a 1900 G&J model 32!! :)
 

mrkmcdonnell

Finally riding a big boys bike
Apr 3, 2013
496
Haddon Heights, New Jersey
...And thanks for your original post. I learned a few things.

The biggest take-away for me is (at this point!); 1900 Ramblers can have any one of three badge versions. First, the original early GJ badge with no reference to ABC/Pope. Second, the original version badge with the smaller single screw banner proclaiming "successors to..." added above it. Third, the main badge modified to include "Successors to..."

Second, the early 1900 Ramblers had the older two piece, 7 style seat post, as yours shows. My 32 also came with that style. My 1900 mod. 34, which has the third version badge has the new "direct tilting" seat post as featured in the Paris Expo catalog photo earlier in this post. Photo comparison posted here as well.

Third, all serial numbers were moved to the rear left drop-out from the left side of the seat post binder (opposite where the model number was stamped). I'm unsure how the older serial numbers were put on the frames but they look very well done and classy. The 1900's are rather crudely hand stamped. 1898 example posted here as well.

A side note, the advertisement posted earlier here may well be from an 1899 publication, but it was probably in advance for the 1900 line of Ramblers, much like we see TV commercials for the next years car models. The prices were the same for the two years, $40, so that's no help to support the claim, but there is plenty of GJ and ABC produced literature out there (and in my possession) to support the change and introduction of the rococo lugs in 1900.

Other food for thought; The Paris Expo lit featured in this post shows the third version of the head badge in the art work to the left of the model 32 pictured. While its not completely visible, I have that catalog to confirm this. Since the expo started in the first quarter of the year, mid April 1900 its a reasonable assumption that the two badge version and the single original GJ badged versions are quite rare having been released probably from late 1899 to early 1900. I have three 1900 frames, two 32's are the second, two badge version and the 34 is the last version, the modified main badge. Unfortunately none of these frames have the manufacture date tags so one can't be sure exactly when they were built.

For what its worth, IMO, you probably have the rarest badged version of the 1900 mod 32; the original GJ badge with no mention or evidence of the ABC to come later. Now, that's pretty cool. Having said that, if you intend to re-badge this with an intact badge, and you find ANY version of the 32 badge, I'd snap it up. I've been looking for a while to replace my only 32 that is broken in two with no luck. Another thing I've learned from this is, since there are apparently three versions, to score the correct badge would be extremely fortunate, and I should be thankful for the one I have despite the damage. I have a plan to mend it, but an intact badge remains on the radar.
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