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Help with identification



Wore out three sets of tires already!
I could use a hand with identifying this one. I found it sometime ago but I haven’t been able to get to it until this week.

I’ll condense as much as I can. This came from an 80 year old gentlemen not far from Dayton, Ohio. He’s had it stored in his garage for the last 30/35 years. He acquired at an auction at a wealthy estate in the nineties. It was in the scrap pile and the auctioneers gave it to him. He asked the family who was holding the auction about the bicycle. The family told him it had originally been the eldest son’s bicycle, who had just passed away, when he was a child. After he outgrew it his younger brother inherited it. One of the brothers removed the colorful headbadge and kept it as a good luck charm. After the boys were done with it, the bicycle was stored in the attic of the barn until the auction. According to the 80 year old who told me this story, when he found it in the scrap pile the rear wheel was broken and the “stringy thing” attached to it was broken so he removed them and found a replacement rear wheel for it a few years later. Everything else is as he found it.

The front wheel is wooden and the hub is indistinguishable without further cleaning. The rear wheel is a metal clad wood rim with a ND model C. The chainring is an Emblem from the teens era and the crank appears to be teen era too. There is an M on the chainring. The bearings are marked “Hartford” and then there is something else stamped but it’s unrecognizable at the moment. The saddle is horse hair padding with a wooden platform, you can faintly see the words “chief” on each side the leather saddle top. The headbadge is missing, but upon measurement the hole spacing is 3 + 1/8” apart. I asked a couple of our members for measurements of a particular headbadge - and this aligns to that spacing. The front fork looks Davis built to me, as do the rear fender bridges, but I could use some help here with further frame identification. Handlebars appear to be Torrington with the long draw and the stem/truss area appears to be Davis too.

The serial number appears to be: 133711 and it is perpendicular to the crank.
Most of the paint is intact, locked under years of grime and grease.

Can anyone help identify this any further?
Do the serial numbers point to a particular bicycle, manufacturer, and/or time period?

Any help is, as always, greatly appreciated and education provided humbly embraced.

Thank you!

























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The chain ring front sprocket looks more like a Mead Premier, (rather than an Emblem).

I believe that Davis may have built bikes for Mead (M) at one time, but Mead badges had the horizontally-aligned fastener holes.

Perhaps check the bearing cups for any stamped characters, digits or letters.
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I originally thought Chief too. But unless someone also changed out the chain ring and pedals I think this could be badged as something else.
Thank you to everyone who has been helping to figure this one out. I sincerely appreciate it. This one has been a mystery and I thought Chief as well, so I reached out to a couple members about the discrepancies in the chain ring and rear wheel. We could never reconcile that but everything else pointed to Chief. But, the members who were kind enough to measure their Chief badges have all aligned with a headbadge spacing of 3 + 1/8”.

So, I reached back out the gentlemen who had it hanging in his garage last night. According to him, he never removed the chainring and pedals, they were in a box being sold with the bicycle. Which is apparently why no one bought the bike at the auction the day before. I asked him if he remembered other bicycles and he said he couldn’t remember, but this one called to him which is why he went back for it and why it was on the scrap pile. I asked about the fenders and drop stand and he said he had never seen those and how he brought it home was the frame, fork, seat, front tire, and box of drive componentes. Which is how it was mounted on his wall. He added the rear wheel later.

I still lean toward a Chief, but my questions would be:

Did a Chief use particular components from anyone other than Davis? If I remove the fork would there be any markings inside or a particular set of bearings to expect?

Would the M on the chainring stand for Mead?

The closest paint schematic I could find to this was the Haverford Black Beauty… but from what I can find of those bicycles, they were never offered in red and white - and they were badged with three mounts. And the serial number wasn’t stamped in the same way as this bicycle.

Are there other Davis built bicycles that received the serial number stamp in this way?

Would there be another brand, or even a Mead, that was painted in this schematic with red and white that would have the vertical holes so widely spaced?

Sorry for all the questions, I want to be thorough and try to cover all my bases.

Happy holidays and thank you!!!
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