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Mercury Pacemaker 1941 Info.

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Elgin Baylor

Finally riding a big boys bike
Mercury Streamlined Bicycles for 1941

The following information is from a 1942 copy of the Geo. Worthington Co. Catalog.
The Geo. Worthington Co. was an industrial distribution business that dealt in wholesale hardware as well as other interests. This firm was in business from 1829 to 1991.
It's interesting to note that they were promoting the 1941 line in their 1942 catalog, I'm sure it had something to do with World War II.

These incredible bicycles were designed by Viktor Schreckengost (1906-2008). Mr. Schreckengost was an incredibly talented man that was an industrial designer as well as an Industrial Design teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Art. It's important to note that he founded the Industrial Design program which at the time was unique in this country. Some of his students went on to become important and famous designers as well. Viktor was also an artist and a sculptor. He designed pottery for the Cowan Pottery Company. The Mercury Streamlined Bicycles were just one of his countless product designs. He also designed bicycles for Sears, Western Auto and Firestone.

Mercury Bicycles were produced by Murray, a manufacturing company based in Cleveland Ohio which was founded in 1919. This design was produced from 1939 to 1941.

This ultra modern design was introduced in 1939 as the “Pacemaker” series at The New York World's Fair but there is no mention of that name here. Although Mercury offered other designs, the “Streamlined” version is what I'm concentrating on here.

The Mercury Streamlined Bicycles were apparently available in four versions in 1941:

The Streamlined (basic model) Men's No. S-5R, Ladies' No. S-10G

The Streamlined Deluxe (mid-range model) Men's No. S-7B, Ladies' No. S-12M

The Streamlined Super Deluxe (high-end model) Men's No. S-15R, Ladies' not listed

The Streamlined Ultra Deluxe (top of the line model) Men's No. S-16B, Ladies' S-18B

The catalog does not specifically use the terms “Super Deluxe” and “Ultra Deluxe”, I'm just using these terms to differentiate them.

Apparently all the versions used the same 19” frame of 1” reinforced tubing with baked enamel finish, die-cast head shrouds, the same style ribbed chain guard and the same Torrington U-shaped handlebars, so I won't repeat them. The Men's and Ladies' versions both shared these features.


Streamlined (basic model) $32.50 Men's and ladies'

  • Delta “Torpedo” front fender light
  • Luggage carrier with enameled rear reflector
  • Dummy tank (no lights or horn)
  • Black wall tires
  • Troxel saddle
  • Persons No. 14 Pedals
  • Color: Men's, red with white trim. Ladies', Green with white trim


The Streamlined Deluxe (mid-range model) $39.50 Men's and Ladies'

  • Stewart-Warner “knee action” floating front hub
  • New Mercury “Torpedo” front fender light (it's difficult to tell the difference from the Delta light from the photographs in the ad)
  • Luggage carrier with enameled rear reflector
  • Delta horn unit in tank (no lights in tank)
  • Speedway white wall tires
  • Torrington deluxe saddle
  • Torrington deluxe pedals
  • Colors: Men's, Teal blue with light blue trim. Ladies', Maroon with white trim.



The Streamlined Super Deluxe (high-end model) $41.50 Men's (ladies' not shown)

  • Stewart-Warner “knee action” floating front hub
  • Red reflector, Delta horn and lights in tank
  • Flying wedge front fender ornament (no mention of this, just an observation)
  • Luggage carrier with enameled rear reflector
  • Speedway white wall tires
  • Messinger deluxe saddle
  • Torrington No. 8 pedals
  • Color: red with white trim


The Streamlined Ultra Deluxe (top of the line model) $41.50 Men's, $47.00 Ladies'

  • Stewart-Warner “knee action” floating front hub
  • Red reflector, Delta horn and lights in tank
  • Flying wedge front fender ornament (no mention of this, just an observation)
  • New Electric tail light in luggage carrier
  • One-piece drop forged fork
  • Speedway white wall tires
  • Messinger deluxe saddle
  • Torrington deluxe pedals
  • Colors: Men's, Black with chrome trim. Ladies', Teal blue with chrome trim.

I hope this information helps clear up the mystery of why certain models have the features that they do. Apparently there are at least four different types of tanks: the “dummy” tank with no horn or lights, the type with a horn and no lights, the type with a horn, reflector and lights and the chrome version with horn, reflector and lights. There are also at least two types of luggage racks: one type has a tab with a hole for a reflector and the other type has a rear tail light mounted in it. Some models had a “torpedo” front fender light and other models had the “flying wedge” fender ornament. Some models had the Stewart-Warner floating front hub and some did not. I'm not sure if these options were offered in 1939 and 1940 as well.

I consider this bicycle one of the all-time best designs. The Art Deco styling is unique. Consider yourself lucky if you have one of these classics. I'm sure as more people become aware of these beautiful bicycles they will continue to gain in popularity.

Please let me know if you have additional information that can be added or if you have any parts available as I'm currently restoring one. Thank you.
Mercury 1942 Catalog Page 5.jpg
Mercury 1942 Catalog Page 6.jpg


Mercury 1942 Catalog Page 5.jpg


Mercury 1942 Catalog Page 6.jpg
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
i have one. its horn and light mens model and its complete. I got it all ready stripped down and recromed. needs paint. it has a rack with reflector. seems that the tail light might be the one i need. also there was black paint with white accents for 39 and 40. wonder if they used crome instead of aluminum in 41?
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
i have one. its horn and light mens model and its complete. I got it all ready stripped down and recromed. needs paint. it has a rack with reflector. also there was black paint with white accents for 39 and 40. wonder if they used crome instead of aluminum in 41?
 

fordsnake

I live for the CABE
As far as I know, the fenders were the only thing made of aluminum, and I believe it was on the early models. Whats interesting is your tank has louvers (gills) underneath for the horn sound? I too have a Pacemaker with the tank with the lights (unfortunately the light hardware is missing), but there's no switch, horn button, or gills on my tank.
 

Elgin Baylor

Finally riding a big boys bike
That's what I've heard too, that the early models had aluminum fenders. I wonder if someone took a dummy tank and removed the areas in the tank where the lights go and added lenses. As far as I know a lighted tank would have had the switch in the tank. maybe the earlier versions had a different set-up.
 

fordsnake

I live for the CABE
That's what I've heard too, that the early models had aluminum fenders. I wonder if someone took a dummy tank and removed the areas in the tank where the lights go and added lenses. As far as I know a lighted tank would have had the switch in the tank. maybe the earlier versions had a different set-up.

wonder if someone took a dummy tank and removed the areas in the tank where the lights go and added lenses
The light cut outs on my tank are factory made! I've owned the bike for about 35 years and the lenses are original! Regarding the bike currently on eBay the seller added lenses over the top of his tank, no cut outs.
 

Elgin Baylor

Finally riding a big boys bike
Earlier this summer I saw one with a chrome tank & head shroud with aluminum fenders but that one had a switch for the lights and a button for the horn mounted on the top left side of the tank. Perhaps they made a version with an external light switch which could have been mounted on the handlebars?
 

redline1968

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
interesting. i never thought much of it.. gills and switch/horn are all orig. what makes the gills different?
 
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