New to the wonderful world-Eager for answers about my 1860s Bicycle

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Mystery Bicycle Gal

On Training Wheels
Nov 10, 2019
6
78
Cowlitz County WA
I recently inherited a mystery machine from my late great husband. Know nothing on this subject. Eager for answers on this antique bicycle that is in my care. It has a marker on it that reads H.B. Smith Machine CO/PAT. OCT 26th. NOV 23rd. 1880 AND something 29th. 1884 JULY 7 something THEN ITS MARKED BELOW EITHER 2678 OR 3678 THE METAL IS KIND OF WORN....
I plan to include pictures of this extraordinary thing. I hate to be a bother, but if anyone should let me know exactly what I have come into. I would be forever grateful! I am older, but am actually wondering upon what it would feel like to ride this machine. If I should try too! THANKYOU
20180928_012849.jpg
1093220


1093221
 

DonChristie

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Nov 4, 2009
3,582
Waxhaw, N. Carolina
www.facebook.com
Wow! That is beautiful! You came to the right place! I cannot help with info but warn you, everyone will want to buy it! Do your homework and find out the value prior to selling, if you do. However, I think you should ride it! Good luck!
 
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Mystery Bicycle Gal

On Training Wheels
Nov 10, 2019
6
78
Cowlitz County WA
Wow! That is beautiful! You came to the right place! I cannot help with info but warn you, everyone will want to buy it! Do your homework and find out the value prior to selling, if you do. However, I think you should ride it! Good luck!
Thankyou Don for the kind words, and consideration. I might be interested in selling later, but I truly think it must be ridden first. Its quite daunting though, so high up! thankyou
 

lgrinnings

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 31, 2010
674
Newburyport, MA

Mystery Bicycle Gal

On Training Wheels
Nov 10, 2019
6
78
Cowlitz County WA
It looks to me like a Pony Star. Here’s some info on the American Star Bicycle.


It shouldn’t be hard to find auction results to give you an idea of the value. Here’s one that sold at Copake in 2015...


Obviously not identical with the added lamp, and originality and condition come into play, but you get the idea.
Thankyou very much for your imput. I learned a lot from you. Thankyou Thankyou
 
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Archie Sturmer

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 13, 2018
969
Los Angeles, CA, USA
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Blue Streak

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 4, 2015
243
Erie PA
Your Star is considered a High Wheel "Safety" bicycle and was an alternative to the High Wheel bicycle of the same time with the big wheel in front and small wheel in back. It was made by H. B. Smith Machine Company in Smithville NJ. In general there are two types of Stars. The American Star was made 1881-1889 (3,051 +/- manufactured). The other is the Special Star which was made 1884-1893 (4,231 +/- manufactured). Star dates and serial numbers were compiled by Wheelmen member Carey Williams. Rear wheel sizes included 39", 42", 45", 48", 51" and 54". Yours with 24" x 39" wheels is in the Special Star family and was sold as the New Star. This New "39" and "24" Star was first offered for sale late 1888. The earliest ad I have found is from September 7, 1888. This size was most likely made until the end of production in 1893. The late 1880's-early 1890's was the end of the high wheel era as the new "safety bicycle" was taking over. Serial number 3678 makes it a 1890 model (Star serial numbers for 1890 are between 3632-3931). Yours looks complete and a nice example of this model of Star. Special Stars with 45" and smaller rear drive wheels were called Pony Stars.

From September 7, 1888 issue of The Bicycling World:
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1093368


From July 19, 1889 issue of The Bicycling World:
1093369


From April 25, 1890 issue of The Bicycling World:
1093370
 
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bikebozo

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Dec 1, 2015
764
Winter Garden, United States
You have the most desirable star made, it is a pony 39x24 , if you go to copake bicycle auctions , and search the post sales,you could find one that has sold , .. I think it is 12,500 to about 15,000 , yours is very nice , .the collectors overseas will pay good money do not be in a hurry to sell it , leave it just as it is , if you want to get the top dollar , as soon as I find a sold one , I will post it up ,the price Lester showed is the final price , that is 18 percent sales gratuity to copake , then 8 percent , new York sales tax , yours is very nice , and would sell easy in all parts of the world, good luck , let me know if you want help selling your fine machine
 
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vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
13,019
crown point<indiana
Great find but I dont think I would try to ride it. It is very old and people were pretty small and didnt weigh much.It would be tragic to have something break.
 
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