Off Center Head Badge


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Oilit

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 30, 2015
479
321
Concord NC
#1
I picked up this 1955 Traveler needing work. There was no headlight or head badge and the guts of the Sturmey-Archer Dynohub were gone. The front wheel bearings were loose but in good shape so I got them re-adjusted and got a head badge off EBay. The new head badge screwed on with no problems, but you can see it's off center pretty bad, and I've seen pictures of a few other Schwinn light weights from the mid-fifties with the same problem. This could have been a production glitch, but just out of curiosity, exactly when did Schwinn stop using other head badges and has anyone seen an early Traveler with any other head badge?

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Oilit

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 30, 2015
479
321
Concord NC
#2
While I'm at it, what was the original head light on this bike? Does anybody have some good pictures?
 

GTs58

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Sep 2, 2012
8,059
5,477
Central Arizona
#4
I'm pretty sure the Traveler had the wings badge from beginning to end. Only difference on the later bikes was it was aluminum, not brass.
 
Likes: Oilit

rhenning

I live for the CABE
May 9, 2010
1,353
312
69
Sharon wi United States
#5
My other 3 speed Traveler is a 1962 and that bike had the remains of broken plastic Starburst badge on it when I got the bike. Roger

IMG_8816.jpg
 
Likes: Oilit

Oilit

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 30, 2015
479
321
Concord NC
#6
I'm pretty sure the Traveler had the wings badge from beginning to end. Only difference on the later bikes was it was aluminum, not brass.
Thanks! That sounds right. Even if they used a different badge, the screw holes would have probably been the same. I'm just surprised they let this get by.
 

Oilit

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 30, 2015
479
321
Concord NC
#7
My other 3 speed Traveler is a 1962 and that bike had the remains of broken plastic Starburst badge on it when I got the bike. Roger

View attachment 761996
Those early '60's Travelers were pretty fancy bikes. I've got one in decent shape, but the badge is cracked like someone tried to pry it off. It's rare to find one with the star burst head badge still attached around here.
 

rhenning

I live for the CABE
May 9, 2010
1,353
312
69
Sharon wi United States
#8
I do not think the plastic techonlogy was very good when those Starburst badges were made. I have seen pictures but never seen a good one in person on a bike. Roger
 
Likes: Oilit

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
2,905
2,283
United States
#9
Cosmetic manufacturing defect. They made thousands of bikes and this one slipped by. Maybe they even saw it at the very end, but figured it was not worth wasting a production piece over the badge holes. Frank W. Schwinn may not have been walking the assembly line that day (he was detail-oriented and would pull parts/bikes/pieces that fell short of his standards). There's a story of him smashing a glass top table in anger with a pedal he had taken apart and found the bearings/surfaces were of sub-par quality.

I recently fixed a Raleigh that had its original bottom bracket spindle, yet the spindle flats for the cotter pins were actually not 180 apart. It had been made that way and whoever owned the bike before did not mind the fact that the crank arms were not 180 degrees opposite (you could ride the bike, but it was obviously not right). It was just a manufacturing defect they let slip by. I replaced the spindle with a different one. I have seen fenders with decals obviously off center and the like too - that's more cosmetic stuff than anything else.

Just call this one a quirk of this particular bike and a part of its character/story. It should ride just as well as any other.
 
Likes: Oilit

Oilit

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 30, 2015
479
321
Concord NC
#10
Cosmetic manufacturing defect. They made thousands of bikes and this one slipped by. Maybe they even saw it at the very end, but figured it was not worth wasting a production piece over the badge holes. Frank W. Schwinn may not have been walking the assembly line that day (he was detail-oriented and would pull parts/bikes/pieces that fell short of his standards). There's a story of him smashing a glass top table in anger with a pedal he had taken apart and found the bearings/surfaces were of sub-par quality.

I recently fixed a Raleigh that had its original bottom bracket spindle, yet the spindle flats for the cotter pins were actually not 180 apart. It had been made that way and whoever owned the bike before did not mind the fact that the crank arms were not 180 degrees opposite (you could ride the bike, but it was obviously not right). It was just a manufacturing defect they let slip by. I replaced the spindle with a different one. I have seen fenders with decals obviously off center and the like too - that's more cosmetic stuff than anything else.

Just call this one a quirk of this particular bike and a part of its character/story. It should ride just as well as any other.
It actually rides very well. I heard that Frank Schwinn was getting complaints about those pedals, and went and got one and pulled it apart himself to find the problem. And then started chewing out quality control for letting them get out the door. I can't imagine a "captain of industry" doing that today.
 
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bikemonkey

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jun 25, 2016
672
811
65
North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
#11
While I'm at it, what was the original head light on this bike? Does anybody have some good pictures?
Nice find!

From the 1955 Fair Trade bulletin:

"Dynohub front generator set on Traveler - substitute for Miller or Melos (sp. ?) Generator set - $6.95 - Schwinn part number 8906"

..not sure if first digit is an 8...

1955.jpg


Here is a pic of a 1955 Hercules with a SA Dynohub set up. If Schwinn used their entire system then perhaps this is the lamp you are seeking?
Hercules_-_Wonder_Wheels_1955_page_11_main_image.jpg


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Likes: Oilit

Oilit

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 30, 2015
479
321
Concord NC
#12
That's what I'm wondering. @MarkKBike has an older Traveler with a Miller generator running off the tire, and it also has Miller head and tail lights, and that's what the catalogs show also. But since the Dynohub was made by Sturmey-Archer, I'm guessing it may have come with Sturmey-Archer lights. I know the tail light on mine is not the same as his. But now I'm wondering who was Melos? I hadn't noticed that until you pointed it out.
 

Jeff54

I live for the CABE
Sep 11, 2013
1,869
637
Ft Myers, Florida
#13
Based on your photo, the head badge looks fine, screw holes appear aligned, dead center the top S letter and bottom N.
It looks like, in your photo that, your screw holes on head post are misaligned. o_O

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Likes: Oilit

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,131
884
Floral Park, NY, United States
#19
Looks like the holes were drilled for the badge early on a Monday morning...by a worker still feeling the effects of an all-niter at his local pub...:rolleyes:
 
Likes: Oilit

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