Old Bike Haul, Looking for some Information

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joleothetall

Look Ma, No Hands!
Hello all! This is my first post, though this is not my first go round with vintage bikes. I went to visit my late grandpa’s old farm yesterday and came back with four old bicycles, a 26” Cleveland Welding Co. Roadmaster, a 26” J.C. Higgins, a 24” Western Flyer, and a 20” that I can’t find a brand on. I’m hoping to get some information on them from anybody who can help. I have serial numbers for the first three but I couldn’t find one on the 20”. I’ll list them and some pictures below. I’m hoping to figure out years of manufacture, model names, etc. Thanks in advance!

Roadmaster: serial# G04598 CW (dated to 1948 from what I could find)

J.C. Higgins: serial# 502 45161 336156 (I think)

Western Flyer: serial# H18630

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joleothetall

Look Ma, No Hands!
the one with the Western Flyer badge sure looks like a 24" Schwinn DX to me
That’s what somebody over on rat rod bikes said too. I ran the serial number and it says it I s a Schwinn and was built in 1953. The only bike that it looks like in the catalog from that year is the Spitfire. This may be a stupid question, but I don’t suppose that Schwinn ever produced bikes for Western Flyer did they?
 

GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
That Schwinn looks like a 1945-46 to me and with an H + 5 number serial. It's definitely not a 1953 or 1951 and the kickstand tube angle appears to be that of the real early post war production. That badge was slapped on by one of the owners. I'm betting the Electro-forging of the chain stays to the BB shell also look like the early post war production.
 

Rivnut

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
The 502 is Murray of Ohio’s numbering code for bikes they built for Sears. Chances are that Sears marketed the bike as a JC Higgins. The 46xxx number is the model number. That number will also tell ou the year that the bike was sold as. Like new cars, late month bikes would be sold as the next years models. A kid wouldn’t want to receive a new bike for Christmas in 1957 and have it be last year’s model a week later In January of 1958. Bikes had to be in stores early enough for Christmas sales but be next the years model.
 

joleothetall

Look Ma, No Hands!
That Schwinn looks like a 1945-46 to me and with an H + 5 number serial. It's definitely not a 1953 or 1951 and the kickstand tube angle appears to be that of the real early post war production. That badge was slapped on by one of the owners. I'm betting the Electro-forging of the chain stays to the BB shell also look like the early post war production.
Interesting, help me out here then. When I use the Schwinn serial number tool it comes back as a 1953. I also looked up a Schwinn numbers list and it seems like it would fit that year. What makes you think it’s earlier?
 
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