Snyder built American Flyer Archbar truss frame build

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Late To The Party

Look Ma, No Hands!
With some sleuthing, the help of fellow atlanta resident @dasberger and old posts of many CABErs I have identified a frame I picked up a few weekends ago. I am now confident it is Snyder built and was originally American Flyer labeled even though the head badge is missing. I can see the adhesive from the original down tube gilding in UV and though its worn and damaged it is easy to read to identify it when you figure it out (purple toned UV shots included). The crank/sprocket is chrome and the rest of the fittings are nickel,so an obvious replacement and it is marked M&S 39 (manton and smith 1939). Stem is Japanese. The fork is really beat/bent, the tube is cracked and dented, the lower bearing cup seems to be the wrong size and I'm pretty sure somebody took a torch to it but I am confident I can save it, I've got the tools and metal working skill. The serial number on the BB is 80543. I certainly see a lightly stamped mark to the left of the 8; but it is not something I recognize, one of you might know it but its hard to photo with a low end cell phone. Badge holes are horizontal, 1 5/8 on centers with the right hole about 1/8" above the left as viewed from the front. No badge ghost as all the white paint from the darts is missing from there. Seat tube 13/16" ID. Frame is 22" from center of BB to top of seat tube. Fender arches are inset into the seat/chain stays; not surface brazed/welded.

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Thanks @chitown for this image from 1918 posted in the archbar thread. Mine seems to match the image perfectly. Thus I am guessing 1918. Would a serial number in the 80xxx range work for that dating? Help here appreciated.

1918_Rollfast_archbar CABEr chitown pic.jpg



Here is the UV shots of the American Flyer script on the down tube, the Flyer part has a lot of damage but in person it is clearer to read.


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This is what it looks like in regular lighting, not much to go on.

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Here is an image of a Flyer badge that the seller measured the spacing and it should fit. I don't have a lot of money to spend on this hobby so I really want to be sure this is the right one as its pricey. Anybody have one? Does it look 1918-1920ish?

flyer badge.jpg


This is going to take a long while, will be seeking advice and opinions along the journey. Thanks in advance for any help and all the past posts put out there that has lead me to here.

Larry
 

Archie Sturmer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I wonder if Snyder was one of those manufacturers that specialized in the knitting and sewing industry in its early years; we do not see a lot of early Harris or Snyder bicycle examples. For the arch bars, bikes like these often have an EC Simmons badge.
Does the serial stamping have any alphabet characters?
Maybe an "E"(?).
 
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Late To The Party

Look Ma, No Hands!
@Archie Sturmer The serial is pretty poorly stamped. I read it as 80543. The paint is original so I do not want to sand on it to see better. The 5 was struck 3 times; once far below and just the bottom curl. The 3 at the end may be a figment of my imagination but I'm convinced it is there. To the left of the 8 is a stamp. It looks like a box with a stretched out V on its side, I just can't tell. Possibly it is a stylized H. Was Harris separate from Snyder this early?


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Archie Sturmer

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
A head badge might sometimes be one of the last finishing touches of a bike refurbishment project; maybe be patient on that one (and measure twice).
I have seen the donut-hole badges in various condition and different prices; (as low as $25+ s/h & tax); but never on an actual bike(?)(!). And I have seen another fairly nice one online just recently (not one pictured below).
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The ad previously posted by @chitown uses the words "Trade Mark" which reminded me that we could find USPTO records of the "Rollfast" trade mark as professed by DP Harris to have first been used on roller skates in 1912; then on bicycles about June 1913. Thinking along the lines of the letter "E" being the fifth letter, and perhaps the 5th year; but when was the first year, (and who's first, HP Snyder and/or DP Harris). Maybe its a 1918–E or thereabout?
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A perhaps somewhat distinguishing feature on that bike is the oval-shaped chain stays where joined to the bottom bracket.
 
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Late To The Party

Look Ma, No Hands!
There is also this badge style. There is one on eBay as well right now but the seller did not respond to my request for measurements. The one below was listed as 2 3/8" overall width (not hole spacing) in the auction listing. If you line up horizontally on the word flyer the right hole does look to be slightly above the left, that is how mine are drilled. The donut one also looks to have the right slightly above the left but its harder to visualize with no horizontal frame of reference. I put a ruler on the Y in flyer and tried to move it up the image, and it also seemed to fit.


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I agree the chain stays are unique. @Dave Stromberger has a pic of one on his site labeled as "1920's Rollfast". Its an old images and low res and no serial number was listed but the chain stays look to be oval but it is hard to see the arch to top tube join. It shows that it does have the same chainring as the 1918 advertisement pic. Only clear difference I can see is mine has darts and the paint on the seat tube that his example does not have, though it could have been repainted it does look original. Possibly Dave remembers it?

1920's rollfast truss frame 1.jpg
1920's rollfast truss frame 2.jpg
 
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