The Wright Brothers

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Dayton Vintage Speed

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 5, 2018
56
122
47
Dayton Ohio
#1
I asked this question in general discussion as well but thought I'd have a better chance getting it answered in this part of the forum.

Quoted from shoe3 in General Discussion thread on Wright Brothers and WF Meyer. Phil said:

"He also was granted use of the Wright Brothers namebadge that was used on the St.Clair, VanCleve & Wright Special by the Wright Brothers they had built and sold."


I'm familiar with the St. Clair and Van Cleve names but this is the first I've heard mentioned the "Wright Special". Was this some sort of racing bike? Are there any photos of these machines? And did the Wright Brothers build these before WF Meyer purchased the rights to the names or were these WF Meyer specific machines? @hoofhearted
 

hoofhearted

Saint Lactose The Tolerant
Jan 20, 2010
3,733
5,142
Fairborn, Ohio
#2
@Dayton Vintage Speed

Tim ...

If the site, below, wooda let me grab some visuals
via computer technology .. they wooda been grab-
bed and shared.


Google exactly - the following line >>>

//////////// Wright Bicycles - Wright Brothers Aeroplane Co.

Lots of good information.

GLWR (Good Luck With Research)
..... patric


Below are a few visuals from other Ethernet Portals --
or whatever computer addresses are called .....



https___airandspace_si_edu_webimages_previews_5753p_jpg  wright.jpg


https___airandspace_si_edu_webimages_previews_5856p_jpg  wright.jpg


00YUoo-344369584 wright brothers grave.jpg


view  wright   henry ford  charles taylor  orville wright 1937 greenfield village  LARGE.jpg
 

Andrew Gorman

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 15, 2008
2,692
637
Pasadena (Hastings Ranch), United States
#5
I don't think a Wright Special has ever been seen in the wild. There is some fan fiction that was available from The Wheelmen magazine,
 
Likes: hoofhearted

Dayton Vintage Speed

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jul 5, 2018
56
122
47
Dayton Ohio
#6
From The Wright Brothers.org

The Wright Special
Hand%20Grey.jpg
In addition to the "Van Cleve" and "St. Clair" models, some biographers have written that the Wright brothers also made a bicycle called a "Wright Special." The 17 April 1896 issue of Snapshots, a small magazine the Wrights published to advertise their bicycle and printing businesses, announced that they were about to manufacture their own bicycles. "The WRIGHT SPECIAL will contain nothing but high grade material throughout..." Their company ledger records that they made 12 "specials" over the years they were in the bicycle business, but no pictures or examples have ever turned up.
If you're curious as to what the Wright Special might have been, consider how bicycles were manufactured in the 1890s. The Wrights did not make their own frames, saddles, pedals, and so on. They bought them from other sources. Pope Manufacturing, for example, made the bicycle frames the Wrights used. The Wrights looked for parts that represented the look and quality they wanted their bicycles to have, then put them together with their own nameplates. Even the nameplates were made by someone else! They were stamped by Dayton Stencil Works.
On their higher-priced Van Cleve, the Wrights made some parts in their own shop. They were particularly proud of their hubs; their design kept out the dirt and kept in the lubrication much better than other mass-produced hubs. But even the Van Cleve was mostly assembled from parts made elsewhere.
Considering this, it's doubtful that the handful of "specials" listed in the ledgers of the Wright Cycle Company constituted a third model line. The Van Cleve was probably the brand name the Wrights adopted for the "Wright Special" referred to in Snapshots. They introduced the St. Clair as a low-price alternative, but dropped it after 1899. Those "specials" recorded in the ledger were probably bikes made to order with features or equipment the Wrights didn't customarily offer on their regular models – perhaps a saddle or a set of coaster brakes from a company the Wrights didn't ordinarily deal with. "Special" simply meant "special order."

The Wright Special Bicycle
 

Craig Allen

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 23, 2016
118
264
64
Millville NJ
#7
The 17 April, 1896 issue of "Snap Shots" that was printed by the Wright brothers stated- "For a number of months, Wright Cycle Co. have been making preparations to manufacture bicycles. After more delay than expected, we are at last ready to announce that we will have several samples out in a week or ten days and will be ready to fill orders before the middle of next month. The WRIGHT SPECIAL will contain nothing but high grade material."

Bicycle historian and researcher Fred Fisk wrote in the November 1980 issue of the Wheelmen magazine-
"Many books written about the Wright brothers usually note that they made a brand name called the Wright "Special". The Snap Shots article quoted above can be read two ways- either they were building a Wright "Special" brand name bicycle or they were making a "special" bicycle, different from the eight national brands of bicycles that they had been selling. There is no proof that a Wright "Special" brand name bicycle was ever built. None are known to exist, and no mention of them has been found in any written material, except the issue of the Wright's Snap Shots mentioned above. It is true that this cycle was listed in books written about the Wrights, but it seems this fact has been passed down through the years from one book to another without verification. In my opinion, the brothers were talking about a "special" model of the St. Clair and/or the Van Cleve. In the Van Cleve catalog dated 1900, both the Van Cleve and the St. Clair were mentioned but not the Wright "Special".

In the same Wheelmen magazine fellow Wheelmen Louis Schultz conducted research in the Ohio State Archives and also located the son of W.F. Meyers. "Raymond Meyers said that his father sold the Van Cleve bicycles from 1910 through the early 1930's. W. F. Meyers purchased the right to use the Van Cleve name and all parts and remaining bicycles from the Wright brothers in 1909 or 1910. This was 28 years before the 1127 West Third Street shop was taken to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. The Van Cleve bicycles sold by W.F. Meyers were not bicycles that he made, but bicycles purchased already constructed by other bicycle companies. Meyers would attach the Van Cleve nameplate on them with his name "W.F. Meyers, Dayton, O." Meyers never made the Van Cleve himself. Again, these bicycles were not made by the Wright brothers."
 

hoofhearted

Saint Lactose The Tolerant
Jan 20, 2010
3,733
5,142
Fairborn, Ohio
#8
@Craig Allen

Thank You - Craig Allen for contributing info
regarding W. F. Meyers and the legacy of the
Wright Cycle Co. Van Cleve Bicycles .


Don't know how long the Meyer's Van Cleves
were made ... he purchased the remnants of
the Wright Cycle Co. .. 1909 / 1910 ... died in
1939.


Readers ... if you have seen me type about my
1917 Meyer's Van Cleve wheel ... before ........

Bend Over .... Here It Comes, Again.

Seriously, folks ... if you know the story -- skip the rest of this Entry.




W.F. Meyers .. dayton, ohio.jpg


newsEngin.17052856_Christmas-1916--20-  meyers.jpg

DSCF0988  w_f_ meyer.jpg



This is the W. F. Meyers ''Van Cleve'' badge on my 1917 Davis Built .. fully-lugged
7/8'' tubes, Racer. Got the badge from Wheelman, Mel Short .. in a trade for a NOS
1919 H-D Motorcyke Tank ... maybe fifteen-plus years ago.


Attached to the wire chassis of the Sager Racing Saddle is an aluminum ""If Lost Return''
tag with 357 stampings .. same numbers as on seat cluster of my Meyer's,Van Cleve Racer.
The wheel sports a flat, single-plate Iver-Johnson racing fork (original nickel).


The fotos are intentionally dark / fuzzy / grainy so as not to invite badge cloning.

In addition the machine has a Wright's-Patent, Rear, Racing Hub .... complete with original cog ...
that is machined to be fully adjustable left / right .. on the right side of the threaded hub shell.


Chain-alignment between front ring and rear cog can be dialed-in, precisely.

The hub that I have pictured, below, at the end of this entry, is not mine. Mine is identical, except
it has NOT been banged-around in a box full of other hubs.


My hub has the original, deep-carmine -felt - oil seals to retain lube that protects the tapered,
roller-bearings, within.


Following pics of someone-else's Wright's-Patent Hub at end of this entry ... is the H-D - 1919,
NOS, Factory-Optional tank that fits only the small-frame, 28-inch wheel Motorcyke.


Mel Short placed the tank he received into his all-original wheel.



DSCF1024  meyers van cleve.jpg


DSCF1027 meyers van cleve.jpg


thumbnail w.f. meyer i.d..jpg 02.jpg


thumbnail w.f. meyer i.d..jpg


88144829 wright hub.jpg


88144826 wright hub.jpg


88144827 wright hub.jpg







88144828 wright hub.jpg


h-d 1919 Model 419 opt_ battery tank mel short.jpg


HD%20Tank2 h-d 1919 optional tank motorcyke.jpg
 
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