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Discussion in 'General Discussion About Old Bicycles' started by filmonger, Aug 11, 2014.
Fairbanks claim to be the originator of the wood rim bicycle rim. 1897 NY Times
More info - Keene Wood Rim Co..... Sporting life 1897
Money problems for Keene - From Vermont Phoenix Aug. 6, 1897.
Lobdell negotiating with Iver Johnson 1897 - From the Fitchburg Sentinal July 28 1897
An acquaintance has some Fairbanks Boston ' v-section ' rims that were manufactured at their English factory, in Derby I believe.
I'll try and grab some photos next time I see him.
Any idea when this factory was producing rims @filmonger?
Yes - I have some documentation somewhere.. I'll try and find it.
More Info on Paper Rims.... St Louis Post 1895
Star Tribune. Minn. 1896
Bicycle rims I can get my head around, but using paper to make car rims!?!?
Wood rims by the Constrictor Tyre Co.
( I had posted this in another thread and thought the info should go here as well )
Constrictor was a small factory in East London, the Constrictor Tyre Company was responsible for the first truly modern light aluminium rims which were introduced seventy years ago. They sold many different bicycle parts for bicycles including wooden rims. They also made their own brand.
( information below is from Hilary Stone from Classic lightweight bicycles 'UK )
They are mostly famous for their Conloy rims of the late 20's.
As the name implies Constrictor started off as a company specialising in tyres back just after the turn of the 20th century. A little while later they were bought by Leon Meredith – and those who have read the Design Classics may remember him as the importer of the then revolutionary Bastide bicycles. In 1912 they began offering a steel wired-on rim with a hollow box
section (Image left) which apart from the material is still very modern looking in appearance – crescent, almost aero shaped. These rims were popular with the top riders for they were strong and relatively light and featured a proper braking surface unlike the commonly used Westwood rims. They were available in several finishes including a painted ‘wood’ finish - apealing the wood sprint rims of the period which were similar in shape. Combined with a narrow Constrictor tyre these looked much like a full-on sprint rim with tubular tyre and were not much slower.
The story of the Conloy rims starts a little later – in the late 1920s several companies started to experiment again with aluminium cycle components. Rims, pedals and even frames had been made before but had not been popular with serious hard riders. Constrictor were one of the more adventurous and in 1927 launched a whole series of bicycle components – cranks, chainwheels, hubs, pedals, toeclips and rims under the Conloy brand name and were awarded the CTC Plaque for the greatest improvement to cycling with their Conloy products. The cranks and pedals were only listed for a couple of years or so but the solid section rims with a very similar crescent aero shape to the steel ones they already made were a great success. Constrictor imported most of these aluminium components from France but in 1933 import duty was radically increased and Constrictor looked to source components in England. Pedals and hubs were now made by BSA for Constrictor. And by 1934 the rims began to be manufactured in-house. They were now of a hollow section, still with the crescent-aero shape made from an extruded tube reshaped and rolled into a spiral to be cut to the correct length before being joined with a steel plate. Constrictor were now able to offer rims in any diameter and drilling but the vast majority were 26 x 1¼in which was pretty much the standard wired-on size for lightweight bikes in the 1920s and 30s.
Sometime during 1935 Constrictor introduced a new version of the hollow rim which was just a little narrower and a little lighter. This was the classic Asp rim (image right).
Now all Constrictor crescent shaped rims are often known as Asps but the name was reserved for the narrower section rims. At about the same time Dunlop introduced a new wheel size, the 27 x 1¼in (630mm bead seat diameter) which was not related to any other size. Constrictor soon offered the Asp in Dunlop’s new size as well as the two common 26s and what Constrictor called continental 27s – what we know as 700C.
Constrictor Asp rims continued through the 1930s, 40s and 1950s and were rated as the best available. As cycling declined after petrol came off ration in 1953 a plethora of models was introduced in an effort to stem the decline in sales. But Constrictor had rather lost its way with many new products which were just not innovative enough. And many new good rims were beginning to come in from the continent. Constrictor finally closed its doors in the late 1960s.
1912 Introduction of hollow section crescent shape steel rims
1927 Conloy 26 x 1¼ and 26 x 1 3/8in rims
1930 Light Conloy version introduced alongside what was now called the Medium Conloy
1933/4 Hollow section Conloy rim introduced
Late 1935 New Narrower (7/8in wide) Asp rim
1936 Asp available in new 27in Dunlop size
1938 Steel hollow section crescent shape rim introduced
1948 Boaloy solid section aluminium rim with flatter shape weighs 24oz (650g)
Asp available in two weights 14oz (380g) and 17oz (475g)
1951 Mamba solid section rectangular shape aluminium rim introduced; weighs 18oz (490g)
1954 Cobra hollow section, half round shape and less deep well than Asp; weighs 16oz (430g)
1955 Supalatti solid section slightly rounded shape with flat braking surfaces; 19oz (510g) with metal badge
1958 Viper solid section slightly rounded shape with flat braking surfaces with notched joint; 19oz (510g)
1962 Brillani hollow section rim, slightly wider than Asp, half round shape;17oz (475g)
Constrictor sold Fairbanks rims - a wood rim manufacturer that had been around for quite some time - they have an intertwined history with Fairbanks - Boston Rim Co & Boston Wood Rim Company. Like most of the early bicycle business, they also produced for export to Europe. Wood rims were not as popular in Europe as in America. Age is difficult to pin down for wood rims in general and the company stamp is the best clue. This still will not be of much assistance in giving you an accurate date.
Here are some of the other products they used to sell
I posted a thread titled "Opinions anyone? " in the vintage lightweights forum here on the Cabe recently. You may be interested in the photos @filmonger.
Thanks again to @bulldog1935 for his excellent sleuthing.
Clarksburg Wooden rim Co - An Ontario Canadian firm making Wood Rims....
The Boston Wood Rim Co - of Toronto Canada - guessing loosely related to their American counterpart.
The Clarksburg rim was a laminate rim and worked rawhide strips into the rims.
A few more Canadian firms - i'll try and do a little more in depth research on each in the near future.
Southern Canada had great wealth of hardwood forests in the late turn of the century.
Firms like the Cannonball Bicycle Company of Welland Ontario marketed all wood bicycles including the rims. Also the owners of the Comet Cycle co. of Toronto.
Some of the Lobdell rim profiles in 1895 along with his participation in the cycle show in Chicago in 1895...
The Spaulding Machine Screw Co., Buffalo NY. Spaulding claimed to make their own rims - they used the Rastetter patent for the Joint. This Ad is from 1895 and you can see the Patent number for the Rastetter patent. The company was owned by brothers Henry F & C. M. Spaulding. They produced many parts, forgings and products for bicycles. Like so many people in the early 1900's bicycle business they ventured into Automobile production and produced the short lived 1902 Spaulding automobile. ( try not to confuse them with A.G. Spalding )
1895 ad from Bearings - note Pat no on rim joint.
1894 Rastetter Pat.
Bicycle fittings ad
More from Olds Wagon Works - attempting to establish grade standards for wood rims. ( from the Wheel 1898 )... Select, Standard & Seconds.
Wood bending Machine 1898 - R A Gibson Patent.
R. A. GIBSON. MACHINE FOR BENDING HOOPS FOR RIMS, m.
Patented Jan. 18, 1898.
UNrrEn Sra'rns arnnr rricn...
ROBERT A. GIBSOJ, OF BUFFALO, NEXV YORK.
MACHINE FOR SENDING HOOPS FOR RiiViS, 30G.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 597,463, dated January 18, 1898.
Application filed November 29, 1895. Renewed June 14, 1897. Serial No. 640,759. (No model.)
To all whom it 71mg; concern..-
Be it known that I, ROBERTA. GIBSON, a citizen of the United States, residing at Buffalo, in the county of Erie and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Machines for Bending Hoops for Rims or other Purposes, of which the following is a specification.
My invention relates to an improved means for bending hoops for bicycle-rims, mudguards, or other purposes, and it will be fully an d clear] y hereinafter described an d claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, in which- Figure 1 represents a side elevation of the machine complete. Fig. 2 is a top plan View of the machine, showing a hoop or rim in position thereon partly bent. Fig. 3 represents a vertical section on or about line a ct, Fig. 2. Fig. at is a plan view showing a portion of the rim of the machine and the means for securin the end of the hoop preparatory to bending it. Fig. 5 represents an enlarged detached perspective View of the clamping-claw for holding the hoop or rim when bent or formed.
Referring to the details of the machine, 1 represents a pedestal or support upon which the machine rests. The base of this support is rigidly secured to the floor. The object in thus securing it is to hold the machine in a rigid position while using it, as will more clearly appear when describing its operation. On the top of the support are secured in the ordinary way by screws four arms 3, radiating from the center outward, and on the end of each one of said arms is secured by a bolt t a bracket 5, having its nearly-vertical face 6 inclined slightly-inward toward the center from the bottom upward, so as to receive and hold in a horizontal position an iron ring 7, also made correspondingly tapering on the inside, adapting it to fit closely thereon and still be easily removable therefrom. By this construction the ring '7 may be easily and quickly put in its position on the machine, so that it will remain rigidly secure while in operation, and from which position it can be instantly loosened and removed by means of a light tap of a hammer at its under side. This iron ring '7 is provided on its periphery with a hookshaped portion 8, preferably made integral with it 5 but it may be made separate and put on, if required. The object of the hook portion 8 is to provide a convenient means to receive and hold the end of the hoop or mudguard while being.bcnt,substantially as shown in Figs. 2 and 4.
A removable bending-arm 9, made, preferably, of hard wood, is provided with a handle 10 and at its opposite end with a round iron pivotal pin 11, secured at right angles thereto bya nut 12. On the top of the radiating arm 3 is rigidly secured by screws 13 (see Fig. 3) a socketed plate 1%, the socket being exactly central and adapted to receive the pin 11 of the arm 9, whereby said arm 9 may instantly and easily be removed by lifting it up and thereby withdrawing its pivotal pin 11 from its socket in the central plate 14. (See Fig. 3.) A friction-roller 15 is also secured to the arm 9 by means of thebracket 16, rigidly fastened to the under side of the arm by bolts 17 and a pivotal pin 18.
The object of the arm 9 and its several parts will appear farther on.
A clamping-claw, consisting of the two wedge-claws 19 19 and a holding-claw 20, constructed of cast metal in one integral piece, is used for securing the free end of the bar or hoop 21 when the bend is complete. The
clamping-claws 19 and 19 are suflicientlyfar I apart to allow the device to be put on over the iron f0rming-ring 7 by moving the said claws inward, each passing over said ring, substantially as shown in Fig. 2, and when securing the end of a bent hoop or half-hoop a wedge 22 is put in between the claws l9 and 19 and the inner side of the forming-ring 7. It will be noticed that this removable clamping-claw is not limited to any particular position on the ring 7, but is designed to be put at the end of a strip or hoop 21 of any length adapted to be bent on said ring. The ethos of its wedge-shaped portion 20 is not only to hold the end of the hoop, but to provide the means whereby the roller 15 on the arm 9 can force the extreme end of the hoop closely to the ring 7 and at the same time force the claws 19 and 19 away from the inner side of the ring '7, and thereby leave room for the wedge 22 to be driven in place, substantially as shown in Fig. 2. 4
The operation of the device is as follows:
The strip or bar of wood to be bent is steamed in the usual way and the end slipped in under the hook 8. (See Fig. 2.) The arm 9 is then put in place by inserting its pivotal pin 11 in the central socket, so that the roller 15 comes on the outside of the strip to be bent, the strip 21 having been bent slightly around the ring '7 to allow said roller to pass over said strip. By now taking hold of the handle 10 the arm is easily drawn around the ring 7, its pin 11 turning in its pivotal center or socket and thereby bending strip 21, substantially as shown by the dotted lines 23 in Fig. 2. Vhen the roller 15 reaches nearly to the end of the strip 21, the clamping-claws are moved forward until the holding-claw 20 (which is made in the form of a wedge) passes over the end of said strip. pulled still farther around until the roller passes on to the claw 20, and thereby forces the claws 19 and 19 inward as far as possible. The wedge 22 is then forced in between said claws 19 and 19 and the ring 7, thereby holding the hoop or mud-guard rigidly in position against the ring 7. The arm 9 is now taken off and the ring 7 removed from the machine with the hoop on it, as shown in Fig. 2, and put away to dry. Another strip is then put on to be bent and the operation repeated.
In the drawings I have shown four of the arms 3; but the number may be more or less, if required, and in place of the brackets 5 a continuous ring may be used to hold the ring '7, substantially as shown by the dotted lines 24 in Fig. 2. p
I claim as my invention- The arm 9 is then' -ing-roller and a removable clam ping-claw and wedge, for the purposes described.
2. In a machine for bending wooden strips. the combination with a bending-ring mounted removably, on the supporting-frame, of a removable clamping device consisting of the j clamping-claws 19 19 and Wedge-shaped piece 20, all formed in one integral piece for the purposes described.
3. In a machine for bending woodenstrips. the combination with a. bending-ring mounted removably, on the supporting-frame, of a removable clamping. device consisting of the clamping-claws 19 19 and wed ge-shaped piece 20, all formed in one integral piece, and a removable wedge 22, for receiving and holding the end of the bent hoop or mud-guard, substantially as described.
ROBERT A. GIBSON.
JAMES SANGSTER, L. M. SPONG.
Here are some examples of French wood rims and the American connection ( Franco-Americaine ). Being American businessmen, many of the wood rim manufaturers saw Europe was very important export market. Many companies exported rims, some set up factories in Europe and others partnered with local companies in order to meet the demand for rims. Some counties such as the UK were very biased against the use of wood - though, there still was a demand and they later saw the the advantages on the race track. I will try and explore this in further detail - for now..... here are a few examples.
This was part of campaign to show the strength of the wood rim and promote the American cause for the use of wood and the adavantage of the wooden bicycle rim.
A few examples of the Franco - American rims.....
Wood rim demand for rock elm and the amound of lumber required - from the wood worker 1896...printed in the Hutchinson News - Kansas.
Fairbanks wood rim co - factory in England. After Importing rims to the UK in 1894 demand was such that In 1895 Fairbanks rented a facility in an old lace factory located in Draycott, Derbyshire called Draycott Mills that still stands today. Also located in this old lace mill was the manufacturing of the Simson lever Chain at the same time ( Lever Chain and Cycle Co. ). The facility was huge and host to many industries in the day. In fact, it is said that the building was based on the dimensions of Noha's Ark.
Simpson "Lever" Chain, a much-boomed novelty which enjoyed a brief but hectic career, 1895 - 1897. The first patent W.S.Simpson took 27th December 1894. Simpson Lever Chain and Cycle Co., Ltd. was a maker of the Simpson lever chain, this company premises at 110 Regent Street, London and works at Draycott, Derbyshire. This maker offered his own bicycles under name "Simpson" lever chains have been used by many riders on other bicycles. „The great Humber Company took up the idea and the famous Gladiator firm of Paris adopted it. The result was that riders using the chain began to sweep the board, and by January Simpson lever chain riders had made all the existing word's records from a quarter of a mile to forty-four miles, and since then the successes have been constant!!!!“. Wrote The Illustrated London News 20th June 1896
More French-Anglo American Ads....