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A.S. Wieners with 1887 Rudge Racing bicycle

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A.S. Wieners with 1887 Rudge Racing bicycle
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 46-859

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The Development of the Bicycle

Technology
Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1887-1891


Rudge racing ordinary bicycle
Catalog #: 318,212, Accession #: 232,558
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
D. Rudge & Co., of Coventry, England were a prominent bicycle manufacturer. This racing model, undoubtedly sold by their U.S. agents, Stoddard, Lovering & Co., of Boston, Massachusetts, was originally owned by Godfrey A. S. Wieners who used it in racing events held by the Manhattan Athletic Club. It was donated to the Smthsonian in 1960.
Physical Description

Artifact. This racing bicycle's backbone and front fork are of seamless steel tubing, the latter being oval in cross section. The back fork is semitubular. An adjustable Andrews-pattern long-center steering head joins the backbone to the front fork. Adjustable ball bearings are fitted into the front fork and the rear wheel hub. Cow-horn handlebars carry spade handles with vulcanite grips. As is common with racing cycles, there is neither a brake nor a mounting step. The 58-inch front wheel has 52 tangential spokes brazed together at the points where they cross one another and a Clement hollow steel rim made from seamless tubing. According to the manufacturer's claims, this rim could supposedly carry the weight of a normal rider even before the spokes were put in. The 16-inch rear wheel has 20 radial spokes. Tires of red Pará rubber are of 5/8-inch diameter in front and 1/4-inch in the rear, the unusually thin tires being typical of a racing cycle. Ball-bearing pedals with corrugated white rubber pads turn on cranks that adjust from 4 1/2 to 5 inches. The saddle now on the bicycle appears to be the Townsend patent suspension saddle shown in the catalog, yet the springs are not identical. A long, sliding leaf spring now carries the saddle, though the rear slide loop is missing. Obviously this saddle is incorrect, for not only is it ill-fitting, but the catalog shows a simplified unsuspended type for the racing cycle. Further, the spring bears the name of Stoddard, Lovering & Co., along with the words, "Rudge Light Roadster." Nickel plating once covered the handlebars, hubs, cranks, and pedals. The other parts, including the spokes, were black. Two shield-type emblems, once mounted on the backbone behind the seat, are now missing.

Details
Date Made:
about 1887
Locations:
Massachusetts, New York
Credit:
Gift of Carl and Freda Von Sothen

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