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Reinhardt bicycle, 1935

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Reinhardt bicycle, 1935
Negative #: 33-733


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1935-1965

Reinhardt bicycle
Catalog #: 311,533, Accession #: 148,650
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection

The donor, a resident of Athens, Georgia, bought this bicycle in Gotha, Germany, in July 1935. An "Original Reinhardt," it was made by Fahrradfabrik Otto Reinhardt, Bielefeld, Germany, and was bought for 67 reichsmarks. In the course of the next two years Mr. Birchmore rode it through western Europe, eastern Europe, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Siam, Indochina, and the Philippines, before pedaling his bicycle home across the United States from California.

It has been estimated that his travels covered approximately 40,000 miles, of which about 25,000 were on the bicycle, and the rest by boat. Approximately four saddle covers and seven sets of tires were worn out during the journey. The present tires were purchased from a shop in Calcutta, India.

Physical Description

Artifact. This bicycle's tubular frame is of the diamond, Safety type, and is supported on metal-rimmed wheels, each containing 36 tangentially laced wire spokes and fitted with 26-by-2.00-inch tires with inner tubes. The rear-wheel hub incorporates a coaster brake inscribed "Torpedo-System Sachs." Both wheel hubs run on ball bearings, and an oil cup it fitted to each. Adjustment of the chain tension is obtained by moving the rear axle backward or forward in slots at the rear of the frame. The drive to the rear wheel is by sprockets and roller chain, located to the right of the wheel. The driving sprocket is mounted on a 3-piece crank assembly supported in two ball bearings in the crank hanger, which has an oil hole for lubrication.

The pedal throw is 6 7/8 inches and is nonadjustable. The pedals are rubber covered and are mounted on ball bearings. The curved, tubular metal handlebars carry composition grips, and mount a warning bell on the left side. A Radsonne front lamp is attached to the front fork, just below the handlebars, and turns with it. The light switch is contained in the lamp. An Energie generator is clamped to the left side of the fork.

The presently installed saddle cover, a Luxus, is mounted on a metal-and-coil-spring base that is fully adjustable. Front and rear mudguards, a Pallas luggage rack over the rear guard, a tire pump, and a small leather tool bag are provided. The front brake, which formerly rubbed against the tire, is now missing. No chain guard is supplied. An American pennant is attached to the front mudguard. The weight of the machine is approximately 43 pounds.

Date Made:
Gift of Fred A. Birchmore

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