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Category: headbadge lust

Headbadge Lust Redux

Headbadge Lust Redux

Dear new bicycle manufacturers: I know that vinyl decals and stamped aluminum headbadges are easy-to-apply, inexpensive, and shave a few grams off your bicycle’s weight, but today I’m perusing the Flikr Bicycle Head Badge group pool and longing for the days when every bicycle was deserving of carefully-designed cast brass with raised designs, beautiful fonts, and enameled details.

Zenith, via. (Not actually in the pool but it should be.)

A mosaic of screencaps of some of the headbadges (also called nameplates) currently up on eBay: 
Ben Hur, Clipper, Cyclone 60 (Cyclone Jr in full colour here), EmpireLegnano
Ludwig (similar to Henderson), and Regent. I LOVE the look of these old badges.

(If the huge collection of photos on Flikr somehow leaves you wanting more eye candy, Jim Langley has posted photos of his nameplate collection too.)

Luckily some of the smaller bicycle manufacturers and handmade-bike designers (like Capricorn Bicycles, Rivendell, and Winter Bicycles) are still creating gorgeous headbadges. I also ran across Revolution Cycle Jewelry in my travels through Flikr – she is making custom headbadges using traditional metalworking techniques, of sterling silver, brass, and enamel. Beautiful work. There are also wonderful hand-sawn metal headbadges available from Etsy’s FutureCrash and Tangerine Treehouse (of Bike Moustache fame).

It makes me want to break out some fine silver metal clay, brass metal clay, and enamel powder and see if I can create a sintered-metal OOAK headbadge for a special badgeless bicycle… which would require a special jig to factor in the shrinkage during firing, since the sintered silver isn’t malleable… hmmmmmm….

PS: Remember I waxed poetic about the CCM Cleveland’s cut-out headbadge previously? For the record, there are a couple of eBay listings right now in the eBay store of vendor benzo_one in Quebec for the back plates for cutout-style CCM badges (so that’s how they achieved the pop of colour behind the cut-out!), and a bunch of head badges that look (from the configuration of the rivet holes, round or oval shape, and limited Canadian distribution) like they might be rebadged CCMs for various regional hardware and department stores. The names I noticed: Sunshine (Waterloo, ON), Victoria (Quebec), Majestic (Montreal), Maple LeafMonte Carlo, and Superior (Toronto). Please weigh in if you can confirm that any of these were CCM marques. (Update: most of them are not! See comment below from John Williamson.)

More headbadge lust: CCM Cleveland

More headbadge lust: CCM Cleveland

Check this baby out:

I haven’t been able to find any images of Canada Cycle & Motor Co’s Cleveland model online. Cleveland seems to be better known as an American-built motorcycle. A 2002 post on the OldRoads forum refers to a 1929 version of the Cleveland that had a double bar and double fork (double fork? whatever does that mean?), and says there’s one in the collection at the Canadian Museum of Science. That poster probably means the Canada Science & Technology Museum in Ottawa, who say that CCM named their version of the Cleveland after forerunner company Lozier’s version …and there are some gorgeous photos of a Lozier Cleveland with an extremely similar headbadge in a forum post over at the CABE. I love the simple black paint job, with the pop of colour behind the pierced metal headbadge – yum. A single-bar version of the Cleveland similar to what’s in those photos is described in this auction of a CCM collection by a Guelph-area auctioneer.

Winnie identified? CCM-made Garry bicycles

Winnie identified? CCM-made Garry bicycles

You remember Nicki’s 1950s CCM-made bike (Winnie), which doesn’t have a CCM chainwheel? Instead it has a cloverleaf chainwheel, similar to the one you see on some Schwinns but with 4 ovals instead of 4 circles:

 
I think I might have sussed out why: she’s a CCM-made Garry bicycle, manufactured for J.H. Ashdown Hardware of Winnipeg. Yup, Winnipeg. So her name is ever so appropriate!

Here’s how I figured it out:

This headbadge, with the rivet holes on the sides like the CCM badges have, is up for auction on eBay. It reads:

J.H. Ashdown Hardware Co.  
GARRY
Winnipeg
Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, & Edmonton

No bidding on it, collectors, we’re determined to snag it for Nicki!

A search on Garry bicycles turned up this thread on CCM bikes, which mentions that Canada Cycle & Motor Co. was the manufacturer for Garry bicycles. {Aside: It also mentions that Daniel Massey (founder of Massey-Harris, one of the companies that was a progenitor of CCM) was a brother of actor Raymond Massey – who I’m supposedly distantly related to! I’ll have to follow that trail and see if the family connection with CCM is real.}

The search for Garry bicycles also turned up these three Flikr photos of a blue Garry loop-frame bike in hard shape. The photos aren’t very high resolution, and are taken from the wrong side of the bike, but the chainwheel looks just like Winnie’s! And so does the frame, right down to the attachment of the chainguard!

(for comparison with the Flikr photos)

Bike pron: closeup of the way the chainguard is mounted to Winnie’s frame. 

A full history of the J.H. Ashdown Hardware Company and its proprietor’s huge role in the early years of the city of Winnipeg can be found on the Manitoba Historical Society website. At their height they had retail shops and wholesale warehouses in every city in the Canadian Prairies. “Garry” would refer to Fort Garry, the fur-trading fort that was the first European settlement in the area.

Canadian bicycle history: Hyslop Brothers of Toronto

Canadian bicycle history: Hyslop Brothers of Toronto

Look at the gorgeous headbadge I ran across (while looking for a replacement one for Nicki’s CCM) on eBay:

Wowsers. The seller says it’s new old stock from 1909. Cue research into the bike it belonged on…

From the 1922 Hyslop Brothers, Limited Bicycles and Accessories Catalogue, via The Internet Archive or Scribd.

Of course I also had to check out their loop frame:

A little about Hyslop Brothers, Limited:
William M. Hyslop (8 Nov 1871 – 26 April 1919) was the Half Mile Bicycle Champion of Canada, and a member of the Toronto Bicycle Club. 1901 Canadian Census records (found at ancestry.ca) show him as married (to Margaret), occupation: Bicycle Works, with his brother and business partner George and two ‘domestics’ living with his family. Eventually Hyslop Brothers became the Oldsmobile & Cadillac car distributor for Canada. William succumbed to influenza in his home during the epidemic following World War I, and his occupation is listed as ‘auto merchant’ on the registration of his death (also via ancestry.ca).