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Kirkpatrick MacMillan

Kirkpatrick MacMillan

Did you know who is thought to have invented the bicycle?

I hadn’t looked into it until I ran across this story (see above photo) in BBC History Magazine’s September 2010 issue, which unfortunately isn’t online. However, the BBC have posted Kirkpatrick MacMillan’s biography (with the same images used in the magazine) and a photo of the replica of his bicycle, and there’s also the usual wiki pages and squidoo lenses on the guy. The best article I’ve seen about him is “The Devil On Wheels” by Norrie McLeish.

Lucky me, I just added this postcard to my collection via eBay:

What can I say, I’m a sucker for a story about an earth-changing innovation that doesn’t make its inventor wealthy. If Kirkpatrick MacMillan had patented his idea in 1839, would it have spread as widely?

Velocino

Velocino

Ever since I saw this post on Inhabitat a few months back, I’ve been thinking about this limited-edition Abici reproduction of a 1940s bike design originally commissioned by Mussolini:

Never mind that there’s no obvious way to transport any children or cargo with such a compact vehicle (I guess you might be able to rig up panniers or a rear rack). I’m intrigued. It looks like it could be a brilliant alternative to a folder for taking on the train. But nobody seems to have reviewed the darling thing. So, has anyone tried it?

from Flikr via Italian website Ciclistica
…Notice that Abici have changed the handlebar position from the originals.
There’s also a photo of one of the original ones in a museum here.

Or, for my intrepid mechanic readers: do you know anyone who has tried to make a Velocino, like this guy did?

I’m just really curious about how it rides…

Antique Cycle Chic: part 2

Antique Cycle Chic: part 2

After months of watch-listing, I have finally added to my collection of antique real photo postcards (or RPPCs) showing stylish women on their bicycles, which I wrote about previously.

I love RPPCs because they weren’t mass produced (Our site stats show the last Antique Cycle Chic post has had hundreds of pageviews, so I guess I’m not alone!). RPPCs are actual photos of real people (that is, usually not models), printed onto postcard backing papers or stamped after printing with postcard markings, and the cameras that were used to take them very quickly became standard studio equipment and soon after were sold to the general public. This means they’re unique historical documents, with only a handful of copies in existence, and they often show objects or events that were of interest to the subject, photographer, and recipient of the postcard – but not necessarily to anyone else. They’re also relatively inexpensive to collect.

{By the way, I’m no expert. I haven’t taken photography classes or learnt about the history of photography myself, so if anyone wants to add some information in the comments about to help contextualize RPPCs or describe the type of prints they were for people with those interests I’d really appreciate it!}

I already have great black-and-white or sepia portraits that show off womens’ outfits and bicycles with skirtguards to best advantage, so I’ve concentrated on rounding out my collection with group shots, which are somewhat harder to find, and hand-tinted RPPCs, which were mostly studio portraits – not always true-to-life, with their painted backdrops and weird props, but great for showing the fine details of clothing.

(Temporary note: These images were screen-captured and cropped from the auction images on eBay after I purchased the items, so I could share them with you right away. As my items arrive in the mail, I’ll edit this post to replace the images with higher-resolution scans, and add close-ups and more information gleaned from the backs of the cards.)



Detail of RPPC addressed to Miss E. Roberts of St. Clements, and postmarked Oxford (England) August 8th, 1905. The ladies are seen at a distance, but you can pick out straw boaters, puffed sleeves, ankle-length skirts, and bicycles with front rod brakes. This must have been a beautiful ride, as the photograph shows the most idyllic setting imaginable; that house behind them is the only one visible on the whole treed lane, which takes up most of the photo’s foreground.

France, 1910s RPPC, postally unused. Long scarf on hat, long striped skirt, puffy sleeves, very Edwardian – this is pretty similar to a lot of the images in my previous antique cycle chic post. I wonder how many of the women in studio shots from this period are actually just using the bike as a prop? I can’t imagine she really would have ridden a bicycle with a double top bar, no matter how covetable we now think it is.

1900-1920 RPPC, postally unused, in the French Fantasy style, with printed labels in French and German on the back. The red tint is gorgeous, isn’t it? This sailor-suit type cycling costume seems to have been fairly popular, and her hairdo and lace-up boots suggest this was taken before 1920. Does anyone know if that’s a culotte-style split skirt that would have been worn with this? Also notice the front rod brake, pale tires, and the placement of the bell on the head tube instead of atop the handlebars.
(Update: the vendor who sold me this RPPC is now selling reprints of it if anyone else wants a copy! Mine is the original though. =P)

This RPPC is from a Parisian studio and stamped in Dutch, “Happy Birthday”. The vendor says it was postally used in 1926 (so stay tuned for more details from the message on the back). She has a sailor-suit too, and it does look like a split skirt here, but she’s wearing it with a cloche, bobbed marcel-waved hair, and covetable t-strap heels. I do wish we could see more of her netted skirtguard. His outfit has the high-waisted dress slacks that you see all the actors wearing in pre-1950s movies, a shirt with cufflinks, a medium-width tie, and a newsboy cap that would do Yehuda Moon proud.

French Fantasy RPPC postally used in 1909 and stamped in French. Love the drop-bar bike with the huge chainwheel, and isn’t he dashing in his newsboy cap, a tweed jacket, and cycling knickers? Maybe his moustache can inspire some of our friends who are fundraising for prostate cancer for the Movember campaign.

Circa 1910-20 RPPC, postally unused. The writing translates literally from Dutch as, “my kindnesses” (yes, I know, Google Translate has its limits). This stylish outfit would be so easy to replicate today: oxford shoes, accordion-pleated skirt, white button-up shirt, narrow tie, and a beret or tam with a pompom on top. The hat’s the only part that looks dated, really – isn’t that amazing? Her step-through frame with front rod brake, lamp bracket, and netted skirtguard are swoonworthy, too. Maybe someone can identify it based on the unique chainwheel and headbadge shape.

Update: that last one is actually part of a set of four found with another eBay vendor! So maybe she is a model, and these ones were printed as larger editions:

Printed in France, mailed from Bilbao to Lisbon, Portugal at the end of December 1927. He has quite a fine tweed suit, and her oxfords and teal dress are really divine! Why weren’t any of the dropped bars wrapped back then? Google Translate confirms the note is written in Portuguese; on the front it introduces Yoana (Joanne would be the English version of the name) and her travelling companion, and on the back:

…that is a rather torrid love letter to the girl in the teal dress! “Good (priminsa) eve, a happy new year darling, prosperity and fortunes and the burning desire to press you see desired (untranslatable) and give you lots of kisses – Maria my queen” …Wow. {Update: apparently Google Translate really sucks. See the translation below provided by Zizzo B by email. Thank you Zizzo!}

The seller didn’t provide any information to date this RPPC, but the back is stamped “Fotografija K Audze, Viesite”, which Google Translate says is Latvian for Photo Stand K – and Wikipedia has an entry for the town of Viesite. So these gorgeous girls and their beautiful bicycles with knitted skirtguards are probably from Latvia. I think their dresses and frame purses date them to the late thirties or early forties, don’t you?


RPPCs seem to have fallen from favour around the time of the Second World War, so any later images I have are just regular photographs…

1940s snapshot, somewhere in the United States. They’re riding rented tandem bicycles! The sign on the balloon-tire tandem with the springer fork reads, “…KE Attic / … & BICYCLE STORE / 9702 – 51 AVE”.  Their outfits look perfect for the cool weather we’re having now: boiled-wool jackets, leather gloves, berets, and skirts with opaque tights – and a cosy knit cardigan and dress slacks with a lovely drape to them on the lady in the rear with her feet in the air. If those are cross-shaped brooches, perhaps they’re from a church group, about to embark on a delightful outing.

Pre-1950 8.5″ x 11″ ACME wire photo (ie, it was part of a newspaper archive’s collection) taken in Palm Beach, Florida. Halter tops, t-shirts, and short shorts: classic fifties cheesecake.

15 Nov 2010 Update: the typewritten caption glued to the back of the photo reads:

Four young misses discuss “shoes and ships and ceiling wax” — and cocoanuts and bicycles under a cocoanut tree in Palm Beach, Fla. 

COURTESY CYCLE TRADES OF AMERICA

I think the writer meant coconuts and sealing wax, yes? The headbadge of the cruiser with the handlebar toolbag identifies it as an American Flyer; I can’t read the other headbadge even using a magnifying glass.

Late 1940s or early 1950s, somewhere in the United States. The flip side of the snapshot reads, “Eeeegads it’s Gracie”. Check out Gracie’s sweet balloon-tire cruiser! I think it might be a Rollfast. Penny loafers, bobby socks, rolled-up pedal pushers or jeans, thin belt, and a crew-neck t-shirt… she’s wearing an early variant of every teenager’s uniform for the next half-century.

I’m totally going to let these photos inform my everyday personal style. Clearly I need to go out and get myself a pair of t-strap dancers’ heels, black-and-white oxfords, a beret, and an accordion-pleated skirt – and I’m still dying for a set of skirt guards. What about you? Do you see ideas here that you’ll use for your everyday wardrobe or your next tweed ride?

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).
 
An olympic Deelite, & more Canadian bicycle history

An olympic Deelite, & more Canadian bicycle history

Look what we found for Audrey in the yard at Edmonton Bicycle Commuters yesterday:

Cute, isn’t it? Even if it has a hilariously inefficient rear mudguard. Audrey can ride it right now (or will be able to when she no longer relies on training wheels). You can’t tell from these photos, but there’s gold pinstriping on the frame. The flower-power banana seat is identical to NOS ones sold by Schwinnstore/Bicycle Heaven on eBay.

Growing up in Nova Scotia, I’d never seen one of these headbadges, but apparently they were really common in Western Canada. Turns out that  Deelites were imported by Fred Deeley Cycles Ltd., a historic Vancouver company best known now as Canada’s Harley-Davidson distributors and the predecessor to today’s Trev Deeley Motorcycles. Readers in BC may be able to fill in some blanks here, but I gather from various cycling forums that Fred Deeley Cycles imported Apollos (manufactured by Kuwahara in Osaka, Japan – who also made the BMX bike rode by Elliott in the movie E.T.) and possibly other Japanese bicycles, and Raleigh and Phillips bicycles, until the 70s or 80s. I couldn’t find any indication that the bicycle business is still open.

Here’s Fred Deeley Sr.’s obit, from The History of Metropolitan Vancouver website:

Fred Deeley Sr. Motorcycle dealer b. 1881,Bromsgrove, Eng.; d. May 9, 1970, Vancouver. After 10 years in business in England, he first visited B.C. in 1913, representing the Birmingham Small Arms, manufacturer of BSA motorcycles. Bought out BSA and opened Fred Deeley Ltd. (1914) in a 12′-wide store at 1075 Granville. In 1916 acquired Harley-Davidson franchise, becoming its second oldest dealership. By 1925 he owned a motorcycle shop, bicycle shop, and one of Canada’s larger car dealerships. Company included son Fred Jr. and grandson Trev (b. 1920) of Trev Deeley Motorcycles. Biography: Motorcycle Millionaire, by Trev Deeley.”

So, we have a lot of candidates for the manufacturer of this bicycle. Here are the clues we have:

“MADE IN JAPAN” sticker on the frame’s lower tube, and the remnants of a triangular decal on the front forks.

The coaster brake, with hub marked NANKAI (logo) NO. 75 COASTER (photo coming soon) and this stamp on the arm: N(logo)K MADE IN JAPAN. A quick search shows that the NK-75 was a commonly used coaster brake, made by Nankai Tekko Company, Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. [15 March Update: a history in PDF form from the Techno Nankai website indicates that they started exporting the NK-75 in 1970. So we now know it’s probably a post-1970 bike!]

The tire rims are marked ARAYA 16 x 1.75 MADE IN JAPAN.

Cottered cranks and pedals with replaceable rubber pads (that look like they’ve never been replaced).

I wonder what this hole near the headset was for?
The front fender isn’t true and will need to be fixed.

The Vancouver connection and the fact that we found it the day after the opening ceremonies has us thinking that this bike needs an Olympic name and some multicoloured Olympic-coloured accessories… any suggestions?

Here’s the only other Fred Deeley headbadge or decal image I was able to find on the net, from a 1984 Kuwahara Club Sport bike (with a stamped serial number that started 84). I’m reproducing it here since images seem to disappear from these forums all the time:

 

So, do you have any idea if this is, in fact, a Kuwahara-manufactured bike, or what era it’s from (70s or 80s)? Anything you can fill in about the history of the Deelite or Fred Deeley Cycles?

Antique Cycle Chic (1900s-1940s)

Antique Cycle Chic (1900s-1940s)

While I waited for a chance to bring Bert-the-Bike home and install my Christmas goodies on Mary Poppins, I creeped eBay looking for Objects Of Interest. It turns out that there are lots of wonderful early photographic portraits of stylish women with their rod-brake loop-frame lovelies available. Naturally I’m now a bit obsessed with them.

In the early 20th Century, getting a professional photographic portrait done was a Really Big Deal, and I imagine that having it done with your bicycle started as a declaration of independence, then as cameras became more common it gradually became more like a rite-of-passage (like teenagers getting a photo taken in the driver’s seat of their first car now). I love that they’re dressed in their finest suits and hats – oh, what hats! – and that they’re looking so serious and pensive for the camera. I also love the later, more candid shots, which show how practical loop-frame roadsters with fenders, chaincases, and skirtguards were for riding in everyday clothes – but the early studio photographs with carpets and curtains are awesomely incongruous. Sometimes you can learn details about the bikes themselves, like how the skirtguards attached or how high the seats were set (no way could these girls put a flat foot on the ground, like my parents taught me was necessary – that must be a cruiser-bike thing).

These real-photo picture-postcards all came from eBay sellers. I scanned them on grayscale (some are actually sepia) at high resolution, which is like having a magnifying glass, then cropped them a bit and adjusted the fill light, highlights, and shadows so they weren’t quite so dark.

This studio portrait was taken in about 1910 and is labelled R. Guilleminot, Boespflug et Cie. – Paris. Check out her elaborate hat! This is definitely a corseted dress, and when you zoom in you can see she’s wearing (lace?) gloves, as often seems to be the case in photos of Victorian and Edwardian ladies. There’s a tantalizing glimpse of chainwheel and a clear view of the headbadge’s shape, so maybe someone who knows the continental makers can identify her bicycle.

Also Edwardian, but taken in England (the back of the card says it was taken by Valentine of Canterbury and Guildford). Great gloves, and I love the way she’s tied her hat on with a long sheer scarf. The skirtguards attach both in front of and behind the fork, and seem to be tied in groups of three cords. I can’t read the mark on the chaincase, but perhaps a collector can tell us who made her sweet ride?

Another English card, with “Mother” handwritten on the back. Her straw boater and ribbon tie with pin are great, the blouse is polka-dotted, and she’s wearing dark (leather?) gloves. What looks like a smudge on her forehead is actually wispy bangs. The skirtguard looks like it might be made of wire instead of cord, and I think her rear fender is chromed. Look at that quadrant shifter – swoon.

This pretty lady has a gorgeous netted skirtguard. Divine pleats on her dress, and charming layering of necklaces, but what I’d most like are frameless glasses like hers. Notice that she’s not wearing gloves. The back of the postcard has a handwritten date of 23 Novembre 1918 and other markings in French:

If I’m reading the handwriting correctly, it translates as, “23 years old” (not shown) and “A souvenir of beautiful days passed (adverb?) in Veron – H. LaForge”. (Maybe someone whose French skills surpass mine can help me with that word?)

This is a 1920s portait of a ‘sportswoman’, according to the seller. I love her flapper bob with pearl teardrop earrings, and the slightly rumpled pinstriped jacket and matching cap – which look almost like they might be her boyfriend’s. Her dress might be seersucker, and has a couple of dirt smudges, probably acquired while riding to this destination. Is that a lucite bangle? The back of the card is unmarked except for CARTE POSTALE, Correspondance, and Adresse – so she must also be French.

Closeup of her netted skirtguard.

I covet these German girls’ cloche hats and swingy coats. Photograph (the only one that isn’t an RPPC) taken in the 1930s, according to the seller.

I love this young lady’s confident pose, the cardigan with mother-of-pearl buttons, matching hat, and long pearl drop earrings.

She seems to be wearing culottes, stockings, and ankle-high boots. Her bicycle has front-rod-brake handlebars, but where are the rods? Is that little flap between the front tire and the mudguard the braking surface? The logo on the chaincase says Brennabor, who were originally a prewar manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles in Brandenburg, Germany, and at some point became a Dutch-based brand instead. I’d guess she’s from the 1930s-40s, based on what she’s wearing, but the American seller didn’t give any information to help date it. The postcard only has “Foto Bayer” (that’s German) printed on the back, and two handwritten words: Kaaza (I think?), Kaan (a town in Rheinland-Pfalz).


Closeup of the Brennabor chaincase and netted skirtguard.

You can find more such photos on eBay or on Flikr by using the search terms “vintage”, “bicycle”, and “lady” or “woman”. Sadly most of the Flikr ones are All Rights Reserved, so I can only link to my favorites: 1895Edwardian, Edwardian, 1911, 1927, 1930s-40s slacks, 1966 culottes. Do follow the links – all these ladies and their steeds are magnificent. One of the commenters on one of these suggests that the girl is just there as window-dressing, since she obviously couldn’t ride dressed like that. Isn’t it telling that nobody (to date) has challenged his assumption in the comments?

This has me fantasizing about having a girly lets-dress-up bike meetup, in the Spring or early Summer, before it gets too hot, with a photo booth so we can all have great photos taken of ourselves with our steeds…

Introducing Nicki and her loop-frame… and a little Canadian bicycle history

Introducing Nicki and her loop-frame… and a little Canadian bicycle history

 
I spent part of this afternoon checking out this lovely creature with Angel and Nicki. The Kijiji ad only said Antique Bike, so the single photo was what caught our eye. It looked superficially like 40s or 50s Raleigh-type loop frame – very similar to Mary Poppins – but really, it could have been manufactured by almost anyone. We knew from the photo that it had a coaster brake, vinyl saddle, bottle-generator light set, Wald-type wire basket, and clamp-style rear rack. So we went to see. Then Nicki bought it. The former owner’s earliest memories of it are from about 1957 in Westlock (near Edmonton).

The view from the front. Yes, the tires are both flat.

The lack of headbadge will make identification trickier. You can see here that there’s paint on the chromed fork crown, and someone seriously MacGyvered that basket to get it to stay on. I think Nicki wants to remove it and replace it with a period-appropriate one.

The chainring is one I hadn’t seen anywhere: the closest I’ve found online is 1940s USA unknown manufacturer, according to the chainwheel tattoo project page (aside: that chainwheel sleeve is going to be *hot*). The cranks are cotterless, and the replaceable rubber pads on the left and right pedals don’t match each other. Hopefully we’ll find an identifying stamp when we’re cleaning the crankset. I think we’re going to install the Pletcher kickstand that came with Bert on here too.

The single-speed coaster-brake hub has a metal oiler cap, and is stamped CANADIAN PAT. 1937 – it turns out you can read the actual patent online. Turns out this single coaster hub was manufactured by The Canada Cycle and Motor Company, now known simply as hockey-equipment makers CCM. A little history of CCM’s cycle division can be found at Wikipedia and the Canada Science and Technology Museum website.

The tires read NEW IRC ROADSTER, SIZE 700 x 38, 28 x 1-1/2 CANADIAN SIZE. That valve for the inner tube is a harder-to-find Presta valve. No marks that we found on the painted rims. Notice that there’s some red paint on the spoke nipples – evidence of repainting, or just sloppy work on the factory floor?

The vinyl seat is in astonishingly good shape if it’s original. It’s the metal-pan dual-spring variety, painted black underneath, not a trace of rust.
I love the English-made Miller bullet-shaped chromed dynamo lights. 
No idea if they work. 
I suspect that the black Pletcher-style rear rack isn’t original.

After some research online, we now think that this might be a Raleigh-manufactured Eaton’s Glider. Sheldon Brown is remarkably silent about the Glider, saying only that it was a Raleigh-made house brand of Eaton’s in Canada, so let me provide you with some context.

To quote Raleigh Chopper Info, talking about rebranding of Raleigh bicycles in Canada:

However, the largest re-branding operation carried out in Canada was through the Eaton chain of department stores. Eatons were a large department store, based in the larger cities in Canada. Formed in 1869, Eatons were one of the first large Canadian owned Department stores, but of course one factor hindered their growth, Canada is a very large country, and its small population was very widespread. The answer was the mail order catalogue. The Eatons catalogue became a way of life for Canadian families throughout the early decades, and absolutely everything was available from it. Eatons realised early on that it needed a good reliable range of bicycles to sell. With no dealer network to service warranties, any defective items had to be mailed back to Eatons. This meant reliability in everything they sold was a priority. Eatons turned to England’s Raleigh to supply a range of bikes for sale through the catalogues. Raleigh supplied a range of bike called the “Glider”. These bikes were built to Raleigh standards at the Nottingham factory and badged up as “Eaton Gliders”. This relationship proved a success, Eatons got a reliable supply of good quality bikes, and Raleigh got an independent widespread distribution network.

 Gliders included the standard Raleigh 3-speed, as this owner notes:

I noticed that this bike resembled a typical Raleigh Sports (of which my Raleigh Superbe is an upgraded version), in that it had a pointy front fender, Sturmey Archer hub (dated 10 – 72), and the whole geometry just looked very familiar. The name on it said “Eaton’s Glider”, and Eaton’s was until recently one of Canada’s largest department store chains. I found out later that Raleigh supplied all of Eaton’s bikes, starting way back in the 1920’s! So, this one was basically a re-badged Raleigh Sports.

Loop-frame ladies’ Gliders were also offered, as this owner’s bike shows (follow the link for his photos for comparison to Nicki’s bike).

So what about the tires, non-SA hub, non-Raleigh chainwheel, and so forth? Well, if you look at the photos above, the bike looks like it was repainted at some point. Here’s our theory: somebody left the bike out all winter for a couple of years when they were no longer using it, then it got new tires, a new seat, new handles, replacement bottom bracket set, and a new paint job – and possibly a new chain guard – sometime in the 1950s. This might sound far-fetched, except that a Glider with similar replacement parts to this one has been documented by a user on the OldRoads forum (about 1/3 of the way down the page).

The way to confirm this hypothesis will be to see if we can find the frame serial numbers in the Raleigh database, compare the frame and handlebar measurements to mine to confirm they’re identical, and see if there are twin rivet holes where the Eaton’s Glider headbadge would have gone.

An alternative hypothesis, and a simpler story, is that this is a CCM-built bicycle with CCM parts. Occam’s Razor says that’s more likely, after all. If we disconfirm our Glider hypothesis with measurements, I think we’ll definitely need to research the bikes listed by the Canada Science and Technology Museum: the Cleveland, Silver Ribbon, Ivanhoe, Perfect, Columbia, Rambler, and so on.

Bike cleaning party tomorrow – stay tuned!

Update 1: Flikr seems to be siding with the Occam’s Razor hypothesis that this is a CCM bike. No loop-frames for comparison, but check this stuff out:

First off, for rivet hole placement where the headbadge should be:
– the classic CCM headbadge:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/merk62/3630523922/
– an alternative (off-label) headbadge with same rivet hole spacing:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mistagregory/273856877/

Example 1:
– same chromed fork crown:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/83868261@N00/3026061907/
– and same cranks (different chainwheel) & chainguard:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/83868261@N00/3026060387/in/set-72157608993279125/
– and same coaster hub:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/83868261@N00/3026063717/
– on this balloon-tire CCM cruiser:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/83868261@N00/3289051145/in/set-72157608993279125/

Example 2:
– same fork crown:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobeinspired/4264764043/
– possible missing decal:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobeinspired/4265513502/in/photostream/
– another headbadge beauty shot, note the pinstriping:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobeinspired/4265513554/
– and same chainguard and rear rack, all on this 1942 CCM Rambler:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobeinspired/4265518540/

Confirmation one way or the other tomorrow afternoon…

Update 2: I found some more CCM goodies through a Google Images search.

First of all, Gerry Lauzon at howtofixbikes.ca has an indispensable post about finding his 1950 CCM ladies-frame bike, which includes serial number information. The photos show a bicycle that’s very similar to Nicki’s. He went on to do a series of posts at a separate blog about the restoration and rebuild process for “Victoria” that’s pretty interesting reading.

It just so happens that we took a photo of the serial number. It’s a bit blurry, but it looks to me like it’s xxxxxC, which corresponds to a 1951 manufacture date.

Montreal’s La Bicycletterie J.R. have great photos right now of another restored 1950 CCM loop-frame bicycle that they’re selling, including one of a more recent headbadge than seen in the Flikr examples, with a red-painted background and the same rivet spacing as the others. Again, the bike looks eerily like Nicki’s, right down to the red tire rims with white pinstripes. I love that they’ve swapped out the plastic handles for cork ones. Yum.

The Canadian Design Resource post on the CCM Imperial Mark II includes a great photo of that same CCM headbadge, sans red paint, and CCM-marked fork crown – and some post-1960 serial number information in the comments.

Finally, one more neat link: North Vancouver’s HUKK Bikes have photos of a 1940s CCM bicycle they sold which features an original painted headbadge, which was used instead of the embossed metal one due to rationing.

My money is now on this lovely bicycle being a 1951 CCM. We’ll find out for sure tomorrow, I guess. So, what should we name her?