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 1899 to early 1900?>>> Chainless "IDENTIFIED"
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Kurt S.

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  10:01:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So I've been doing some digging into the driveline of this bicycle in question, at first not knowing a darn thing of what to expect from all the different manufactures. But I eventually came to the conclusion I must take this thing apart and compare this with a Crescent catalog. I obtained a copy of one from 1900, good of year as any to start with, and it is identical in every respect. And from a book "The Modern Bicycle - 1898-99" the gears are the same 40-15-24-23.

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Could this have been a Crescent model sporting the Western Wheel Works & Crescent badge similar to this ladies model #4. (another catalog I have that describes the #4 Crescent doesn't show this badge at all)

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Kurt J. Schaak
kurtschaak@yahoo.com

Edited by - Kurt S. on 09/04/2017 11:29:44
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Kurt S.

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  11:26:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay so I found out, or at least I think there are at least two #1 Crescents, one being a chain drive and secondly a 1898 chainless.


Could this be it? The #4 appears as a ladies chainless which that head badge would at least fit the holes.

Anyone out there have a 1898 #1 Crescent chainless they could measure the head tube for me?



REFERENCE:
http://proteanpaper.com/scart_picture.cgi?comp=howiebik&pic=000000000000009506&part=000000000000001244

Kurt J. Schaak
kurtschaak@yahoo.com

Edited by - Kurt S. on 09/04/2017 11:28:51
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Kurt S.

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  12:37:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see by the attached link for the 1898 they did have options for a standard size frame plus two other size frames, this could explain the difference in the head tube size I see from that of the print/image.

This being a 22" frame, a 6" head tube compared to an 8" would make some sense.

Your help is sincerely welcomed and appreciated, Thanks again Kurt


Kurt J. Schaak
kurtschaak@yahoo.com

Edited by - Kurt S. on 09/04/2017 12:40:28
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Kurt S.

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  15:38:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So in my search of all knowledgeable things of chainless Crescent bicycles, i decided to search Western Wheel Works history, when I came across this interesting video. I was thrilled to hear it has an 1898 #18 Crescent, all be it a ladies model, I'm thinking what a nice chance to see one on video.

I had a nice laugh wondering how Chris was describing this as an original #18, and kept a straight face.

reference at and forward to 3 minutes & 12 sec.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnTvcV2YxYQ

P.S. Chris, if you happen across this post, I really do appreciate all the diligent work. For example, a post a while back with a list of your references to cycling publications, has been an immense help in in all of my searches from that day forward.

Kurt J. Schaak
kurtschaak@yahoo.com
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Kurt S.

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2017 :  20:02:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Previously I had done a less than scientific test to see what the gearing was, thus by rolling the bicycle next to a tape measure. Since then I have disassembled the drive-line and found that the gears were in fact 40-15-24-23. This is actually an equivalent to 71 1/2".

Kurt J. Schaak
kurtschaak@yahoo.com
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Kurt S.

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2017 :  14:49:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, well perseverance is paying off in finding the identity of this bicycle. Only I lost track of how much time I’ve put into it, probably a good thing.

Initially I thought this was a Crescent 17, but the differences in the head tube, the badge holes and the drive line made me consider a long search through many other brands. The Clipper sounded so close by descriptions given in write ups, only to find from photos (thank you David) and reading that its drive is similar to the Columbia, so I gave up the search for one with a drive similar of what can be seen on the Rambler.

So one thing I had on my mind when looking at the Clipper was the question of their gears, I know from an advertisement it was available with Brown & Sharpe or Lehland & Faulkoner gears, and have not yet found out if they are marked in anyway specific to the manufacturers. But it got me to where I am now; I had taken my drive apart and examined my driveline including the number of teeth on each of the beveled gears, I had no idea at the time it would be of as much help as it was.

This is not a #17 Crescent, the minor difference seen in the rear drive, that “C” or “U” member where it connects to the rear flange of the tailpiece of the shaft drive is carried through into the 1900’s. The gearing for the #17 is the same as mine though, and was offered in a 22” frame.

My bicycle is “almost” identical to the #17, except for the detail of driveline where the serrated adjustable cap protrudes from the rear dust cover and possibly that the front gear cover having fasteners to hold it in place (which I saw on a 99).

After locating a 1900 Crescent catalog and parts list catalog on e-bay, which had enough information which I could preview, before purchasing them, which I did. I found that the #41 Crescent offered with options was identical to the bicycle I have.

The serial number that is stamped on the underside of the crank case would be that of ABC Crescent, which of course, had their own way of doing things, as short lived as they were. That explains the odd and very low serial number, compared to the 5 or 6 digits found on earlier models.

So, I was still scratching my head about the odd spacing of the badge holes, Crescents I’ve seen and read about all have that very distinguishable Crescent badge. So, while reading a book preview of the “The Ride to Modernity: The Bicycle in Canada, 1869-1900”, it speaks directly about this subject and the Crescent bicycle. It seems Crescent wholesaled their bicycles and you could have your very own custom head-badge put on it at the factory. Ya, I didn’t think of that!!!!

My most sincere thanks for all the effort that has gone into helping me on giving this bicycle an identity.

Gratefully, Kurt

Kurt J. Schaak
kurtschaak@yahoo.com
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