GIG HARBOR, WASHINGTON 98335
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NBHAA GUIDE TO CORRECTING THE CLASSICS
(NBHAA GTCC) !!
CORRECTIONS TO EDWARD ROBERTS INTERNATIONAL BICYCLE AUCTION CATALOGUE
Held September 14 and 15, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois FOLLOW...
copyright © Leon Dixon/NBHAA 1999, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010. All rights reserved. CAUTION! WE ARE WATCHING, SO WATCH YOUR CREDIT LINE! THESE CORRECTIONS ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. If you use them without getting permission first, you are violating federal copyright laws. No part of these corrections may be republished, excerpted, referred to in print, used in any way unless written permission from the author has been provided and acknowledgments are made.
NOTE: As far as we know, this was Edward Roberts International's (ERI) first and only major attempt at auctioning old bicycles. Apparently this was an attempt to fill the gap left when Sotheby's decided to abandon trying to auction old bicycles. Like Sotheby's, ERI's people were very nice and did a such a beautiful catalogue with well intentions, but sadly, there are some very serious errors in the information... as follows. We don't have any record of a subsequent ERI bicycle auction.
Page 3, Item/lot 1001: The item shown is claimed to be a "1891 Pierce Dual Cushion." Good job on referring to it as a Pierce instead of the usual "Pierce-Arrow" claim auction companies do (see NBHAA GTCC Pierce-Arrow controversy) but the good job stops here. This example is in fact equipped with dropped bars, racing saddle and stem that all appear far newer–and it does not match factory information for that year.
Page 4, Item/lot 1004: The item shown is claimed to be 1933, but has a headbadge that appears to be newer. Of course, the description starts right in with a claim that is both incorrect and confused. It claims that 1933 is the first year for a 26-inch "single tube balloon tire." BUT... the tires shown appear to be neither singletube balloons nor 1933 type tires. Furthermore SCHWINN's first balloon tires were NOT singletube balloons, but in fact were known in those days as "double tube balloon." The first singletube balloons were already on the market in the USA at least by 1932...NOT by Schwinn...and BEFORE Schwinn. Finally, the early Schwinn balloon tires were red rubber, not whitewalls as shown. Don't take our word for it... look it up! And if you can't, ask US, huh?
Page 3, Items/lot 1005: The item is described as 1897 and is claimed to be "very good all original condition." But the description then contradicts this statement by admitting this "all original" bicycle has "non-original" tires. It ALSO has a non-original saddle which is decades newer than the year claimed.
Page 4, Item/lot 1006: The "impeccably restored" Aerocycle has a Troxel saddle with a top that is kittywhampus on the chassis (the correct rear positioning of the saddle should not be on a sliding-down angle). What looks like a nice piece overall is made questionable due to this seat and other factors.
Page 5, Item/lot 1009: The item is described as 1938 when this year is questionable. This description buys into the hobby myth that all or most Colsons of this design are 1938. Item is also claimed to be "good original condition" but the Troxel saddle installed is obviously older than the bicycle itself.
Page 7, Item/lot 1012: The item is described as 1938 when it is quite obviously appears newer.
Page 7, Item/lot 1014: The year claimed is in question as is the saddle as claimed to be "original"... and the claim that relations between the United States and Germany were "deteriorating" in 1936 is open to endless debate.
Page 8, Item/lot 2001: The item is described as "circa 1950 Hawthorn"...the year is questionable, but the spelling is wrong. Change "Hawthorn" to Hawthorne. This is yet another rampant myth/mistake in the hobby. Likely, whomever wrote this caption probably was looking to the "J.C. Higgins/Hawthorn" (sic) book title for their "facts"... but even the title of this Xeroxed compendium is ALSO misspelled.
Page 9, Item/lot 2003: The information seems to be confused....?
Page 10, Item/lot 2005:The item is described as "1946/47 MONARCH SILVER KING"...which means several errors. FIRST, the name was MONARK–NOT "MONARCH"–which was another bicycle company. AND it is not necessary to say "Monark Silver King"– especially for postwar models like this one. WHO STARTED THIS SILLINESS??? EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET IS DOING THIS NOW!!!! Saying "Monark Silver King" for this bicycle is like saying "General Motors Chevrolet Impala." Furthermore, the seat has been switched from an early 1950s steel frame Monark Super Deluxe. Oldest this bicycle can be is 1947 and if we could see more and if it were indeed with all original equipment we would ID it as newer than described. While the headlight is the correct design, it was obviously removed from a steel frame MONARK (Silver King headlights OF THIS DESIGN were painted RED... MONARK headlights were painted ivory color–so you know where this one came from). Of course, this negates the statement in the description that this "pedestal headlight was only used for this year" which is amateur absurdity. In fact, this headlight design was used for SEVERAL years of the Silver King hextube models. Also, The rear carrier is obviously an aftermarket unit attempting to look like the factory unit (which had a dropped metal skirting around the rear obviously not on this example). The red grips are NOT original and not original type. Finally, the fender design shown was NOT used in 1946...AND the reference to "period whitewalls" (tires) is meaningless since the Silver King hextube from this period did not come equipped with whitewalls!
Page 11, Item/lot 2010: The item is described as "World War 2 SCHWINN LIBERTY" when in fact what is shown appears to be a WW2 VICTORY model. The statement that these bicycles were "only available to defense workers during the war" is wrong in several ways. First, these bicycles were only produced for a few months in very early 1942. They were NOT produced during the length of the war. Schwinn was busy producing war materiels while they were not allowed to make bicycles for much of the war by edict of the War Board. Second, while bicycles of this type ORIGINALLY EARLY IN 1942 were severely restricted, they were available to anyone with a ration ticket that allowed them to buy a bicycle–regardless of what they did for work.
Page 11, Item/lot 2011: The item is described as "1964 Schwinn Corvette 2" ...WHAT is that? No such model. It was claimed to be "in excellent original condition" yet someone has changed the original Corvette handlebars and added an incorrect steerhorn handlebar design from a balloon bicycle. Furthermore, the tires are described as "period Schwinn Superior whitewall tires" when in fact Corvettes used Schwinn Westwind middleweight tires.
Page 13, Item/lot 2016: The item is described as "circa 1960 Sears." ARE YOU KIDDING??? A 1970s 10-speed twin-stick derailleur musclebike from 1960? How do you do THAT kind of magic??
Page 13, Item/lot 2020: The item is described as "circa 1951." ......
Page 14, Item/lot 2023: The item is described as being "1956 MONARCH," but is actually 1954 MONARK. Of course, the item claims that 1956 was the last year of "Monarch's balloon tire production" ...wrong. People... why do we need to make such outrageous statements?
Page 14, Item/lot 2025: The item is described as having "All State" tires, but the name was ALLSTATE... one word. A great and well-known brand name. Er... they even have an insurance company that some of you out there MAY have heard of!
Page 15, Item/lot 2028: The item is described as 1954, but is obviously 1948.
Page 15, Item/lot 2029: The item is described as 1954, but is obviously 1948. And it has also been modified with an aftermarket electric tail light and a front mudflap.
Page 17, Item/lot 2036: The item is described as 1956 but is quite obviously a 1960 model with incorrect 1970s reflectors mounted in the wheels and stem.
Page 18, Item/lot 2037: The item is described as 1960s, but this is questionable. The description further goes on to make the incredible claim that it was "Made by Murray of Ohio." PEOPLE! STOP with the ridiculous "MURRAY OF OHIO" silliness. The name of the Company was Murray Ohio or Murray-Ohio, but NOT "Murray of Ohio." PEOPLE...who started this silliness? Of course it is incredible that Murray would have made MTD bicycles... which is actually what this example is. For anyone who does not know better, MTD was actually involved with making Columbia bicycles at the time this bicycle was made!
Page 18, Item/lot 2040: The item is described as 1954 with a serial number of "NO5882" but obviously is would have to be N05882 (N-ZERO, not N-O). And while this bicycle was claimed to be "new old stock" a Delta Super Rocket Ray as installed was NOT original equipment... meaning it has been modified. Can't be modified and be "new old stock"...which implies unmolested, old but still new.
Page 19, Item/lot 2042: The item is dated 1950, yet the date is questionable with the colors shown.
Page 20, Item/lot 2047: The item is described as "circa 1962" and "good original condition," however, it is obviously missing the headlight, rear reflector and front carrier. Even worse, someone has removed these items, but gone to the trouble of adding an aftermarket speedometer.
Page 21, Item/lot 2049: The item is described as "professionally restored, excellent condition" however it is obviously highly customized. The seat is older than the bicycle... which is in fact based on a Westfield or Columbia. And NO Westfield product such as this would ever have come equipped with a sprocket obviously from a bicycle made by Murray Ohio. SHAME! The speedo/clock dash also appears to be repopped Columbia replica pieces. And Elgins did not come with Columbia handlebars or what appear to be Shelby grips made in red color.
Page 22, Item/lot 2051: The item is described as "1960 BOMBARD INDUSTRIES BOWDEN SPACELANDER" However the name of the company was BOMARD INDUSTRIES. Bombardier is an AIRCRAFT company.
Page 23, Item/lot 2054: The item is described as "1940 Roadmaster", yet ....(TBC)
Page 24, Item/lot 2058: The item is described as 1947, it appears to be .....(TBC)
Page 27, Item/lot 3002: The item is described as "circa 1948...excellent and correct restoration" ...in fact, there are several anomolies. The Whizzer tank and throttle controls are obviously Model H... yet for 1948 it OUGHT to be Model J. And what is "correct" about a Schwinn Whizzer with a very incorrect MONARK sprocket? And since the chainguard is not shown, but incorrect sprocket is installed, it is hard to tell what is going on here, but it is certainly not a "correct restoration."
Page 27, Item/lot 3004:The item is described as "1948 Whizzer S-10" when in fact it appears to be a mixture of years and has not strictly been "restored" but rather, has been altered. As in MODIFIED. The correct original saddle is missing and instead a Schwinn Phantom saddle (never used on this model) is installed. Of course, neither the Phantom saddle (nor the Phantom itself) existed in 1948. The tank shown is a Model H tank...yet the serial number given is clearly a Model J which would require an embossed tank. There are other issues.
Page 41, Item/lot 194: The item is described as "circa 1955" when in fact it is 1940-41 with an incorrect and newer headlight from another brand of bicycle.
Page 67, Item/lots: Items described as "circa 1945," Are certainly almost always open to question.
Obviously a few items were actually made in 1945... but not many. Why so many people pick "1945"as a year for bicycles and motorcycles today is a bizarre mystery. There was a little thing called WORLD WAR II that was going on that year... and factories just were not turning out many bicycles and motorcycles since most had either been restricted from doing so by law...and/or were busy making war items. Use caution whenever some item is dated "1945"... it is not impossible, but should raise a huge red flag.
Page 64, Item/lot 6055: The item is described as "circa 1890...manufactured by the International Business Machine Company" ...WOW. IBM's centennial is in 2011. Centennial means 100 years. Do the math. Counting back 100 years puts us at 1911. WHICH indeed is when International Time Recording Company (ITR) which supposedly made this clock MERGED with another ancestor company to become what is now known as IBM. This is the first issue. The second issue is the label on the clock of "Pierce Arrow Bicycles" which–at best–is either suspicious or just downright wrong. Again, see our NBHAA GTCC section on myths about Pierce bicycles. ODDLY, the auction description lists the clock as "24v DC"...in other words, 24 volts, DC. Uh-ohhhh. Now, WHO had 24-volt DC electric clocks in 1890–or any time remotely close to that period? AND–the piece de resistance–there appear to be two winder ports on the clock face for winder keys. Now, why would an electric clock have winders?
Page 69, Item/lot 6070: The item is described as including "American Bicycle Journal" when in fact it is actually showing an early version of Quinn Publications' trade magazine which at that time was simply titled "THE BICYCLE JOURNAL"but not American Bicycle Journal.
For the record, we have a big problem with things being listed as "restored" when in fact they are customized. Webster's dictionary defines restore as to "return to original." If a piece has not been returned to original, it has not been restored. And when a piece has been so extensively modified or assembled out of miscellaneous parts, then it is best classified as a customization.
Happy Correcting and Collecting. Keep checking back for more.
Guide To Correcting The Classics will return in "Evolutions of the Bicycle" -NOW ONLINE IN GTCC!
We can identify almost any bicycle manufactured in North America between 1920 and 1970. We can also assist with bicycles made prior to this AND after this time. However, our era of specialty is between these dates. Also, since we primarily focus on American-made bicycles our involvement with non-domestic bicycles is limited. In some cases such as Raleigh and certain other imported makes, we do have a good amount of archival material. In other cases, we can advise you where to get information.
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This page, all design and contents, all photos unless otherwise noted are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011 by Leon Dixon/NBHAA, All rights reserved. The information and photos on this website may not be reproduced in any form without expressed written permission of NBHAA or its curator.
Date of last update to this page: 20 FEBRUARY 2011
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