This bike has a story. The problem I have with most old bikes is that they’ve either been abandoned and ignored or “restored” to better than showroom condition. Very few are in original usable condition.
Then there are bikes likes this one. The seller claims that the bike was built sometime between the 1910’s and the 1940’s. He then claims contradictoraly that he knows nothing about it and that “Everything is original from era.” That he knows nothing about it is much closer to the truth. The frame and drivetrain were not built much after 1910, if not before. However, the headlight was added 30 or 40 years later. I don’t know when that rear rack was built but it obviously was not designed for this bike. The tires, wheels with plastic reflectors, and bright yellow hand grips are right out of the 60’s.
From a pure collector’s point of view all that detracts from the “value.” For a bike geek like me though, all that is the value. Those upgrades tell a tale of a bike that has been well used for coming up on a hundred years.
I’m guessing that at some point its original owners laid it aside in a garage or barn. Some time later, when alternate transportation was required, due to the depression or WWII, the bike was made usable again. After what ever crisis it served through passed it was again idled, only to be resurrected again in the sixties, most likely as an ironic icon of simpler times.
Unfortunately it then seems to have found it’s way into a museum. A terrible place for a machine with such a history.
One odd technical note. The bike’s two upper “triangles” are almost identical. I did an image search on the web and found no other tandem bike that has this feature.
Unfortunately I have no need for a tandem bike and I don’t think it needs me mechanically so I won’t be bidding. Hopefully it will find a good home where people will actually ride it.