Most ordinary bicycles were sold in the sizes 50-54 inch (front wheel size). Taller men bought 56 inch, extremely tall men 58 inch - a very rare size. Smaller people - quite common in those days - bought 48 inch.
But this 44 inch Singer is a real boy-sized ordinary. A very expensive toy in the 1880's, so few were sold and even fewer remain.
Serial number 15851 indicates it was built in 1881 (or early '82) and it differs in a lot of details from the 52 inch 1881 model we see here.
It's clear the boy's model couldn't be as expensive as dad's toy, so it features:
- the oldfashioned locknut spokes
- solid fork front and rear
- plain bearings front wheel, cone bearings rear wheel
- spring sliding directly on backbone.
Details like handlebar and brake assembly are really smaller versions of exactly the same parts on normal sizedbicycles. These details make it an absolutely interesting bicycle and a rare survivor of this small size.
Owner restored it in a very professional way. Thanks Maarten Waarlé for the pictures.
Click the picture to enter more pics (inclusing restoration pictures) on Flickr.