Over the coming months the Cycling Museum of Minnesota (CMM) is photographing and documenting its collection as a follow-up effort supported by the Minnesota Historical Society. Periodically visit their website or Facebook page, for updates to learn more about the bikes from our past.
This month’s feature is the Lovell Diamond bike made by Iver Johnson and Company and sold by the John P. Lovell Arms Co. of Boston, in 1891. This bicycle has equally-sized wheels placing it firmly in the safety bicycle category of its era, yet it retains some features of the high wheel bikes. Like the high wheel’s this bicycle has hard rubber tires, not the pneumatic tires that will come next. The frame includes a mounting step, even though a rider this close to the ground doesn’t need to step up over a high wheel.
And like the high wheel’s, when the wheels of this bike are turning, the pedals are turning, which is why the front fork includes two pegs where the rider can rest his or her feet while coasting.
Suspended from the top tube is a leather map case, a useful accessory for the touring rider. For additional comfort the seat includes two springs, plus a leaf spring, to help compensate for the rougher ride the hard rubber tires provide. Many of the major features of today’s bicycle appear in the Lovell Diamond design, along with a few holdovers from the 1880s craze for the high wheeler’s.
You can view more images of the Lovell Diamond and learn more about the CMM (Cycling Museum of Minnesota) at: cmm.bike.
This bike is on loan at the Museum from: Juston Anderson.