JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 962
Circle Factory." Well, not quite. Actually, not at all. The first image is just a detail from the
warehouse of the ubiquitous
The bicycle wheels appeared in Bicycling World (for April 1881, “A Great American Manufacture”), illustrating a story about the growing interest in bicycles in America but more specifically the success of the partnership between the Weed Sewing Machine factory and Albert A. Pope in the mass production of the bike. It was a newish idea, partially borrowed from the Sharps Manufacturing
production of weapons with standardized parts, which was employed in the production
of sewing machines by Weed, and then on to bikes by Pope. Actually Weed took the step further than
Sharps by producing almost all of their machines in-house, having a foundry and
forge right there at the factory. It was
this step and then other innovations by Pope that produced an enormously successful
bicycle production company, with something like a quarter million bikes made in
the first few years of operation.
Weed-Pope domination didn’t last long though, what with the introduction of the
remarkable safety bicycle from
By 1895 this balloon busted, and for some reason Americans stopped buying bikes, with demand falling off to nearly nil, causing the vast majority of these companies to whither and fold, causing the whole of the bicycle interest to come first circle. Or cycle.
But there was a huge lesson learned for future manufacturers of transportation devices—namely cars, and more specifically, Ford(s), drawing critical lessons in production from forging methods and sustainable assembly lines.