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I found this years ago at Hershey. The event must of been large to give away a souvenir nickel plated oil can.  I figure Bicycle, but could it be motorcycle? The Pat. date on the back is June 19th, 1894. Can is one inch wide and  2 inches tall without the spout. Has anyone seen any literature that shows this can? Karl

 

 

 

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paul55,

     I forgot the 1901 Pan-American Exposition was in Buffalo New York. Have you ever seen photos, post cards or other Pierce official souvenirs from the Expo? Did Pierce use photos from the Expo in any Cycle advertisements? That would make sense that if you put a deposit on a bike, you could end up with a oil can. Pierce sure liked to plate things when everyone else was in a "Brass Era". When I look at Pierce cycles and even the 1903 car offering, Nickel is everywhere. 

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OK, I'll bite.

 

Karl, that's a great oil can you have, never seen another one.

 

I'm sure they handed out other things, too, one thing was a card with the picture of the exhibit (see attached). 

 

Also, they had a special bicycle celebrating that exhibition, a 1901 Pan American Special, chainless (shaft drive).  I just acquired one in what appears to be original paint (see attached), one option was to have spring front forks and I'm adding those to this bike (since forks on it now are bent, a common malady). 

Pan American.jpg

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Karl....you have a great can.........quite the compliment, and I usually only tell that to the ladies! I have a Pan American Pierce shaft drive bike, with the Pan American globe logo on it........all origional. The bike crowd was quite happy to see photos and the numbers, as it helped them correctly date a bunch of other bikes. I have seen stuff from the Pan American Expo over they years, all paper goods. Nothing like the can. It's very neat, and gets three thumbs up from me. I won't ask.......because I already know the answer. Best, Ed 👍👍👍

 

PS- I would take it to a skilled jeweler and remove the dents to the extent you are able.

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The only other tidbit to mention is that Pierce provided bicycles to the Pan-American Police detail. Attached is an ad for the spring fork which was introduced in 1902. Note that there are no spring shackles to separate the leaves. For 1902-03 a leather strip was pinned into place to keep the forks separated. Note that the spring forks could be retrofitted to earlier bikes.

Spring Forks 001.jpg

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To all, This is all great information. I am surprised to see zero fenders. I guess they came later? 

 

Ed, Coaster brakes on a Shaft Drive cycle? Is this the first brakes on a Pierce cycle? Shoe (feet) brakes before that?

 

Paul, Did Pierce keep all those spring leaves on later bikes?

 

David, as always your collection of small Pierce stuff is amazing!

 

My can has been over tightened in its life and the neck is loose. So removing the cap for repairs will have to start with delicate silver soldering. I will not be putting my vice grips on the neck to hold it while I turn the top.

 

Sure wish we could share our stories at Hershey next week, But....

 

Karl

 

 

 

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Karl,

 Pierce went through quite a learning curve with coaster brakes trying several vendors beginning in 1899. By 1901 Pierce offered both a Morrow and a New Departure coaster brake. In the 1902 catalog, Pierce issued an apology that the quality of the New Departure is not up to Pierce standards and that Pierce will be machining all brakes in their shop to the New Departure design. These brakes are identified as Pierce New Departure.

  The Pierce spring fork comprises a main spring and one supporting leaf. Once the spring shackle was added in 1904, no further improvements were made to the fork. The latest Pierce Buffalo catalog I have is 1914 and the fork is still being offered.

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One tidbit about shaft drive Pierce bikes, though I haven’t been able to absolutely confirm it.

 

Pierce wanted high quality gears for the power train.  The story is that they went to the best in the business, Henry Leyland, and had his company make them.

 

If anyone can provide further information to verify that fact it would be great...

 

One more small tidbit, one Pan American model was all nickel plated, frame and all....one sold a few years ago, if I knew then what I know now I’d have robbed a bank and bought it...

 

Ed, maybe you bought it?

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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I didn’t buy that bike.....but I sure thought it was fantastic. There are several of them around if you have 20 grand. Leyland did make the early gears......it was talked about by his children at a meet in Massachusetts back in the 50’s or 60’s. I believe it’s accepted as a fact. And why not, they were buying lots of items from outside suppliers at that time.........bicycle history and car history in the early days were similar......lots of people jumping in and building “assembled” units.

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  • 2 weeks later...

David,

  Yes, Pierce used Leland-Faulconer gears on the chainless models. The earliest mention seems to be in the 1901 Pierce bike catalog on page 16-17. The statement: "The Leland-Faulconer gears are recognized as the standard gears of the world. They are hardened after cutting and then ground to gauge, and in this manner produce a perfect gear".

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A quick google search confirmed this was "Leland" of Cadillac and Lincoln fame. It is amazing how many of the early auto pioneers knew and used each others parts! One has to wonder if the  Pierce brothers could have talked him into coming to Buffalo instead of him buying out Ford in 1903 what a Pierce-Arrow would have been!

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My husband just received his birthday gift early, a 1901 Pan American Men's Racer.  It was supposed to be a surprise on his big day, but I was caught in the act of reassembly, so the surprise was yesterday.  

 

We know so little about the Pierce bicycles, but what fun it will be to learn more.  Trimacar pointed me in the right direction to find and purchase this Pierce Bicycle, Thanks.  The purchase was in August, but with the fires in WA, it took a while to arrive.  It needs some mechanical work, but in wonderful shape otherwise.  We plan to take it to the 2021 PAS National Meet in Hershey, PA.  We hope that we can get a little more help on the mechanical repairs and history.  

 

The great photos posted above in this thread, the oil can, pics, ads and postcards are very interesting.  Thanks for sharing. 

IMG_8659.JPG

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Great!  I was glad to help.

 

Jane and I also discussed the missing cover for the gears.  I have the identical bike (in red) also missing a cover.  I took one off one of my other chain less bikes for a pattern, as I’m hoping to reproduce them.

 

Not a simple piece.  Not only a convoluted shape, but the angle is not 90 degrees on the cover nor the gears, due to the angle of the shaft drive.

 

So, interesting question, did they take this angle into account when making gears?  It may not be as evident in picture, but a definite acute angle on both pieces, and they fit together perfectly.

 

Any suggestions on who could fabricate out of sheet metal would be helpful.

294EC2E5-2CE7-432A-A6B0-72ABB8323A33.jpeg

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42 minutes ago, Jane Barclay said:

My husband just received his birthday gift early, a 1901 Pan American Men's Racer.  It was supposed to be a surprise on his big day, but I was caught in the act of reassembly, so the surprise was yesterday.  

 

We know so little about the Pierce bicycles, but what fun it will be to learn more.  Trimacar pointed me in the right direction to find and purchase this Pierce Bicycle, Thanks.  The purchase was in August, but with the fires in WA, it took a while to arrive.  It needs some mechanical work, but in wonderful shape otherwise.  We plan to take it to the 2021 PAS National Meet in Hershey, PA.  We hope that we can get a little more help on the mechanical repairs and history.  

 

The great photos posted above in this thread, the oil can, pics, ads and postcards are very interesting.  Thanks for sharing. 

IMG_8659.JPG


Jane, does the bike have the Pan American sticker on it? What’s the serial number?  How did you determine it was a Pan American model. I’m no bike expert, but shaft drive Pan American units are the holy grail of Pierce bike collecting. 

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22 minutes ago, trimacar said:

Great!  I was glad to help.

 

Jane and I also discussed the missing cover for the gears.  I have the identical bike (in red) also missing a cover.  I took one off one of my other chain less bikes for a pattern, as I’m hoping to reproduce them.

 

Not a simple piece.  Not only a convoluted shape, but the angle is not 90 degrees on the cover nor the gears, due to the angle of the shaft drive.

 

So, interesting question, did they take this angle into account when making gears?  It may not be as evident in picture, but a definite acute angle on both pieces, and they fit together perfectly.

 

Any suggestions on who could fabricate out of sheet metal would be helpful.

294EC2E5-2CE7-432A-A6B0-72ABB8323A33.jpeg


Dave.....that’s a deep draw........very difficult to make. Probably a thin casting is your best bet......complicated to do.

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5 hours ago, edinmass said:


Dave.....that’s a deep draw........very difficult to make. Probably a thin casting is your best bet......complicated to do.

Understood thanks- at one time someone made a few out of fiberglass....If I could make a mold I'm almost thinking the current version of Quik Poly would work, it's machinable when cured...

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I think you can 3 D print it......they have the new metal that will hold up to 400 degrees...should be fine. 

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I need to find someone willing to 3-d print them, then.....I need three sets, would probably like to have ten sets as I know there are people looking for them...

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Jane, that is a great looking bike, the spring forks must have been quite the thing on rough roads! Thanks for sharing your photo so we all can learn more about these bikes. Do you need pedal assemblies or they were not installed when David found the bike? Karl

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On 10/10/2020 at 9:40 AM, edinmass said:


Jane, does the bike have the Pan American sticker on it? What’s the serial number?  How did you determine it was a Pan American model. I’m no bike expert, but shaft drive Pan American units are the holy grail of Pierce bike collecting. 

Serial number needs to be in the 70000-80000 range, which Jane's is, and have New Departure brakes (see picture of mine).  It also should have suspension under the seat in the form of a collar and inner spring for the rear wheel supports.

 

Some models had front spring forks instead of the standard fork, but that was an option.

 

The TRUE holy grail is the all nickel plated Pan American models, EVERYTHING, frame and all, is plated.  There are numerous Pan American models out there, but only a handful of the plated ones.

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