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History of cycling in Syracuse, New York

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

English racer bicycle, Syracuse Sunday Standard, June 14, 1896

Cycling in Syracuse, New York, has been common on the roads and paths for recreation, commuting, and as a sport since the latter part of the 19th century.

Syracuse had no fewer than 19 local bicycle manufacturers including Barnes Cycle Company (1895–1899), Central City Bicycle Works (1898), Dodge Cycle Company (1896), E. C. Stearns Bicycle Agency (1893–1899), Emory, Empire Cycle Company (1896–1898), Frazier & Jones Company (1898), Frontenace Manufacturing Company (1896), H. R. Olmsted & Company (1896–1898), J. C. Brown & Company (1904), J. W. Gould (1898), Lighton Machine Company (1895–1896), Olive Wheel Company (1897–1901), Ruben Woods, Syracuse Cycle Company (1894–1898), Syracuse Specialty Manufacturing Company (1896), makers of the Frontenac, Tourist Bicycle Company (1896–1898), Wooden Hickory Frame Cycle Works (1893–1898) and[1] Worden Frame Hickory Bicycle Works.[2][page needed]

Syracuse racers[edit]

Most raced for local bicycle manufacturers nationally and even worldwide. A few were native Syracusans;

  • E. E. Anderson () - Professional racer from St. Louis, Missouri, of "mile a minute fame," rode a Stearns bicycle during the 1897 season.[3]
  • Eddie Bald (1874–1946) - Professional racer rode the Cannon Ball and carried the name of Syracuse-made machines into the national cycling field.[4]
  • Carroll B. Jack () - Raced for Stearns in 1896.[3]
  • John S. Johnson (1873–1934) - Rode a Stearns wheel when he made a "remarkable mile" in 1:35 in 1895.[5]
  • Earl Kiser (1875–1936) - Member of team of Round-the-World Yellow Fellows in 1896. He was nicknamed the "Little Dayton Demon".[6]
  • William Martin () - Member of team of Round-the-World Yellow Fellows in 1896.[7]
  • John J. McLaughlin () - Raced on a Stearns Yellow Fellow and broke the record on December 18, 1894.[8]
  • C. M. Murphy () - Professional bicyclist and winner of the Madison Square Garden races. Later hired by E. C. Stearns & Company in 1896 to ride the Stearns bicycle in Paris, France.[9]
  • Major Taylor (1878–1932) - Raced for E. C. Stearns Bicycle Agency in 1899.[10]
  • William Van Wagoner (1870-) - Competitive bicycle racer in the Northeast from 1888 to mid-1890s. Went on to design Barnes bicycles and later automobiles.[11]
  • Harry Wheeler () - Member of team of Round-the-World Yellow Fellows in 1896.[9]
  • John Wilkinson (1868–1951) - By 1880, he was one of the country's leading bicycle racers and later worked for Syracuse Cycle Company where he designed the Crimson Rim. By his mid 20s he went on to design the Franklin automobile air-cooled engine.[12]
  • Frank W. Knowland (1877-1952) - In 1895 he held the one-mile and 10-mile road championships of New York State. He began work for the Syracuse Cycle Co. in the winter of 1895-96 and later switched to William Spaulding & Co., where he built up the sporting goods department. He bought an interest in Doubleday & Co., changing the name to Doubleday-Knowland Co., after having spent several years with the A. G. Spalding store and the Wright Ditson Co.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. "Bicycle Brands Home Page". The Wheelmen, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  2. "Worden Bicycles". Syracuse Daily Standard. Syracuse, New York. July 3, 1897.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Notes of the Trade". The Evening Herald. Syracuse, New York. May 31, 1897.
  4. Early, Frank J. (January 31, 1940). "Bicycle and Automobile Set New Tempo and Brought More Industry to Syracuse". The Post-Standard. Syracuse, New York.
  5. "John S. Johnson - Amateur". Syracuse Herald. Syracuse, New York. August 5, 1894.
  6. "Archdeacon: Cemetery brings sporting past to life". Cox Ohio Publishing, 2010.
  7. "William Martin Stearns Bicycles". The New York Times. New York, New York. April 15, 1896.
  8. "Among the Wheelmen" (PDF). The New York Times, New York, New York. March 17, 1895.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Cycle Trade Association Reports Sport Growing With Many Communities Forming Riding Clubs". Syracuse Herald. Syracuse, New York. September 14, 1930.
  10. Ritchie, Andrew (1988). Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer. The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 114, 131. Retrieved January 12, 2011. Search this book on
  11. "Cycling Champions at Providence". Boston Daily Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. June 28, 1888.
  12. "He Smashed the Record". Evening Herald. Syracuse, New York. July 20, 1893.
  13. "Frank W Knowland Dies, Proprietor of Sports Store". The Post-Standard. Syracuse, New York. December 11, 1952.

External links[edit]

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