In this age of cheap labour it should not be lost sight of that TRIUMPHS are produced solely by male mechanics and skilled ones at that. It stands to reason that when skilled men are supplanted by cheap labour, the quality of the finished article must suffer accordingly.
– Extract from 1914 Triumph sales brochure
The mass enlistment of the cycle industry labour force in 1914 necessitated the recruitment of unskilled workers, many of whom were women. But apparently this was already an issue before the outbreak of war, with many companies recruiting cheaper labour to reduce costs. Triumph’s workshop manager refused to employ female staff, and the 1914 Triumph catalogue reflected his opinion on that issue.
Triumph bicycles featured unique components throughout. They were among the most expensive bicycles in the world. So every part was made in the Triumph factory to prevent the manufacture of counterfeit machines. The quality of a Triumph was unequalled – the top-of-the-range Triumph Imperial was on a par with a Golden Sunbeam, but it was a lighter machine.
1912 Imperial Triumph No 17 Light Roadster
Tall 29″ Frame
with band Brake
Brooks ‘Model B302’ Saddle
28″ Wheels (40 spoke rear; 36 spoke front)
Frame No 225588
1914 TRIUMPH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS