1920s REXOR Truss-bridge Road Racer
(Etablissement Messner, 55 Rue du Chemin-Vert, Paris)
This REXOR Truss-bridge is a lightweight road racer, a style that was pioneered in France prior to the Great War. It was sold by Etablissement Messner, 55 Rue du Chemin-Vert, Paris.
Introduced from America in the early 1900s, truss-bridge frames enjoyed a resurgence of interest in France in the 1920s due to their use in the Tour de France. The design of this machine is different to the Labor. I’m not sure if it was built under Labor’s license, or if their patent had expired by the 1920s.
The Rexor an older restoration which has been recently serviced, is in good condition and is ready to ride.
TRUSS FRAME HISTORY
Iver Johnson of the USA held the original patent for the truss-bidge design of bicycles; it was in force for 17 years, from 1900 to 1917.
World champion cyclist Major Taylor used Iver Johnson truss-bridge bicycles when he raced in France in the early 1900s to escape racial prejudice in America. As a result, the design became popular in France and Labor introduced their own truss bridge bicycle in 1906. Other French companies also marketed the model, some paying license fees to Labor and others ignoring the Labor license. Hence the inference in their advertisement (below) that monkeys might copy the design, but they would not be as good as the original.
The Truss Frame continued to be sold in France throughout the 1920s. The illustration below shows Maurice Dewaele of Belgium, 2nd in the 1927 Tour de France with his Labor.
ETABLISSEMENTS MESSNER, 55 Rue du Chemin-Vert, PARIS