Elliptical chain wheels were first used by a major manufacturer in 1893 when Colonel Pope bought its patent and fitted it to his Columbia ‘Century’ Model 32. Ever since, cycling magazines have debated its effectiveness, concluded it did not improve
1928 Bicyclette LUCIFER Homme Course
with Elliptical Chainwheel ‘Equipement Elan’
This 1920s Lucifer is a rare beast in its own right, but even more so fitted with the ‘Equipment Elan’ elliptical chainwheel.
1928 CATALOGUE: EQUIPMENT ELAN
1926 CATALOGUE: GENIAL LUCIFER
Mestre & Blatge, 46-48 av de la Grande-Armee, Paris
Mestre & Blatge was a well-known department situated in an area that was the city’s first centre for shops and garages that sold automobiles. Among its many products, Mestre & Blatge retailed furniture, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, children’s pedal cars and tricycles, as well as every kind of motoring accessory, including equipment for airplanes. The company operated between 1902 and 1956.
Lucifer was Mestre & Blatge’s leading brand name. Lucifer lamps were a top brand worldwide, and the company capitalised on this name by using it on their bicycles too. The company subsequently bought the Genial company, which had been established in 1907, and their bicycle brand then became Genial-Lucifer.
The company also had branches abroad. The article below, from ‘Flight’ magazine of 2nd December 1920, mentions a shop at 20 Store St, Tottenham Court Rd, London, as well as ‘continental and South American’ branches. Their shop in Rio de Janeiro was opened in 1912 and subsequently became the well-known Brazilian chain of department stores called Mesbla SA.
The ‘Automobile Eureka’ offered by Mestre & Blatge, below, was modelled on the Bugatti. Eureka was one of France’s leading pedal car manufacturers. These days these these ‘Baby Bugattis’ are one of the most expensive pedal car collector’s items.
The ‘Tricycle La Sportinette’ offered by Mestre & Blatge in the above advert was manufactured by J. Laurenty of 59, Ave de la Republique, Paris XI.