1938 Elgin Twin 20 ‘Model 502′
1938 Elgin Twin 20
This is a fabulous ‘dream bike’ produced by the top quality American manufacturer Elgin, which was famous in the late thirties for its spectacular and unique bicycle designs.
It is restored and ready to ride.
Says bicycle historian Phil Marshall:
Sears offered the Elgin Twin-Bar model for about three and one half years beginning in the fall of 1938 and ending in late 1941 or early 1942. The model’s offering spans seven editions of their large, biannual mail order catalogs. These biannual Sears mail order catalogs comprise the largest body of printed information collectors have used to study the Twin-Bar and its variations. Beyond the catalogs, there is at least one special seasonal flyer, a parts catalog, and patent office filings that are widely available in the public domain.
The information contained in those publications is a good basis for understanding the bike but there are limitations.
To begin with, the Twin-Bars themselves were built in batches by two different manufacturers and while there are clear differences that are manufacturer dependent, no mention of this was made in the Sears consumer literature.
The catalogs themselves are only the tip of the iceberg of the printed information that was produced by Sears and by the bicycle’s manufacturers. The manufactures produced and exchanged production and preproduction information with Sears’ design and marketing staff and Sears themselves produced much more detailed literature that was supplied to their retail stores for ordering purposes and other literature breaking down the bikes by model and part numbers for the purpose of ordering repair and replacement parts for them. None of that information is readily available today and for that reason, the information that most of us draw on is a limited picture of what was actually produced. This is made clear by variations found in original bikes that do not clearly match a specific documented catalog listing.
In addition to bicycles specified for, illustrated in, and marketed and sold through the mail order catalogs and seasonal flyers, versions were produced that were sold directly from the floor of Sears’ retail stores. Some of those bikes were no doubt identical to catalog bikes but some may have been built or ordered by the stores in configurations different from those offered in the catalogs.
My 1890 Raleigh Road Racer is on the left (not an open frame) facing my friend John’s open frame 1890 Raleigh Roadster.
Stanmer has a working farm at its centre. Near the church is an unusual survival, a donkey-wheel, i.e. a treadmill formerly operated by a donkey. There are 18th-century lodge-houses at the upper and lower ends of the park. The village was incorporated into Brighton in 1928, and the park passed into the hands of the county council in 1947. It is now a major public space.