c1889 Sparkbrook ‘Cripper’ Tricycle (Youth-size)

THE ‘CRIPPER’ STYLE OF TRICYCLE

The first Humber tandem tricycle was built in 1883 and marketed in 1884. A conversion of tricycle to tandem tricycle was also offered. Originally known as the ‘Automatic Steerer’, a tricycle introduced in 1884 with large driving heels, a central chain, and small pilot wheel at the end of a long steering column was re-named the ‘Cripper’ after the amateur champion Robert Cripps who won many races with it. Its heyday was from 1885 to 1887. The ‘Cripper’ style of tricycle subsequently became popular, and many other manufacturers made them.

c1889 Sparkbrook ‘Cripper’ Tricycle (Youth-size)

This juvenile Cripper tricycle has a handlebar similar to the Humber but the main frame is in the style of the Sparkbrook (below), though it has a bearing head rather than open steering. It’s usually hard to date a juvenile version accurately as they were built in the style of the adult versions but often continued in production after the adult versions ended.

This example comes from the paul Farren Collection in Australia. I’ll update the photos and details after it arrives in England.