This very early Pedersen may be the earliest surviving example, built by Mikael Pedersen before the establishment of the first company, the ‘Pedersen Cycle Frame Co’, on 16 December, 1896. It’s similar to the one ridden by his wife Dagmar in the 1898 photo titled ‘Mr and Mrs Pedersen’ (below).
Its badge is engraved ‘nickel silver’ (also known as ‘German silver’, which generally comprises 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc). This would have been an expensive choice for a head badge in commercial production, but suitable for a limited run of prototypes. Early machines did not have a frame size allocated to them, but it’s similar to the height of a juvenile bicycle such as that used by a young teenager.
When found, this historic Pedersen was incomplete. I fitted the 24” wheels, a replacement saddle (from Doug Pinkerton), a ‘Midget’ bell and an inch pitch five-bar chainset similar to that shown in the 1896 Humber catalogue for the ‘Pedersen Safety’.
The handlebar is 5/8” diameter. The missing grip reveals a threaded end. I do have a pair of replacement grips but I don’t want to remove the remains of the original Bluemel grip.
1896 Mikael Pedersen Small Men’s Bicycle
WIDTH: 18″ (Handlebar)
Frame No 31
FRAME No 31, UNDER BB