Townend Bros Ltd, Coventry: In the early days of the Stanley and Agricultural Shows – we speak of a dozen years ago – there was always a fine display of Juvenile Tricycles by this firm. In Coventry they parted with their original premises to Humber and Co, and moved into new works; these have lately been greatly enlarged, with a splendid range of offices, and now rank among the largest. The Company have also extended the base of their operations, and while continuing children’s mounts, pay more particular attention to the ordinary run of cycles, and have added several new patterns for 1892.
The Townend ‘O-B’ – Boys of the present generation are more lucky than their fathers in having such vehicles as this provided for them. It is in every way equal to the best class adult’s mount, but is built on novel lines, the entire framing consisting of twin tubing. In front these are carried out on each side of the centre pin, and at the back unite in a neat boss; the little steed has a most taking appearance, and although higher in price than most Boy’s Bicycles it is worth it, indeed, we opine it will be more used by light men than boys, With cushions it is only £11 5s, or pneumatics £16in list. Townend Bros turn out about a dozen other varieties, which we have no room to describe.
– Griffin’s Cycles of the Season, 1892
1888 Townend Juvenile Tricycle
26″ Rear Wheel
10.5″ Front Wheel
Townend Cycle Works, Payne’s Lane, Coventry
This firm commenced in business in the late 1870s and juvenile machines were originally a speciality including the ‘Coventry Wellington’ and ‘Juvenile’. Based at Townend Cycle Works, Payne’s Lane, Coventry, Warwickshire. The original works were taken over by Humber & Co. Ltd. By 1892 the firm was producing adult machines too including the ‘Adult’, ‘Townend’, ‘Unassuming’, ‘Wellington’ and ‘Wellington Harrier’. The Model ‘M’ for 1892 had a patent coned crank and was also supplied with chain adjusters by way of a draw screw bolt having a collar encircling the spindle; possibly the first of this type. With cushion tyres it sold at £17 or £31 with Dunlop or Seddon pneumatics. The youths ‘O-B’ for 1892 sold at £11 5s with cushions or £16 with pneumatics. There were about a dozen other varieties in 1892 (1892 Model M, below).
Chain-driven tricycles preceded the introduction of the first successful chain-driven bicycle in 1886. The 1885 ‘Cripper’ tricycle set a pattern of chain-driven tricycles with direct steering (i.e. handlebars) and large rear wheels. The left side rear wheel is driven. For a while the term ‘Cripper’ was used for all tricycles of this nature, though Singer, always striving to provide a unique machine, in 1888 described their young adult’s tricycle as a ‘Miniature Direct Steering Roadster.’ Townend Bros, a leading manufacturer of tricycles, used the name ‘Juvenile Tricycle.’
1896 TOWNEND ADVERT