WOODS PATENT WIRE CYCLE SADDLE
Longford Wire, Iron & Steel Co Ltd
The Baroness de Langsdaff begs to enclose postal order and stamps to the Longford Wire Company Ltd for the Wire Woven Saddle which she has had on hire, and is pleased to keep, as she has found it the most comfortable and the best she has yet seen. It has enabled her to ride long distances without fatigue, and over very bad roads without a jar.
– 1897 Longford Wire Co advert; from Baroness de Langsdaff, Stour House, Christchurch, Hants, 30th September, 1896
This Wire Woven Saddle is one of the ‘lost gems’ of the 1890s, a time when thousands of items were invented and marketed on the back of the boom in bicycle sales. Small engineering companies all over the country designed, patented and sold accessories direct to the public via classifieds and adverts in the cycling press, as well as having stalls at national bicycle shows to promote their products. Many such items were picked up by larger cycle manufacturers or component sales companies such as Brown Bros and Benetfink (which was taken over by Gamages in 1907).
The Commercial Motor magazine of 4th February, 1915, refers to the Longford Wire Co of Warrington in its article ‘Where to Buy your Supplies.’