Starley & Sutton first designed this style of open frame diamond safety bicycle, which they called the ‘Rover.’ They were closely followed by other manufacturers, such as Coventry Machinists Co with their ‘Swift’ diamond safety and, in the USA, the ‘New Mail’ and the Iver Johnson Safety.
Between 1890 and 1896, Lovell Diamond bicycles were manufactured by Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works, initially in Worcester, MA, and then in Fitchburg, MA. The names of both companies appear on the headbadge.
Iver Johnson also advertised Lovell Diamond bicycles under their own name, as you can see in the 1890 advertisement above, where they refer to it as a ‘Diamond Safety.’ The Lovell Diamond company call it a ‘Lovell Diamond Safety.’
In 1896, Iver Johnson decided to build bicycles under their own name, the phrase, ‘a long established cycle with a new name’ appearing on the cover of Iver Johnson’s first bicycle catalogue of 1896. As a result, John P. Lovell Arms set up their own bicycle factory in Portland, Maine and continued to make their own bikes until 1900.
In 1900, Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works bought out the entire John P. Lovell Arms Company, ending the Maine cycle production. That same year, Iver Johnson started using the Lovell Diamond name on their cycles as well as their own.
1892 Iver Johnson ‘No 1’ Diamond Safety
Manufactured by Iver Johnson Arms & Cycle Works
Sold by John P Lovell Arms Co, Boston, Mass
Frame No 11141
1891 Lovell Diamond safety bicycles had open steering heads. 1892 models were similar except for the integral steering using ball bearings. The company offered cushion tyres (Model No 2 at $95) and pneumatics (Model No 3 at $115).
This solid tyre example, Model No 1, was the budget model, priced at $85.
1892 LOVELL DIAMOND CATALOGUE
1891 LOVELL DIAMOND CATALOGUE & ADVERTISEMENTS