1895 Gormully & Jeffery ‘The Rambler Tandem’


When the Gormully & Jeffery Mfg Co commenced to build bicycles – and that was sixteen years ago – their leading aim was to make the best wheel that human ingenuity, guided by the highest mechanical training, could possibly construct. Since that genesis of their extensive manufactory, they have spared no expense to make the best still better, whenever an opportunity has occurred.

The Rambler bicycle industry, although it has grown to immense proportions, did not spring up like a mushroom. The G&J Company’s ambitions were prompted by the spirit of the times when the bicycle age was in its infancy; and the first factory in the world which was devoted exclusively to the manufacture of bicycles and allied industries was erected by the Gormully & Jeffery Mfg Co. That was the nucleus of the enormous Rambler works which now push their eight stories ever upward, as if in sympathy with the constantly upward tendencies of this progressive firm.

The continual praise of countless numbers who ride our Ramblers is a good reward for our efforts. Besides its unequalled success in the land of its invention, the mails from sunny India, progressive Japan, the young republic of Hawaii, Mexico, South America, Australia and the conservative countries of Europe, bring us numerous newspaper clippings containing detailed accounts of Rambler victories on highways and track. ‘Rambler First’ has been the result of many a hotly contested race. World’s records were broken with it twenty-five times during 1894, and all its various victories run well up into the hundreds.

– from the 1895 G&J sales catalogue



 1895 Gormully & Jeffery Rear-Steering ‘The Rambler Tandem’

Frame: 23″ Rear; 19″ Front

28″ Wheels

(Now sold)



Tandems with rear-steering linkage are believed to have been invented by Dan Albone, on his 1888 Ivel tandem. They were all the rage for a few years in Great Britain and America, where they were popular with courting couples, and they had linked handlebars.

This linkage design – connected by a rod to the front forks – was introduced in 1895, and Gormully & Jeffery was one  of the first companies to use it. The frame geometry on their 1895 Rambler Tandem is quite different from later models; it was only made for one year. The most noticeable features are that the rear top tube is downwards sloping – whereas tandems from 1896 onwards had a horizontal top tube. Later G&J Rambler tandems also had a loop frame at the front (as below), rather than the straight tubing of the 1895 model.

This rare example is in very good preserved condition. The decal above the steering head badge is faded but the original paintwork overall is good. The wooden wheels are reasonable, though the tubeless tyres are misshapen. The front saddle is the original, and the leather top is in poor condition. The rear saddle has a new leather top, with the G&J engraving on the sides. The machine has recently been stripped, cleaned and serviced in our workshops, and is ready to display.










































THE RAMBLER TANDEM: 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898

The most easily recognisable difference between the first Rambler tandem (1895) and the models of subsequent years is the ‘loop’ of the front part of the frame (the parallel down tube from the headstock).

The 1895 model has straight bars at the front while the following years’ models have a loop, similar to the Rambler ‘loopframe’ lady’s safety bicycle.

If you compare the two illustrations more carefully, you can also see that the rear top-tube is downward sloping on the 1895. The frame geometry is actually quite different on this first year of the Rambler tandem.

The following catalogue illustrations are in date order: