1918 Pope Daily Service


For the season of 1912 we offer as usual a complete Columbia line; wherein either man, woman or child may find a bicycle suitable for every purpose of business or recreation.

Particular attention is here directed to the ‘Pope Daily Service,’ continued for this season in all its strength of construction and beauty of design, finish and equipment. This model is intended to supply the ever increasing demand for a bicycle of exceptional quality for use in any hard, practical service. It possesses greater strength and durability than the ordinary pleasure bicycle.

– Extract from the 1912 Columbia Bicycle Catalogue

Around 1909, Pope Mfg Co introduced a range of commercial bicycles – known in Great Britain as tradesmen’s bicycles or carrier cycles – which were beefed-up versions of their normal range, and fitted with a front carrier. This ‘Pope Daily Service’ model was ideal for local shop deliveries. The company described is as “just the bicycle for policemen, letter carriers, telegraph and telephone linemen, firemen, and for the use of inspectors and others connected with various city departments.”

Carrier bicycles and tricycles were used extensively in Britain, but It wasn’t until the 1920s that their use became more practical when companies such as John Warrick of Reading introduced a comprehensive service for small businesses around the country. This included leasing of the bikes and instant replacement or repairs as required. Simplicity and standardisation of their design allowed cheaper manufacture and a ready supply.

The use of commercial bicycles in the USA was not as widespread as in Britain. It was not until the 1930s, when Schwinn had introduced a cheap and practical ‘Cycle Truck’ with 26″ metal wheels and normal pneumatic tyres, that small American businesses started buying them in any quantity. An early example such as this Pope Daily Service is a rarity today.

1918 Pope Daily Service Commercial Bicycle

22″ Frame

28″ Wheels

(Now sold)

Most pre-1930 American bicycles had wooden wheels with tubeless tyres, which have usually deteriorated after 100 years. So enthusiasts invariably replace them with metal wheels and normal pneumatic tyres, as has been done here. The Pope Daily Service is a rare bicycle in the USA nowadays, and even rarer on this side of the Atlantic. It’s a worthy addition to any collection of carrier bicycles, is fully functional, and is ready to display and ride.