THE ‘CRIPPER’ STYLE OF TRICYCLE
The first Humber tandem tricycle was built in 1883 and marketed in 1884. A conversion of tricycle to tandem tricycle was also offered. Originally known as the ‘Automatic Steerer’, a tricycle introduced in 1884 with large driving wheels, a central chain, and small pilot wheel at the end of a long steering column was re-named the ‘Cripper’ after the amateur champion Robert Cripps who won many races with it. Its heyday was from 1885 to 1887. The ‘Cripper’ style of tricycle subsequently became popular, and many other manufacturers made them.
1891 John H Ellis ‘Rhoda’ Juvenile Harrier Tricycle
Front wheel 16″
Rear wheels 23″
This juvenile Cripper tricycle has a handlebar similar to the Humber but the main frame is in the style of the ‘Rhoda’ Juvenile Harrier Tricycle. It’s hard to date a juvenile version accurately as they were built in the style of the adult versions but often continued in production after the adult versions ended. With the earlier handlebar style this one might be earlier than the 1891 date of the John H Ellis catalogue.
This example comes from the paul Farren Collection in Australia and is in good all round condition.
1891 JOHN H ELLIS CATALOGUE EXTRACTS