1898 Cleveland Bevel gear Chainless (Canadian)

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In 1899, Lozier & Co, makers of Cleveland bicycles, merged with 75 other companies in a corporation set up by Colonel Pope of Columbia as ABC- the American Bicycle Corporation. In return for their participation, Lozier & Co contributed their factory in Westfield, Ma, USA (which later became the centre of operations for Columbia bicycles). You can see an American Bicycle Co advertisement below (in this case, their London GB depot) promoting chainless bicycles from three of the merged companies, Cleveland, Crescent and Rambler.

As part of the deal, a smaller corporation was set up north of the border too. From a merger of Lozier, Massey-Harris and three smaller Canadian cycle builders, CCM (Canadian Cycle Manufacturing Co) was created to cater to the Canadian market.

The US cycle industry was suffering from over-production, and their reliance on expensive wooden wheels and tubless tyres hampered sales; as a result, ABC went bust a few years later, to be purchased by Colonel Pope. But CCM went from strength to strength, its control of the Canadian market strong enough to withstand cheap US imports.

1898 Cleveland Bevel gear Chainless, ‘Model 36’ 

Sold in Canada by Armand Gagne, CCM agent, rue St Honore, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

24″ Frame

28″ Wheels (wooden, with tubular tyres)

Christy men’s saddle

20th Century headlamp

Corbin ‘model 45’ bell

Leather frame-mounted tool case

Frame No 129126

(Now sold)


This Cleveland is interesting in that it appears to predate the historic 1899 merger of cycle companies in the USA, but was sold after it, in Canada.

The headbadge shows that it was built in Lozier’s US Westfield factory, and records indicate that the ‘Model 36’ was built in 1898. (There were different model numbers each year). But its dealer decal on the steering head shows that it was sold in Quebec, Canada, by Armand Gagne …who was a CCM agent. As CCM was founded in 1899, I assume this example to be an earlier model sold after Lozier had moved their operations to Canada.

The Model 36 is in good condition all round, and retains its unrestored original paintwork. The nickel handlebar is faded. Its original tubeless tyres hold air but are suitable for display only. This model predates the introduction of freewheel hubs and coaster brakes – it’s fixed gear, as can be seen by the footpegs on the front forks which were used for coasting down hills (very dangerous!).












By the end of the 1890s, Colonel Pope had bought out most of his competitors in the bicycle industry. Lozier was no exception, and he sold out to Pope Manufacturing for the record sum of $4 million dollars so that he could re-invest his money in the new business of motor engines.

By 1901 Lozier’s new company – the Lozier Motor Company, of  Plattsburgh, New York – produced marine engines and steam launches. The company’s first cars were introduced later that year as prototypes and, in 1905, Lozier & Co exhibited their first vehicle at the New York Auto Show. The four-cylinder vehicle sold for $4,500, a sizeable sum in the early 1900s. A six-cylinder car was introduced in 1908. By 1913, a six-cylinder engine, offered in two different sizes, were the only units powering Lozier vehicles.

CCM – the Canadian Cycle & Motor Company: Massey-Harris had been Canada’s leading agricultural machinery manufacturer; like so many manufacturers of the time, they decided to branch out into bicycle production. By the late 1890s they became that country’s largest cycle manufacturer.

Having opened a branch of his bicycle business in Toronto in 1895, H.A Lozier had the second biggest bicycle operation in Canada. Both companies (with three others) merged to form the Canadian Cycle & Motor Company (CCM) in 1899. CCM survived the recessive economic climate despite strong competition from the USA, and exported bicycles to Australia and South Africa.




“The 1898 model of the Twentieth Century lamp has a number of changes in construction in the line of simplicity and efficiency. The reflector is increased in size somewhat between the Standard and the Tandem sizes of their 1897 models; the glass in the front has been improved in quality and is now hinged, and the aluminum parabola reflector is removable; an outside filler has been added so that it is rarely necessary to remove the oil font from the lamp, and the method of attaching the oil font if needed to justify has been altered by the addition of a new sliding lock. One of the best of the changes consists in using a rigid lamp bracket which is adjustable at any angle on the head or handlebar post, not even interfering in this position with the brake, and it can also be attached to either fork side. The lamp can also be used for driving purposes, being readily attachable to any style of carriage dash board, thus making it a complete driving lamp. The lamp retains, however, the folding bail handle which makes it available as a house lamp also”












Bicycle posters became an art-form in the late 19th century. Various American bicycle companies opened branches in Paris, and many of their posters were French-designed. The two Cleveland posters at the top of the page were designed by the artist Jean de Paleologue (1855–1942), who used the name ‘Pal’.

The artist Jules Cheret (1836 – 1932) also produced two bicycle posters for Cleveland, one of which is the 1901 poster, above, featuring a ‘Cherette’ girl.

Born in Paris to a poor but creative family of artisans, Jules Chéret had a very limited education. At age thirteen, he began a three-year apprenticeship with a lithographer and then his interest in painting led him to take an art course at the École Nationale de Dessin. Like most other fledgling artists, Chéret studied the techniques of various artists, past and present, by visiting Paris museums. From 1859 to 1866, he was trained in lithography in London, where he was strongly influenced by the British approach to poster design and printing. On returning to France, Chéret started creating vivid poster ads for the cabarets, music halls and theatres.

As his work became more popular and his large posters displaying modestly free-spirited females found a larger audience, pundits began calling him the ‘father of women’s liberation.’ Females had previously been depicted in art as prostitutes or puritans. The women of Chéret’s posters, joyous, elegant and lively— ‘Cherettes’, as they were popularly called — were neither. This was very liberating for the women of Paris, and it heralded a noticeably more open atmosphere in Paris where women were able to engage in formerly taboo activities, such as wearing low-cut bodices and smoking in public. These ‘Cherettes’ were widely seen and recognized, and a writer of the time observed how it would be ‘difficult to conceive of Paris without its ‘Cheréts.’