1914 Humber All Black Model 6A
with All Weather mudguards
Celluloid handlebar & grips
Frame No 335495
The 1913 and 1914 Humber catalogues illustrate an ‘All-Stone-Grey’ model with the same specification, but do not show an option for an ‘All-Black’. It was the only model on offer with all-weather mudguards. My feeling is that customers did request black versions, as the 1915 catalogue offers it as an official option at no extra cost.
This All-black was restored and repainted many years ago. The celluloid handlebar (with matching grips) is particularly attractive. The chaincase has been removed (often done on gents’ bicycles for practical reasons: to reduce weight and make it easier to change the rear tyre and adjust the chain). This all-weather roadster was recently serviced and is ready to ride.
1915 HUMBER CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
HUMBER: THE ROYAL CONNECTION
A major selling point for Humber was that the marque was favoured by King George V (pictured above, in 1911, receiving a letter from a postman). Of course, this was a fabulous marketing aid for the company, and the model became extremely popular both at home and (particularly) throughout the Commonwealth …as ordinary folk, riding a Humber, would be able to enjoy similar views and sensations as their ruling monarch.
George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 to 20 January 1936) was King of the Great Britain and British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. In 1896 a Humber motorized tricycle was the only motorcycle to finish the London-Brighton Emancipation Day Run which celebrated the raising of the speed limit to 12 mph. In 1898, the Duke of York, later to be King George V, became the first royal to ride one.
Though other bicycle manufacturers had bicycle lines named ‘Royal’ and several of the top manufacturers supplied bicycles to the Royal Family – who were keen cyclists and had supported the cycle industry since its earliest days – Humber capitalized most on its Royal connection in its advertising campaigns.
The picture below, from 1905, was part of Humber’s advertising during the reign of King George’s predecessor, King Edward VII.
THE MILITARY HUMBER
For their 1915 ‘Military Humber’ the company simply added military fittings to their most robust frame. As the Humber rear brake linkage conflicts with the usual position for the front rifle clip – on the offside of the headstock – Humber’s front rifle clip was uniquely mounted on the nearside (see below).
The ‘Military Humber’ – illustrated above in the company’s 1915 catalogue – had a strengthened frame (using Humber’s tradesmen’s bike specifications) and 1 3/4″ wheels. Compare the contemporary Tradesman’s Humber, below, with strengthened frame and forks.