1910s / 1920s Durkopp Diana Ladies Cardan (Chainless)
Durkopp was one of Germany’s top bicycle manufacturers. The company’s Cardan (chainless) bicycle was a popular seller and was still being manufactured in the 1930s. When Rover brought out a chainless bicycle in Britain in 1913, they used the Durkopp system under license.
This example is an older restoration in excellent all round condition and is ready to ride.
1912/1913 DURKOPP CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
SHORT VIDEO OF CHAINLESS & COASTER BRAKE OPERATION
HISTORY of DURKOPP
In Bielefeld, Germany, during the middle of the 19th century, the industrial revolution had turned the city into a major textiles location. Imported sewing machines, mainly from the USA, were used to further process the materials. They were expensive to buy and hard to service. Two mechanics, Baer and Koch, recognized the opportunity and started the first sewing machine factory in Bielefeld .
The success of the venture indicated to the partners the potential of the new market, and in 1865, Baer decided to start his own operation. Koch continued trading under the name of Koch & Co, and by this time, he employed two sewing machine mechanics: Dürkopp and Schmidt. Dürkopp had already designed his first sewing machine in 1861, and in 1867 together with Schmidt, he started his own company known as Dürkopp & Schmidt.
Within the following 20 years, Bielefeld developed to become one of the most important centres of the sewing machine industry in Germany. In 1880, there were 19 Bielefeld companies operating in the sector. Their products enjoyed international recognition and were sold all over Europe.
The sector underwent a crisis in the 1880s as a result of growing national and international competition. Dürkopp & Co, as the company was called after Schmidt’s departure, was the first enterprise to start seeking new markets with the manufacturing of bicycles. The new product line sold very well and the company continued on its successful path. As did other companies, Koch & Co. followed Dürkopp’s example, and bicycle manufacturing soon became an important factor in the town’s economy.
Inspired by his success, Dürkopp started manufacturing cars, trucks and other forms of motorized transport at around the end of the century. While Dürkopp was constantly busy trying to find new fields of business for his company, Koch & Co concentrated on industrial sewing and clothing equipment. Its brand name “Adler” became synonymous for special sewing machines of international demand. Kochs Adler Nähmaschinenwerke AG, as the company was called by then, therefore discontinued bicycle production in 1920.
At the end of the 1920s, the world economic crisis forced Dürkoppwerke AG, the name of the company after the death of its founding father, to give up car production, which in any case had not been a great success.
DURKOPP CHAINLESS: LADIES & GENTS MODELS
Durkopp Catalogue with thanks to – https://velopedia.online/Document/Show/324