1938 Adler Dammenrad Ladies Bicycle

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1938 Adler Dammenrad Ladies Bicycle

20″ Frame

28″ Wheels

(Now sold)

This pre-war Gewrman bike is ready for a new owner. With a 20″ frame it’s suitable for a rider around 5′ 5″ tall.

One of the handlebar grips fell off during my photo session! But it will be supplied with a pair of matching grips.




The Adler company started in 1896, and as well as making bicycles, motorycles and cars, they were famous for their typewriters and, later, office equipment. They eventually merged with Triumph. The photo above is of a 1903 Adler motorcycle.


Adler built cars with de Dion-Bouton engines and from 1902 its own four-cylinder engines. Driven by Erwin and Otto Kleyer sons of Heinrich Kleyer, founder of Adler, and by Alfred Theves (founder of the ATE piston-ring works), these cars won many sporting events.

Popular models of the 1920s were 2298cc, 1550cc and 4700cc four-cylinder and 2580cc six- cylinder cars. Gropius and Neuss coachwork was seen on many models, built between 1927 and 1934. They had 2916cc six- cylinder and 3887cc eight-cylinder engines. The front-wheel- drive Trumpf models of the 1930s with 995cc (Trumpf Junior), 1494cc and 1645cc four-cylinder engines, gained many successes in races, including the Le Mans 24 hours.

Among rear-driven Adler cars were the 1943cc “Favorit”, the 2916cc six-cylinder “Diplomat” and the 1910cc four-cylinder and 2494cc six-cylinder models with partially streamlined bodywork built until the Second World War.

Adler cars were commonly used by the German army. The photo below, illustrating an Adler staff car, is from my photograph collection.


Interestingly, as well as their normal motorcycle models, Adler also has a history of cyclemotors: from 1932 they produced lightweight motorcycles using Fichtel & Sachs engines (see picture below). These pedal-assisted machines were similar to what we called autocycles in Britain.



After World War 2, all German motorcycle plans were requisitioned by the Allies, and in Great Britain Adler’s 250cc motorcycle engines were adapted by Ariel to become the Arrow and Leader. Japanese motorcycles were also often direct copies of original German machines.





The Adler company built it’s highly successful line of thrust-action typewriters on an original design by US inventor Wellington Parker Kidder. they were marketed in Germany as the Adler 7 beginning in the 1890s.

Adler soon developed the thrust action typewriter. They introduced a small portable version (the Klein Adler and the Klein Adler 2 and a full sized office machine, the Adler 8, followed by several adaptations, including the Adler 11 with two double shifts and six characters on each type bar, so that it could write two different typefaces.

The Adler 15 shown in the photo above was introduced in 1909 and was built until 1923. With four rows of keys and a single shift, this machine was only one huge step away from the introduction of the regular front strike typewriters that Adler (or Triumph-Adler) would continue to produce until it went out of business in 1995. An interesting detail is that despite the many improvements that were made on the machine, Adler stuck to the clumsy line space and carriage return system on the side of the carriage.

On the front of this machine is a dealer stamp from an Amsterdam based company with a 6-digit telephone number that shows that this machine was still in use in the early 1970s, 50 years after it was built.


Government Pass for Adler Bicycle


Here’s an Adler-related curio: an official pass for an Adler bicycle, dated 1947, and issued in Vienna, Austria.