1952 Panther Gents (Germany)
Panther Gents bicycle
Panther Ladies bicycle
P&M Panther cycle lamp
P&M Panther large sign (reproduction)
P&M wooden sign ‘Powell & Hanmers Lamps’ (original)
I bought this gent’s Panther from a friend in Germany in 2008 because I liked the panther emblem on the front mudguard. Soon after, he found me a ladies’ Panther to go with it. They are both in original unrestored condition.
PANTHER WERKE AG
The company started as the Panther Bicycle Works formed by Ernst Kuhlmann & Co in Magdeburg in 1896. Bicycles were luxury items at this time, and the company had an extensive product range. In 1907, there was a change of ownership and the company was renamed Panther Fahrradwerke. (I wonder if, the same as with the Victoria Cycle Company, the initial owner was forced out because he was Jewish?). The company merged with Brunswick (Braunschweiger Fahrradwerke AG), the Magdeburg factory was closed and production was now centred in Braunschweiger. Some motorcycles were made between 1907 and 1909, as well as sewing machines under the brand names Panther and Brunsviga.
Panther focussed on bicycle production through WW1 and the 1920s, but also made full-size prams (baby carriages) and doll-sized prams. After World War 2, the company made mopeds and cyclemotors as well as bicycles. The Panther bicycle company still exists in Germany, based in Westphalia, making modern bicycles.
If you mention the name ‘Panther’ to British vintage bicycle enthusiasts, they would not think of an obscure German bicycle with a Panther emblem on the front mudguard. But they would probably remember the P & H Panther acetylene lamp, which was a popular means of illuminating your way in the early years of the the twentieth century. Here’s mine…
1951 Panther Ladies (Germany)
This ladies’ Panther is not in as good condition as the Panther’s men’s bicycle. So I’ll include it free for the purchaser of the Panther’s men’s bicycle.