* 5. Other Mercury’s

The MERCURY NAME

Names have always been a valuable commodity and the name Mercury has been associated with cycling from early in its history with various bicycle companies using the name. I have one 1930’s loopframe whose badges declare it as The Mercury Cycle. When I discover more about it, I’ll let you know.

The Mercury Name: I wonder who owned copyright on such an appropriate bicycle name? How was it acquired for Mercury Industries in 1946? You could say that I am somewhat ‘mer-curious’ about this subject, as well as about the MERCURIUS badge below…


mercurius

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MUIR & CO

Frederick Works, Frederick St, Heath Town, Wolverhampton

Stephen Muir of Wolverhampton made one of the earliest Mercury’s –

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J.W. TOLLEY

St. Mary’s Square, Birmingham

59 New Bond St. London

When the well-known Birmingham small-arm manufacturers J.W. Tolley, of St. Mary’s Square, started making bicycles in the late 1890s, they called them ‘Mercury Cycles’ too. Note that their slogan is very similar to that used later by Royal Enfield.

J.W. Tolley was bought out in 1911 by rival gunmakers Holloway & Naughton.

tolley_mercury

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ARIEL MERCURY

Ariel Works, Bournbrook, Birmingham

Ariel also produced a Mercury model, which was cheaper than the Ariel or the Fleet. It was made at the Bournbrook factory, and the one pictured here is from the 1909 Ariel catalogue (many thanks to Jerry Mortimore for emailing the scans to me)

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The Flying Mercury was an American bicycle; the ‘Motor Bike’ in the 1918 advert below is shown with electric lights.

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Montgomery Ward Hawthorne Flyer

Not a Mercury, but the Montgomery Ward Hawthorne Flyer featured a Hermes figure on its head badge.

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Another Hermes badge, this time from Sweden.

The three biggest Swedish bicycle manufacturers were Monark, Husqvarna and Nymans Verkstäder (Nyman’s Workshops). The Hermes was Nymans’ main model.

If you’re interested in Swedish bicycle history, you can read about it here – http://www.cykelhistoriska.se/historyeng.htm

Published on January 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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