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Wrecking ball to visit another bicycle factory

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The building where Eagle Bicycles were manufactured in Torrington, Connecticut, more than 100 years ago is scheduled for demolition.

When the roof of the building’s landmark tower collapsed recently, the Register-Citizen reported that historic preservation officials decided the building should be torn down before it falls down.

The company built bicycles from about 1888 to 1900, producing 20,000 to 30,000 bikes a year. One of them — a 48-inch wheel penny farthing — was used by Frank Weaver in an early trans-America bicycle journey in 1890.

Later on, Eagle Bicycles offered aluminum rims, which could be adapted for use with tires with inner tubes for easy repair, according to an advertising release available at Machine-History.com.

David V. Herlihy, in Bicycle: A History , said those aluminum wheels never caught on as “Americans remained partial to the wooden variety.”

The Eagle factory isn’t the only historic bicycle manufacturing site in the news the past few years.

The Westfield, Massachusetts, home of Columbia Bicycles was torn down about four years ago, according to the MrColumbia website.


It had been a private museum that housed many of the bicycles made by Pope Manufacturing, which offered its first Columbia bicycle for sale in 1877. The bicycles have since been moved into storage. See more Columbia history.

Meanwhile, the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum had been making plans to relocate its collection to the surviving building of the George N. Pierce Bicycle Co. on the Buffalo, N.Y., waterfront redevelopment. The museum owner, Carl Burgwardt, died earlier this year and the collection is being sold.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2012/10/15/wrecking-ball-to-visit-another-bicycle-factory/

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