1910 Hercules gent’s roadster
The Hercules company was formed on 9 September, 1910 by Edmund Frank Crane and Harry Arthur Crane, sons of the founders of the Petros Motor & Cycle Co. The name ‘Hercules’ was meant to indicate a robust and durable machine.
In the slump following the boom period of the late 1890s, the industry, despite the reluctance of many of the larger firms, recognised that price falls were necessary, and with one or two exceptions began to manufacture second-grade machines, sometimes under different names. However few embraced the ideas of some who suggested reduced prices to bring bicycles within the scope of the masses. Petros attempted this through auction sales but the family was declared bankrupt having been shunned by the trade.
Initially trading from a derelict house in Coventry St., Birmingham, and overcoming the Petros bankruptcy difficulties, the company soon moved to a house with a yard in Conybere St. then within months to 24 Britannia Works, Conybere St., Birmingham, Warwickshire.
The firm produced reliable and affordable machines that were keenly priced, so much so that it became a serious rival to the Raleigh Cycle Co. Ltd. Following World War I the company became a major producer of cheap bicycles.
The Collection’s exhibit
This early gent’s Hercules roadster bicycle is a nice, honest, machine that would grace any modern veteran-cycle rally.
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