An illustrative melange

WHILE RESEARCHING MATERIAL for this timeline I’ve come across shedloads of pics which I’ve been unable to date. So, rather than leaving them to moulder away unlooked at…here they are. The illustrations are in an approximation of chronological exactitude; captions have been added where available and/or useful. A great many of the pics have been sent to me by my chum Francois, who has an astonishing archive of motor cycle photos and postcards including many from France, Germany and the USA. Many more of his illustrations may be found in the Leicester Phoenix MCC’s excellent lpmcc.net site which is required reading for any touring/rallying enthusiast. Francois’ contributions are to be found in the galleries of rally badges/reports and, primarily, in his commendable Memories of Yesteryear. I’m obliged to Francois and to Ben at lpmcc.net for allowing me to reproduce the Yesteryear series; you’ll find them via the main menu. The pics are enhanced by Francois’ excellent essays. I’ll update this gallery regularly so you might care to take a regular look-see. And if you happen to have information on any of these pics for use as captions please send it in.

1900S RACING TRIKES
Messrs Osmont and Fossier on the racing trikes that were, for a time, leaders of the racing pack.
1900S FRENCH PACER
Cycle pacers used some monstrous engines to achieve the speeds they needed to fulfil their role, but judging by that lump of 2×2 this is a static posed pic. For your delectation, here’s a selection of pacers…
1900S PACER ANGLO-FRENCH
PACER JULES THE
The rider in this nicely posed shot of a pacer, Jules Thé, was equally at home on a racing motor cycle.
1900s CISSAC PACER
Another champion motor cyclist aboard a pacer: Henri Cissac set a number of world records (you’ll find details elsewhere in the timeline) and, judging by the postcard caption he and cyclist Tommy Hall had just set a cycling record too.
PACER LUCIFER
There’s something of the cyberpunk about this streamlined pacer which, according to the caption on the original postcard, was dubbed ‘Lucifer’. Messrs Luthier and Brunier set a world one-hour record at Montléry; presumably the device on Lauthier’s back was a receptacle for Brunier’s forehead.
1900s BIG PACER
PACER 2-SEATER
1900s PACER TANDEM
PACER FOSSIER
PACER GRUBER
PACER MOREAU
PACER NASO
1900s PACER GUIGNARD
1900s PACER SALZMANN HEIDELBERG
1900s PACER Vélodrome de Tours
This one was taken at the Vélodrome de Tours.
1900s PACER WALTHOUR

Pacers were huge; racing motor cycles were lighter and more nimble…

1900s CHAMPOISEAU
French racer Champoiseau doing his thing on a wooden velodrome.
1900s PERNETTE
Another French daredevil; this is M Pernette.
1900S BIANCHI AD
1900S COMBO
1900S DUGGIE
1900S EAGLE
1900S GOGGLES
1900S INDIAN 8
1900S INDIAN 9
1900S SCAR W OWEN
1900s 2 UP
1900S SPRINGFIELD INDIAN DEALER
“No sand too deep, no hill too steep”…the freedom of motor cycling.

And while we’re on the subject of Indians, here are some more.

1900s US INDIAN
1900s US INDIAN 2
1900s US INDIAN 3
1900s US INDIAN 4
1900s US INDIAN 5 1913
1900s US INDIAN 6
1900s US INDIAN 7
1900S US INDIAN 8
1900S US INDIAN 10
1900S US INDIAN 11
1900S US INDIAN 12
1900s INDIAN PILLION
1900s US INDIAN AD
1900s US INDIAN MORE
1900s US INDIAN NIPPER
1900s US INDIAN NIPPER
1900s INDIAN SNOW
1900s US INDIAN CAMELBACK
1910S US INDIAN RACER
1900S US INDIAN BATHING BELLES

It would be rude to leave out the Harley boys (and girls)…

1900s US HD WOMAN COLOUR
1900S US HARLEYS
1900S US HARLEY 2
1900S US HARLEY 3
1900S US HARLEY 4
1900s US HD
OLD US 4 HD
OLD US 5 HD
OLD US 6 HD
1900s US HARLEY 3UP
1900s US HD FAMILY
1900s HD STUDIO PIC
1900s US HARLEY 4 RACERS

And in those days Indian and Harley-Davidson didn’t have the Stateside market all to themselves…

1900s US THORS-HD
1900S US ?
1900s MERKEL
1900s POPE
1900S US BIG TWIN
1900S US POPE
1900S US SEARS
1900S US YALE
1900S US EXCELSIOR COMBO
This fine combo is an American Excelsior…
1900S US EXCELSIOR PILLION
…this Excelsior rider preferred to carry his passenger behind him.
1900S US EXCELSIOR
And this Excelsior shows how the pillion seats of the time were mounted over the carrier.
1900s US EXCELSIOR DUO
1900S US CURTIS BLACKHAWK
Here’s a rarity: a Curtiss, and the nipper who had it, and flogged it. Check out the original press agency caption, below.
1910 CURTISS BLACKHAWK CAPTION U
SAN DIEGO HUNTER COMBO
1900s BIG GROUP
1900s LE MANS
This tri-car was pictured at Le Mans; judging by the competition number this elegantly dressed chap was engaged in a rather gentil race.
1900s VELODROME BIKE CAR
1900s 4POT
1900s FOSSIER
1900s FRENCH RACE
1900s MOTO REVE
1900s SOLDIER
1900S US JACKSONVILLE FLA
1900S US NEARLY LEGIBLE
1900S US PHONEMAN
1900S US POSED
1900S US SUIT
1900S US TINNER
1900S US TOLEDO OHIO RACER
OLD US 1
OLD US 2
OLD US SEARS
Back in the day our American cousins used to say you could find anything you wanted in the Sears catalogue (sorry, catalog); including motor cycles.
1900s FAMILY
1900s RIDER
TWO TWINS
1900s FIREMAN
TRIUMPH TRUCK
1900s 2 BRIT GELS
1910s CANOE SCAR
TERROT FACTORY
This pic, and the next two, are of the Terrot factory which was at one point the biggest in France. The marque was established in 1901—these snaps date from 1902—and survived into the sixties.
TERROT FACTORY 2
TERROT FACTORY 3 1902
TRIUMPH COVENTRY
…and here’s an equally historic site: Triumph’s originsl home in Coventry (until 1940 when noisy neighbours from the Luftwaffe led to a move to Meriden).
OMEGA AD
SUNBEAM LADIES COMBO
1910 DR
In the years before the Great War a number of enthusiasts volunteered to take their bikes to Army manoeuvres to demonstrate their practicality. This snap dates back to 1910.

Here’s a selection of images of motor cycles and the chaps who rode them in the Great War. Many of them are courtesy of my chum Francois; you’ll find many more WW1 pics in his Images of Yesteryear.

WW1 ANGLO-INDIANS
WW1 BELGIAN
The uniformed Belgian doesn’t look much older than the nippper on the bike.
WW1 DR ACTION AW
WW1 FRENCH DR
WW1 DR AW
WW1 HARLEY WD
WW1 MG SCAR
WW1 MILITAIRE COMBO
WW1 US AROURED SCAR
WW1 US SCAR
WW1 US WD SCAR
WW1 WD 'SCOUTS' TROPICAL?
WW1? GERMAN DR
WW1 ANOTHER DR
WW1 DRs RENE GILLET
WW1 FRENCH DR
WW1 INDIAN MG SCAR
WW1 ANOTHER DR
WW1 BELGIAN DRs
WW1 FRENCH RIDER
WW1 FRENCH SOLOIST
WW1 FRENCH WD COMBO
WW1 FRENCH WD COMBO 2
WW1 ISMAILIA BRIT DRs
This snap was taken in Ismailia, Egypt; these Tommies were part of the forces defending the Suez Canal.
WW1 1915 5TH OZ LT HORSE
The Empire rallied round the flag: these stalwarts rode with the Fith Australian Light Horse.
WW1 1915 BILL HUMPHREYS
It’s good to put a name to the face. Pictured astride his Beeza in 1915 is Sgt Bill Humphreys.
Here’s Bill again in 1917 with his off-duty mount, a sporting Indian. With those dropped bars and slash-cut straight-through exhausts it might fairly be described as a cafe racer.
WW1 MYSTERY DR
WW1 FRENCH WD GROUP
These poilus were serving with the 66th Infantry Regiment of the French army.
WW1 US MG SCAR
A Great War machine gun outfit in colour? Americans, of course.
WW1 ACKACK SCAR
WW1 JOHNBULL COMBOJPG
Entente Cordiale, with John Bull firmly in the saddle.
WW1 RFC GIRL
Some RFC oficers enjoyed the services of chauffeuses with P&Ms.
WW1 RAF P&M SCAR
In 1918 the RFC became the RAF. The uniforms changed but officer transport was still handled by plucky gels and P&M combos.
1920s 2 FLAPPERS
Peace broke out and so, it seems, did these American flappers and their cannine chum…
1920s CANNINE PILLION
…not that sensible Englishmen needed sidecars to transport there terriers.