Author Topic: Overman Unicycle  (Read 517 times)

phattiremike

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Overman Unicycle
« on: September 01, 2018, 09:20:34 AM »
I picked up a very unique and early unicycle last week.  No badge or name reference on the frame.  I have found Christy on the seat dated 1885, on the outside of the hubs another Overman reference dated 1886 Boston, then while going over the unicycle I found more dates and OWCO again dated 1880. 

This is a wooded rim unicycle.  On another website that I posted on a gentleman who owns/owned some Overman early bicycles and who lives close to the museum in Florida chimed in with this.  See below

rear hub , cranks and pedals are  part of a Overman Wheel Co , front forks ,bearing cages , c-1887,,.the legs up to the seat , do not have a highwheel front forks profile, never seen or heard of Albert Overman Wheel Co advertising a unicycle . The seat would date this nice machine to any time after 1897 , . It is creative how they used the bottom section of a highwheel Victor front forks.

I will try to attach pictures shortly.  Has anyone heard of such a early unicycle or have any literature on this?

I'd appreciate any help in properly identifying this piece of history.

Thanks Mike

Keith Pariani

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Re: Overman Unicycle
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 04:14:03 PM »
Mike,
Check Copake Auction
I believe 2 years ago an early unicycle sold at auction. It was, as yours is, made up from high wheel parts and early safety parts. The frame was more vintage to modern.
Also sold last year, was a clown or trick bike. It too was made from high wheel parts, both hubs and rear cranks with bearing cages were high wheel, while the remainder was 1960's vintage.
Looking at yours, the forks are from vintage to modern and using modern welding, the Overman Wheel bearing cages are welded to these forks. These type bearing cages were used on high wheels and solid tire safeties up to 1891.
Looking through all the Victor, Columbia and Gormlley and Jeffery catalogues from 1883 through 1899, no where in any are found any type of Unicycle.
I believe yours is a more modern made up bike and not a manufactured for sale to the public. Doubt that this is a proto type or one off .
Solids like you have scored big time coming into the hobby new and finding 6 bikes together. The Elliott Hickory is a great find. You would have to post photo, as there are many models.
Good luck and best to you.
Keith Pariani

phattiremike

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Re: Overman Unicycle
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 04:55:28 PM »
Keith, thank you for your response, I tried to post pictures earlier but no luck!  I’ll give it another attempt later.  I will also post some other bicycles I scored. What did the copske uni sell for, any idea?

Mike

Keith Pariani

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Re: Overman Unicycle
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 05:12:29 PM »
Sold for $550.00 at auction

55inchwheel

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Re: Overman Unicycle
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2018, 09:46:50 PM »
I agree with others who think this might be a 'one-off', cleverly built using vintage pieces with good workmanship.
Being a unicycle rider myself I know a lot of history on them.  The first thing I noticed is the seat. Commercially built unicycles didn't use a wide saddle, the leg chaffing and inability to use the 'horn' for for-aft balancing (because it isn't on this seat) rules out this style seat for use on a unicycle.  From the very first unicycle the seat always rose up in back and in front of the center section.
Tony  :)

phattiremike

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Re: Overman Unicycle
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 07:10:48 AM »
Thank you Tony,  That seat is rather small, I've seen them on some tandems of that period.  I'm learning as these older bicycles are not what I normally collect.  It was hard to walk away from them once seen in person and loving an old bike!

Mike

phattiremike

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Re: Overman Unicycle
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 07:05:12 AM »
Now that I have "how to post pictures down"  here's a few more of the unicycle the pedals and the back of the pedal w/ a date.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 08:25:45 AM by phattiremike »