Syracuse Bicycles Pin

Syracuse Bicycles Pin

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A metal token is attached to this stickpin that bears the image of a bicycle surrounded by the text “Syracuse Bicycles/Crimson Rims.” The reverse side of the token reads “Chas. J. Stebbins/Syracuse Bicycles/103 Reade St. New York.” This stickpin was used by the Syracuse Cycle Company and agent Charles J. Stebbins to advertise the Syracuse bicycle with the Crimson Rim. Syracuse became a hub of bicycle production in the 1890s, and the Syracuse Cycle Company was a popular producer of wheels and cycles during the time. Charles Stebbins acted as a resale agent in Brooklyn for the company, likely handing out this pin at one of the National Cycle Shows in 1896 or 1897.
Bicycling boomed in popularity in the United States during the 1890s when the invention of the “safety” bicycle replaced the dangerous high-wheeler. The National Cycle Board of Trade held the largest annual exhibitions in New York and Chicago between 1893 and 1897. At these cycle shows manufacturers attempted to capitalize on the bicycle boom with exhibitions of their products to both the public and bicycle agents from other cities. At shows like these, manufacturers advertised their wares with pins and buttons made of tin and celluloid—cheap materials easily mass manufactured into trinkets and souvenirs. The Chicago Tribune’s account of the 1896 Chicago show speaks to the ubiquity of these kind of souvenirs. “Every visitor seems to have a desire to cherish its memory through some kind of a souvenir... anyone who does not look like a walking sign board is a rarity and every exhibiter goes after him and every available buttonhole has some kind of button in it, and stick pins are thrust at him from all sides.”
Object Name
pin, lapel
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
celluloid (overall material)
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Bicycle Pins
Object Project
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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