REPORT BY KEN WILSON
I went down to Florida for a week (Feb 14 – 21st) for my mom’s 90th Birthday.
So I had the lady in Texas ship the trophy to me in St. Petersburg, and I brought it home as extra ‘luggage’. This was a cheaper and safer way to do things, with no Customs hassles.
I’d like for the Club to reimburse her for the shipping and materials costs. It was $51.00 US to ship it to Florida, and I can see that she spent some money of good quality foam insulation and a bunch of bubble wrap. So I’d recommend $75.00 US ($100.00 Cdn)
I can send her payment by PayPal and the club can reimburse me for that plus the $47.00 it cost to fly it home.
Just let me know if you’re all okay with that.
I’ll also send her some Historical information that I have dug-up. Perhaps we can take a group photo with the trophy at the next meeting and send it to her also.
All she knows is that she bought it from an Antiques store in Texas in 2006 +/- a year or so.
After examining the manufacturing stamps on the bottom of what is actually a “tilt pitcher and stand”, I learned that it was manufactured by Meriden Britannia of Meriden Connecticut in the late 1800s. They were partnered with Rogers, another famous silver/silver plate manufacturer.
In fact, Meriden opened a branch plant in Hamilton (!) back then, so it may have even been manufactured here. I’ll have to find out how to interpret the stampings to know that for sure.
There is a book that details everything Meriden made and there’s a copy of it in possession of the Royal Ontario Museum, specifically the Roberts Library at the University of Toronto. It would cost at least $50.00 US to buy a copy somewhere.
I have to think that although the tilting pitcher was perhaps made in some quantity, this one would have been a ‘Custom’ job to add the bicycle wheel with wings, and then the engraving to the ‘Hamilton Bicycle Club’…..
….and I investigated that too. The CWA is the ‘Canadian Wheelman’s Association’ , which held an annual show at various locations in Canada, with all types of bicycles, including those Pony Stars bicycles with the big wheel at the front and small one at the back. They had parades and races.
The meet in question was held on July 1st and 2nd of 1889, in St. Catherines and was the CWA’s best attended event ever. They gave out Awards to the clubs with the most ‘wheelmen’ in attendance. Hamilton won second prize for that and I suspect that this is what the ‘trophy’ was awarded-for. (Toronto was first)
There is a link to a big US publication that announced the up-coming event in St. Catherines, and a report on the meet from the Montreal Bicycle Club in 1889.
Here are a couple of links to places that I found, including a link to a place that sells old Meriden stuff, with an item that is close to what we have. The silver plates has long worn-off of this one, but I kinda’ like the finish that is underneath. It appears to be pewter and looks better not all ‘blinged-up’ with silver plate. 🙂 Photos attached.