History of Siegfried Bettmann & Early Triumph Bicycles

Other ‘TRIUMPH’ Manufacturers – THE LATEST TRIUMPH

triumph wheels

‘Triumph’ was a popular model name for a bicycle in the early days. The best known ‘Triumph’ made before S Bettmann named his company was the Warman & Laxon range of Triumphs, produced in 1879, and examined on the previous page. Here are some other companies who used the name.


Henry Sturmey

Manufacturer of ‘Fidelite’, ‘Superb’, ‘Surrey’, ‘Triumph’ and ‘Victoria’ high-wheelers from 17 Streatham Place, Brixton Hill, London c.1877. By 1891 the firm had works at Victoria Road and Chadwick Road, Peckham, London, and a showroom at 58 Holborn Viaduct.

Around 1877-79, he formed the London Bicycle Co, situated at 17 Streatham Place, Brixton Hill, and they sold the same models.

J.H Sturmey became an authority on bicycles, and presented the famous series of annual books known as the ‘Bicyclists Handbook’

triumph wheels


Welbeck St Works, Mansfield

bicycle mfg co mansfield TRIUMPH

bicycle mfg co mansfield TRIUMPH 2

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Made the ‘Charing Cross’ at 72 Charing Cross Road, London, before 1892 and through to at least 1903, when the firm was known as Panzetta & Co.

Also made the ‘Standard’ and ‘Triumph’ in 1891 and was still offering a high-wheeler.

The firm became involved in the motor trade and was a motor trade factoring firm in the 1960’s.
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Located in Swan Street, Spalding, Lincolnshire, in 1898 and maker of the ‘Spalding Triumph.’

Listed in 1905 Kelly’s directory as Arthur Beales at 2 New Road, Spalding.

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Henry Curry (b.01/05/50) was manager of the Leicester Tricycle Co. prior to 1884. From that date he started in business making and selling high bicycles from his house in 40 Painter Street, Leicester. It seems that he was then barely producing a machine a week. In 1888 he brought his sons, James and Edwin, into the business and also acquired a small factory at 28 Painter Street. Production was 25 a week and a shop was opened at 271 Belgrave Gate, Leicester. Two years later they moved to a larger shop at 293 Belgrave Gate. Another son, Henry, joined the business in 1896 and a partnership was formed. In 1898 they were making the ‘Leicester’.

By 1900 there were regular dealings with Rushbrooke & Co (which became the Halford Cycle Co. Ltd) and the business had outgrown 293 Belgrave Gate. Four adjoining houses were acquired by the partnership with 285 and 287 being converted into a shop. About then the partnership set up as wholesalers of cycles and accessories in Halford Street and Rutland Street, Leicester. They then opened shops in Louth, Lincolnshire and Kings Lynn, Boston and Mansfield. In 1907 office premises were taken at 301⁄2 Belvoir Street, Leicester. Henry Curry Snr. retired in 1909. In 1909 two catalogues were published. One was for the trade and covered ‘Currey-Built’ cycles under the name of H. Curry and Sons. There was also a retail catalogue under the name of Belvoir Cycle Co. The number of shops had increased to 32 by 1914. A larger factory was acquired in 1914 in Marlow Road, Leicester. Henry Curry Snr. died in 1916. The Belvoir Street premises were inadequate by 1916 and this is when larger offices and warehouse premises in Stamford Street were acquired. In 1918 a new factory was established in Linden Street, Leicester, until 1931 when an agreement was reached to take cycle production from the Hercules Cycle Co. A new head office was also acquired in 1918 at 24-28 Goswell Road, London, EC1, where it remained until 1936.

The Campion Cycle Co. Ltd was acquired in November 1927 and Curry’s (1927) Ltd was formed. In 1930 all the assets of the Mead Cycle Co. were acquired and the stock of the British Cycle Manufacturing Co. ‘Triumph’ was Curry’s brand name. The cycle business was sold to Raleigh Cycle Co Ltd in 1954 but the right to the ‘Triumph’ name was retained.

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Produced the ‘Triumph’ model in c.1891-97, the ‘America’ in c.1892, the ‘Buckeye’ from c.1892-96, the ‘Triangle’ in c.1895, the ‘Peerless’ in c.1895-98, and the ‘Patrol’ in c.1898 in Cleveland, Oh.

The PEERLESS MOTOR CAR CO, noted for its luxury automobiles, was established in Cleveland in 1889 as the Peerless Wringer & Mfg. Co., located on the city’s east side at the junction of the Cleveland & Pittsburgh and the New York, Chicago & St. Louis railroads. By 1892 it had become the Peerless Mfg. Co. Originally a producer of washing-machine wringers, Peerless moved to 2654 Lisbon St. in 1895 and began making bicycles in the late 1890s. The company was manufacturing automobiles and parts in 1901 and was renamed the Peerless Motor Car Co two years later. ‘Peerless’ became a Sears & Roebuck model name after 1900.

Is it a coincidence that one of Peerless Mfg Co’s 1890s bicycles was called a Triumph, while one of the sewing machines that S Bettmann sold when he worked for the White Sewing Machine Co (before starting Triumph Cycle Co) was the ‘Peerless?’

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Produced the ‘London Triumph’ model in Philadelphia, Pa., in c.1892.

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South Bend, Indiana

LD Dunst Triumph

This company obviously made a ‘Triumph’ bicycle, as I have a head badge for one (above). However, there is no information available, apart from the following mention of his name in an early motorcycle magazine:

A 232-mile run from South Bend to Wabash, Ind., and re-turn will be held April 24.

It is intended to have competitors ride in teams of three and the promoters hope to have fifteen teams enter.

The second annual dinner of the Concourse Club was held at the Hotel Girard, this city, the evening of South Bend Club.

The South Bend Club is progressing nicely under the presidency of L. D. Durst, assisted by the following directors: F. Andrews, G. H. Snyder, W. R.Wade. many members of the clubs forming the Metropolitan Association availing themselves of the opportunity to attend, thus showing the true club spirit, to develop which the R. M.Webster and J. Smith.

There was also a ‘Triumph Cycle Club’ in Tell City, Perry County, which is in the southern part of Indiana.

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Produced the ‘Triumph’ model in Indianapolis around 1896.

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Produced the ‘Albert Lea Special’, ‘Alva Special’, ‘American Star’, ‘Americus’, ‘Ann Arbor’, ‘Athletic’, ‘Berwick’, ‘Bluff City’, ‘Bowley Special’, ‘Brilliant’, ‘Broadway’, ‘Bruce’, ‘Central City’, ‘Coppins Special’, ‘Cornell’, ‘Cyclone’ (1892- 96), ‘Detroit Special’, ‘Dictator No. 1’ (1892-96), ‘Dixie’, ‘Duchess Richmond’, ‘Duke’, ‘Eckstein’, ‘Electric’, ‘Elk’, ‘Escort’, ‘Famous’, ‘Fast Mail’ (1896-98), ‘Favorite’, ‘Field Racer’, ‘Forward’, ‘Gem’ (1892-96), ‘Goshen Special’, ‘Hare’, ‘Hawkeye’, ‘Hawley-King’, ‘Hennecke Special’, ‘Hub’, ‘Indiana’ ‘Ingall’s’, ‘Iroquois’, ‘Izzer’, ‘Kennedy Special’, ‘La Crosse’, ‘Limited’, ‘Lindsay’ (1895-98), ‘Madelia’, ‘Manhattan’, ‘Midland’, ‘Minerva’, ‘Model’, ‘Mohawk’, ‘Monitor’, ‘New York’, ‘Northland’, ‘Oak Harbor Special’, ‘Ohio’, ‘Onward’ ‘Oriole’, ‘Orion’ (c.1892-96), ‘Osgood Special’, ‘Otto’, ‘Pet’, ‘Pinny-Herr Special’, ‘Planet Jr.’, ‘Plymouth’, ‘Pontiac’, ‘Priscilla’, ‘Queen Belle’, ‘Racine’, ‘Red Star’, ‘Reeves’ ‘Reiter Special’, ‘Reliable’, ‘Saginaw’, ‘Sandburg’, ‘Shane’s Flyer’, ‘Special’, ‘Star’, ‘Stevens Special’, ‘Stockman’, ‘Sweepstakes’, ‘Syndicate’, ‘Terrell Special’, ‘Timekeeper’, ‘Toledo’, ‘Triumph’, ‘Trojan’, ‘Trusty’, ‘Vassar’, ‘Walsh Special’, ‘Wellesley’, ‘Wonder’, ‘Yale’ and ‘Zephyr’ models in Milwaukee, Wi., in c.1896.

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triumph folding baby chair

When Siegfried Bettmann formed his first company, Bettmann & Co, in 1886, the primary place to advertise sewing machines was the industry’s trade magazine, the ‘Journal of Domestic Appliances.’ Biesolt & Locke advertisements appeared frequently. As well as the prior use of the ‘Triumph’ name for bicycles, it was used for various other products and in advertising copy.


When considering a name for his new range of (re-badged) bicycles, Bettmnann may well have kept an eye on magazines and newspapers for inspiration.

Could this have been his eureka moment? – the following announcement, for the new Konig & Co Rotary Shuttle Machine, appears on the page facing his own advertisement…


 the latest triumph copy