Around the turn of the previous century Sears & Roebuck ruled a merchandising empire. By the time my Elgin "Red Head" King bicycle left the assembly line in 1912, the bicycle boom was over; the price of a hundred dollar bicycle had fallen to twenty-five dollars, then down to $12.75. For a few pennies more, the buyer could order a Sturmey-Archer three speed hub, as featured on the Elgin King below. The bike is just as I acquired it many years ago, save for the reproduction single tube tires. Note the original leather grips, Mesinger saddle, pedals, and block chain. If you examine the bike closely you will see it is in need of some serious attention: the wood rear rim is badly warped, and the Sturmey-Archer shifter needs to be connected to the hub. Oh, yes, and the horn mounted on the handlebar can use a big red or black bulb. Still and all I think this is a wonderful, unmolested example of an early American bicycle made affordable to the working man.
1912 Elgin King ©Daniel Dahlquist