Hercules-A Dandy of a Bike

A Day in the Life: April 18th

(Aged 14)
Wea.  Hot                                    SAT. APRIL 18, 1896               Ther.  80

Pa, Rollie + I all went to Jamestown to get me a bicycle.  We could not find any we liked.  When we got home we found Unkle Gib’s folk were going to town the children stayed at grandma’s.  Luella + Bertha Anderson came over I carried them home + got Glen.  He stayed all night with me.  He cut his foot very badly with an ax.

(Aged 16)
Wea.                                             MON. APRIL 18, 1898               Ther.

Went to school played baseball.

(Aged 17)
Wea.                                             TUE. APRIL 18, 1899               Ther.

Drove to school played football.  Got my new wheel.  It is a Hercules* 1899 Model 28 in. wheels with 32 + 36 spoke each.  Gear 80 and a dandy.  Cost $25 regular price $30.

NOT the bike but this model was contemporaneous and can be found at this cool website.

(Aged 18)
Wea.                                              WED. APRIL 18, 1900                 Ther.

Painted the house after going to the factory.  Alice went to town.

(Aged 19)
Wea.                                              THU. APRIL 18, 1901                Ther.


(Aged 20)
Wea.                                               FRI.  APRIL 18, 1902               Ther.

Went to factory.  Gail plowed.

(Aged 21)
Wea.                                              SAT.  APRIL 18, 1903                  Ther.



Editor's Note:  *Here's the crazy thing, in 1900 Glenn Curtis, an aviation pioneer from Hammondsport, NY began marketing his own brand of bike called Hercules.  However, that is one year too late for our man's purchase in 1899 but I still believe there must be some connection if only for the geography of it.  Confusingly, Hercules was also the brand name of English-made bicycles starting from 1910--so definitely too late to be ours.  I need a bike enthusiast to figure this out.


  1. Hi, I've got to follow your blog, I'm almost four months late in the diary, I see, but I'll go back to the start to read it all. My Akins, Stevens, Grout, and Blanding families were early settlers in Chautauqua Co.NY. Joseph Akins settled at Kiantone in 1805. That would be just the other side of Frewsburg from Ivory. I've visited all around the Jamestown area (but not at Ivory) in the past and continue to do research online for that county. I know that there was an early "Fredonia Academy" at Fredonia that someone noted in the diary may have gone off to attend. Also my my 3-ggrand father Dr. Phineas Stevens of Barnet, VT married a Mary Woodward of NYC during the Revolution. His son, Thomas Woodward Stevens settled in Fredonia, NY. Maybe we have a Woodward connection? Donna.... donwen (at) aol (dot) com

  2. Hoorah another relative heard from. Can't wait to find out the connections.


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