E. Hermet, 1892-1893

This is a typical French bicycle from 1892-1893. Straightforward diamond frame, broad rims, which are made of pressed steel plate. A lot of French bikes had these in 32 or 36 mm size. This one still has the original 32 mm. cushion tires, which are hollow. They were supposed to give more comfort than solid tires. Look at the size 700 - 32, indicated on the tire!

Characteristic detail is the lamp holder, which is one unit with the top ball bearing of the head. Although this bike has some interesting features, it would have been hard to identify. But miracles happen: it still has the remains of original transfers on head and seat tube! These tell us:

Fabrication Fran├žaise
17(?) Avenue de Malakoff, Paris.

Parts of the front fork have been repaired. I guess it has been broken and the local blacksmith has created an interesting construction. Nice original bike, although saddle and chain have been replaced. It has the serial number 70 (or 94, it's hard to read) which is inscripted in the middle of the handlebars.

Interestingly, in 2011 a bike very similar to this one turned up. It has tangent spokes and a much better constructed front fork. I guess they changed design after quality problems. That bike has number 743, For two pictures, click on the link.

Apart from that, we know nothing about E. Hermet. Anyone can help? 

And, again very interesting and confusing, recently a bike was advertised that has a lot of similarities with the Hermet. It has been advertised as a Guillard from Aubusson, but it looks like Guillard is just the cycle shop, not the producer. Head badge reads 'The Queen, always better', but I guess that's just some kind of badge-engineering. Click here for the link. If the link doesn't work any more, please send me an e-mail