For The Literary Buffs….

How about H.G. Wells and his second wife Amy aboard a Humber courting tandem?

hgwellsjanetandemwideAnd digging deeper into the way-back machine we find a photo of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle riding in tandem with his first wife Louise (Touie) on an early Coventry Rotary Quadracycle.

Conan Doyle on a Tandem Penny-FarthingI also came across what looks like an even younger Arthur Conan Doyle on the same Coventry Quadracycle, but the timing is all wrong relative to when these machines were made and the age of the young man in the hat.  I suspect it’s just a similar Coventry with a different couple.



About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Bloggishnish, Tandem Folks, Technology & Equip., Whimsical Or Entertaining. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to For The Literary Buffs….

  1. Eric S. says:

    Looks like the earlier picture of Quadracycle has a different style rear fender and also has pedal straps…just sayin

    • TG says:

      Don’t disagree, which is why I ended with, “I suspect it’s just a similar Coventry with a different couple.” It was the resemblence of the young man to A.C. Doyle that struck me more than anything else. Again, the timing was wrong… but I thought it was interesting enough to include.

  2. Dave Walker says:

    Hi, Mark,
    Thanks for taking a hard right spin on the Wayback Dial; fantastic! The two Coventry machines are, technically speaking, tricycles, not quadricycles; the 4th “vestigial” wheel in the front is nonfunctional and doesn’t touch the ground except in the event of an upset that would otherwise cause the machine to pitch forward and throw the riders off. Details visible in the two photos suggest they’re indeed different machines. I love the coasting pegs for the lady atop the front safety wheel. Wearing a long dress like that, you certainly wouldn’t want to break a sweat while out enjoying the garden paths.

  3. TG says:

    Again, I don’t disagree on the configurations being more-or-less tricycles; however, it appears as though Coventry consistently referred to this type of a cycle as a quadricycle. If I had to guess, the very first models from 1885 truly were quadricycles in that both the front & rear wheels were the same size. It was only the later models that used the smaller “vestigial” wheel in front, by which time I suspect the branding was left as-is so as not to confuse consumers.

  4. Paul Farren says:

    All three of the machines shown are ‘Humber’ Tandems. The last two are tricycles and as Dave Walker correctly points out the fourth wheel in the front is just in case the machine tips forward which it does when braking at which point steering through the back wheel is non existent. The Coventry Machinist’s Quadracycle had all four wheels on the ground as the fourth wheel was sprung. Four wheels will not stay on the ground unless it is perfectly flat. ‘Der’ How do I know – because I have all of the above machines. Incidentally Humber made the two wheeled tandem exclusively but licensed the design to several other makers including Singer and Sparkbrook

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