Antique Penn York Bicycle

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Not sure if anyone can help with this bicycle as it was manufactured at a small local manufacturing company called "The Elmira Arms Company" in Elmira, New York The identification tag has "PENN YORK" as you can see from the pictures uploaded. The bicycle is in great shape for it's apparent age, which is something I'm looking to figure out, however the tires pumped up, hold air and it rides. Being born in this small city of Elmira, NY I'm intrigued to find out more information, but unfortunately there is very little more than fliers or magazines of the original company dating back to its establishment date of 1895. Any information would be greatly appreciated as to any information regarding this classic barn find!!! Thanks in advance, Larry!!!
 

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Couch tater

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Wow! Nice find.

As to the age of it, it looks like 26" balloon tires so it would be post 1933 (after Schwinn introduced them). The hanging tank would have my best guess as mid 1930s as the motorbike style fell out of favor after the balloon tire bikes took off in sales. The kickstand, rear generator set, and handlebar grips were all added later, best guess is later 1950s - mid 1960s. It would have had a dropstand mounted at the rear axle originally to hold it when parked. I see the stem bolt is missing or broken so be careful the handlebars don't come loose.

I would not ride it until it has been fully serviced, the old grease is most likely pretty caked. That is a highly restorable bike.
 
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Oh trust me it isn't a daily rider but I did ride/coast down a slight paved incline on my property slowly as I have a left prosthetic device so unable to fully peddle it around with it in it's current configuration. I see schwinn bicycles similar to this and not knowing much about manufacturing these bikes in that era, would or could it be a schwinn frame with the "PENN YORK" badge attached? As today we manufacture for example 3 different lawnmowers all of the same pressed out decks, same identical motors and 3 different color schemes and brand names. So not knowing much about the bicycle manufacturing processes in that time and this may not even be a question for you however you seem knowledgeable about bicycles just maybe not the manufacturing process, this find has me intrigued into many things about this specific bicycle. As my luck has it I helped out a friend haul some scrap and an old freezer to a scrap yard located in Elmira, NY and purchased this bicycle for $15 and the applicable taxes. Thinking it was a 1950s era and possibly a schwinn got really exited to see it was manufactured or at least assembled in my birthplace hometown. I'll keep digging up any information about this particular bicycle, however to date not able to find out much of anything about the company originally manufacturing this bicycle. I'm just glad I found and saved this item of our past from the scrap heaps. Thanks for the information provided and will update as I find out more about this bicycle!!!
 

Couch tater

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You bought it very, very well! It isn't a Schwinn, that is apparent by details of the frame and fork. Several turn of the century bicycle manufacturers used sewing machine and firearms manufacturing facilities to build bicycles although I couldn't say for sure if Elmira Arms built their own. In the upper east coast there were several early bicycle manufacturers.

After looking further at it, the rear wheel has been replaced though the front looks original. That is unfortunate as sometimes the rear hub can provide a date.

My best guess as to the year, it would be 1934-1936.

If it were mine, I wouldn't do too much to it. It is a survivor and the value of it can be lowered quite a bit if cleanup work damages the originality of it. It is possible to do a nice 'rustoration' but I would leave that to somebody who has already done a few and has the know how to do it right.
 
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Might be worth a quick browse
 

RustyGold

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You have a gem...great score. If you find any serial number info...the what and where would be very interesting as I'm feeling a possibility of some Columbia DNA in that frame.

The chain ring is Shelby, or Colson... I'd have to verify which one with a little research...but, I believe Shelby.
 
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I agree with the Colson frame and sprocket; serial number prefix would indicate the year.

With a 24-tooth sprocket, the bicycle may have started out as a 28โ€ wheeled model, (and kind of looks that way, perhaps with replacement front forks?).

As others have indicated, the badge does not reflect the manufacturer, but rather the NY retailerโ€™s sporting goods store, which by coincidence was in Elmira, not to be confused with Elyria.

https://ratrodbikes.com/forum/threads/colson-flyer-26-balloon-tire-project.110443/
 
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