The Wright Special

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I think it may not need one, as the original never had one and they never got that far in the build to have a badge made for the special. Jimmy never mentioned any badge at all.
However, they did make their own coaster brake hub, so the brake arm definitely needs a name stamped on it.

I found some interesting data on coaster hubs, they came out around the time the Wright's were making theirs.

"The inventor of the coaster brake in the USA has been the subject of much speculation. During the 1890s many different versions of coaster brakes were used in bicycles and most of them were never patented. During this era, modifications to the coaster brake were quite common. As an example, the Wright Brothers developed a coaster brake for use on their bicycles but they never applied for a patent. This surely was not entirely their invention, but instead, it probably was a variation of an existing design custom-made for their bikes."

They usually used a frame built by other companies for their bikes, like Pope. That looks like a Pope head badge on that bike in the shop:

"Both the Van Cleve and the St. Clair bicycle were largely assembled from parts made elsewhere. Frames, handlebars, seats, cranks, and tires were purchased from sources such as the Davis Sewing Machine Company of Dayton, OH (which later became the Huffy Corporation), Sager Manufacturing Company of Rochester, NY, and Pope Manufacturing of Hartford, CT. The only parts the Wrights were known to have made from scratch were their bicycle wheel hubs."

I could easily get a blank cut out that looks better than the Chinese made arm, or just have that one stamped. I've looked to see what the arm looked like, but there aren't any good closeups of a Wright hub that show the arm.
Somewhere on the forum here a person did a tutorial on acid etching head badges.
I did one for my BACK40 head badge. The chemicals are very volatile, and the process is intense. The result was kind of neat though. And an interesting science behind the transfer of a black photo copy on clear sheet becoming an etching on metal.








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Nice to see this done at the hobbyist level!

I have seen this done on an industrial scale and been through the process from beginning to end. But this company (Permaloy) was making big bronze anodized aluminum plaques for places like national monuments.

The first thing to always think about is whether you want to start from a photographic negative or a photographic positive in order to get the relief that you need where you need it. In other words do you wanna etch away the background or the foreground.
I did one for my BACK40 head badge. The chemicals are very volatile, and the process is intense. The result was kind of neat though. And an interesting science behind the transfer of a black photo copy on clear sheet becoming an etching on metal.

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This is the same method used to make custom circuit boards.
This is the same method used to make custom circuit boards.
Pretty much. You put a photographic resist chemical on something and then burn it off using light through a negative or positive.

This is also how the aluminum Uncle Sam belt buckle was made back in the 70s.

This was masked off and etched several times in order to anodize all the different colors on to one piece.

Those scratches are sad, but they were earned honestly, by my flying over the handlebars of a Honda XL350.

By the way, I believe that is the artwork of the famous Jim Bell. He has been drawing comix as long as I can remember.
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I remember those buckles.

I just remembered a story Jimmy had told me of the Wright Special getting stolen from him. I stopped by to see if he could get a Bendix two speed hub to shift. I had it for a couple years and never could get it shift out of high gear. He showed me that it was a manual version, I thought they all were kick shift. My yellow Schwinn Varsity had just been stolen and I was trying to get another bike going. Then he mentioned this story: He was 18 at the time and had taken a job as kitchen helper in the fanciest Italian restaurant in town. He was on his third week when his bike disappeared from his back porch. He had to run all the way to the restaurant but was still 10 minutes late. The manager bellowed loudly and everyone in the place heard him berating Jimmy about being late. It caught the attention of some of the diners who asked the manager what the boy did. The manager said he was a good worker but someone had lifted his bike so he came in late. "Is that the bicycle we've seen by the door lately?" The group of young businessmen took an interest in the situation. "Yep, that small red bike was his." They finished up their meal and left together as Jimmy caught up all his work. An hour later they showed back up at the restaurant. One of them winked at the manager and said "We need to borrow your helper for a few minutes". "OK! Jimmy! Get out here now!" Jimmy went down the street with the businessmen. The manager couldn't resist and took a snapshot of them. That's Jimmy smiling in the back.
stolen bike.jpg

"That your bike, Kid?" There in an alley was his bike just sitting there. No damage or anything. "Yeah! That's it! How did you find it?"
"Listen up Kid. You didn't see nothin'. Your bike just showed up at the restaurant. Not in this alley. Got it?" That's when Jimmy realized these guys might be more than just businessmen. He agreed that he didn't know nuthin' about anything. He was just happy to get his bike back.
I ordered up a metal stamping set and will try to personalize the brake arm. Most of the pics I've found don't show a brake arm on the Wright coaster hub. I don't see how that could work. But the bike on display at the Sea and air Museum shows a brake arm. So that's what I'll go by to make up a strap to hold it. The name on the arm isn't visible in the pic and I haven't found any other pics, so I'll just add "WRIGHT" to the arm.
02 Jan 23 coaster hub - Copy.jpg
The Wright family live in Cedar Rapids Iowa for about 3 years. In 3 different houses in those 3 years. The family had to move out as each was torn down. The third was about 2 miles from my house. The main road to the local airport is named after them.

Badge from my past:

That's the same badge. Did you have a Ventura? I haven't found much info on them. Maybe made in Taiwan or Japan in the 70's.
Fictional account. I remembered when Jimmy gave me the tool bag, a license plate dropped out. Jimmy said that was the one he had on the Special for many years. I noticed it was a Sandusky tag and he always lived in Dayton back then. I asked if he was sure it was the one he used. He said it was because he purposely registered the bike in Sandusky after Orville saw the bike. Jimmy wasn't taking any chances and made sure he could show it wasn't a Wright frame. He filled out the form for a tag and listed it as a Pope bike. With no nameplate, no one could say either way. He didn't worry about the patent number on the frame because he overheard Wilbur say he would have it "taken care of so no one would know they had a bad frame". Jimmy said he went to Sandusky every year for Thanksgiving, riding his bike and staying at his Aunt and Uncle's house for a couple days before riding back. He said he rode his bike the whole way there and back. That's about 200 miles each way! Jimmy laughed and said everyone in the family thought he was riding 100 miles a day to get there, but he actually hitched rides on pickup trucks most of the way. He would take a wheel off and say he was broke down. He camped out halfway in Marion each way. He then displayed the tag on the tool bag so the Wright's wouldn't suspect he nabbed their frame. End of fictional account.

My metal stamping kit showed up. I couldn't stamp the brake arm, it must be hardened steel. So I tried to put the Wright name on the tool bag, but the textured surface wouldn't work either. So no stamping. But it's ready to ride and finished.
08Jan 23 a.jpg
Not to overstep but you could stamp the "Wright" on a brass plate and rivet it to the bag. Just a suggestion.
I just remembered I have some copper strips, but already posted the final. I may still do that, if I can drill through the steel.

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