|IVER JOHNSON BICYCLE COLLECTION
I grew up and have lived all my life in the City of Fitchburg, MA.
Somewhere along the line, and perhaps influenced by certain
teachers, classes, and projects in school I became quite interested
in the city's history. Because of this, I began to collect memorabilia
from the city whenever the opportunity arose and managed
throughout the years to amass quite an extensive collection.
One day while searching for Fitchburg memorabilia I came across
an Iver Johnson bicycle and really liked the fact that it was made in
my hometown, and loved the intricacies of its headbadge that read
"Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works, Fitchburg, Mass". My first
thoughts were to find a badge to add to my collection as an entire
bicycle could not be "housed" or "fit" easily with my other artifacts,
and that was the route I decided to pursue. However, after quite a
long time went by, and after spending much time thinking about it,
the idea of perhaps finding one complete bicycle to add to my
collection began to take shape.
Ever since I was a young boy I've always had a keen interest in
bicycles and thought owning one with a Fitchburg connection
might be a good idea, why not! My wife and I own a small art gallery
in town and each year the city holds the Longsjo Classic Bike Race
on Main Street. I thought finding one complete Iver Johnson
Racing Bike to display in the window would be a great idea to help
promote the race and reinforce the idea that Fitchburg has always
had a rich cycling history that goes back well before the turn of the
Well, a search began and I did manage to locate a great
example of an early Iver Racing Bike from a collector in
California. When the bike arrived at my house I unpacked it
carefully and reassembled some of the parts that had been
removed for ease of shipment. I examined and scrutinized every
part of that bike for hours and was in awe over the fact that this
bike left our city over 100 years ago, passed through so many
hands and families along the way, yet somehow managed to
survive and make it back home again intact. There must be
something quite special about these bikes.
Well, I did display it in our window during the race and simply
kept it in the gallery on display at other times. This gave me the
opportunity over long periods of time, to just look at the bike,
study its construction and features, and learn more about the
history of the Iver Johnson company in Fitchburg. The more I
learned about the bike, the more I liked it, then the inevitable
happened, inescapable thoughts of possibly picking up another
Iver to keep this bike company began to form. Well, you know
where that idea eventually leads, and that's where I am at this
point in time, hooked on the Iver Johnson bicycle!
|"Still Searching After All These Years"