Kawartha’s Rarest Bicycle- The Red Bird No.1


red bird no.1 head badge

The "Head Badge" on the 1895 Red Bird no.1 shaft drive bicycle.







red bird no.1 shaft drive bicycle 1895 goold co.

The Red Bird no.1 shaft drive bicycle.

In my previous post, I had talked about the great importance the Red Bird had to local history.

Since it’s purchase we have discovered just how extremely rare it is, and it’s fascinating place in Canada’s industrial history at the turn of the 19th century.

This Red Bird was built in 1895 by Edward E. Goold, who formed his bicycle company in 1887. Mr. Goold also belonged to another important and history making / altering company “Goold, Shapely & Muir”. GS & M manufactured Windmills, water pumps, kerosene and gas engines, and some of the first tractors (just to name a few)  that helped shape the industrial and agricultural face of this country! Based in Brantford Ontario, they also had locations in Winnipeg and Regina. Our little Red Bird was an important beginning to a company that helped develop this great country!

An interesting side note, Edward E. Goold sold his bicycle company in 1899 to Canada Cycle and Motor Company ( CCM ) of Toronto. Now I think we are all familiar CCM bikes! Who among us hasn’t ridden one?

The Red Bird No.1  was classified as a “safety” or “low wheeled” bicycle . It has wooden wheels and handle bars, but most interesting is how the back wheel is “driven”. We all are used to the typical chain drive bicycles, but the Red Bird is driven by a shaft drive, NO CHAIN !

This 1895 Red Bird no.1 is possibly the oldest and only  existing example of the shaft driven bicycles made by the Goold Bicycle  Company. As can be seen on the bicycles “head badge” it was definitely manufactured by Goold, before is purchase by CCM in 1899. An 1898 advertisement shows that C. Moore was an  agent for Brantford Red Bird bicycles in Bobcaygeon.

In all the research that has been done since the purchase of the Red Bird, it has become apparent that this is probably the ONLY Red Bird no.1 shaft drive in existence right now!

Many cycle enthusiasts, historians  and collectors have come to see this bike, many of them in complete disbelief, claiming “there is no such thing as a Red Bird no.1 shaft drive”. One fellow got down on the floor to look for weld marks on the shaft because didn’t believe it could be authentic! Well, she is 100% authentic.

And for those who say that such a bike does not exist….nothing exists until it is found!



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