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Velocipede Lavender Patent Crank and Crank Axle Review

This article offers a comprehensive overview of velocipedes, detailing their history and evolution with the introduction of the crank shaft. It includes in-depth information about Canadian Patent 39777 by Charles F. Lavendar and Thomas Fane, providing a sectional view of the crank axle and its workings. The author explains how the crank axle improved the velocipede design by enabling the rider to transfer power to the wheel efficiently and smoothly. The description of the adjustment mechanism of the crank axle highlights its practicality and convenience. The article provides a complete understanding of the crucial role of the crank shaft in the development of the velocipede.

What are velocipedes?

Velocipedes are early bicycles that were popular in the late 19th century. They have similarities to a modern bicycle. The velocipede had solid wood wheels and a frame made of iron. Their relative weight and stiff ride complaince made for an uncomfortable ride. History remembers the velocipede as the boneshakers. The name velocipede is derived from the Latin word for "fast foot," and refers to the machine's ability to move quickly with the aid of pedals.

How the crank shaft operates on a velocipede

The crank shaft is an important component in the design of the velocipede, as it connects the pedals to the front wheel and enables the rider to transfer power from their legs to the wheel.

In earlier velocipede designs, the pedals were directly attached to the front wheel, making it difficult for the rider to maintain a consistent speed and causing the wheel to turn erratically. The introduction of the crank shaft improved the design by allowing the rider to transfer power to the wheel more efficiently and smoothly.

By connecting the pedals to the wheel through a system of gears and cranks, the crank shaft allowed the rider to generate more speed and power, making the velocipede faster and easier to ride. The crank shaft also helped to reduce the wear and tear on the wheel, as it allowed the wheel to rotate at a more consistent pace, reducing the risk of damage from jolts and uneven surfaces.

Details of the 1893 crank shaft patent

The crank shaft was a critical component in the development of the velocipede, enabling it to evolve into the more efficient and comfortable machine that it became. It remains an important component in modern bicycles, as it helps to transfer power from the rider's legs to the wheel, allowing the machine to move forward.

Velocipede frame
figure 0  velocipede frame and axle location

This patent being reviewed in this article is Canadian Patent 39777. Charles F. Lavendar and Thomas Fane were velocipede manufacturers and inventors living in Toronto (Canada) in the 1890s. For the record, the patent was issued on August 11, 1892.

Lavender Patent Crank Axle
figure 1  section view of crank axle from patent application

Figure 1 gives a sectional view showing a crank and axle complete attached to the frame. Item 1 refers to the crank axle bracket attached to the tubing. Item 2 refers to the axle passing through the said bracket and joined to the right hind crank within the hub (item 3) of the sprocket wheel (item 4) which is accomplished by means of a right and left hand thread.

It will thus be seen that by starting the axle at each end of the hub and then running the sprocket wheel, the two ends of the axle are drawn firmly together and are prevented from turning out again by the square lug on one end fitting into the square socket on the other end of the axle (as shown in Figure 2).

Lavender Patent Crank Axle
figure 2  close section view of adjustinbg sleeve

Thus it will be seen that it is a very simple matter to remove the sprocket wheel and replace it by one of the different dimensions to change the gear when required. Item 5 refers to the cap or adjusting sleeve which is held in place by a set screw in the lug (item 6). To adjust the bearing it is necessary to loosen the set screw in the lug (item 6) and allow of the sleeve (item 5) being turned to the right or left as required, and then retightening the set screw to securely hold the sleeve.

Lavender Patent Crank Axle Summary

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About this article

This article is a reprint of an existing article from Engineer and Inventor, April 1893. It is the intent of this website to present this article in human and machine readable form. Format and editing changes have been made. This article is provided for the purpose of enjoyment only. Statements in this article were relevant to the published period and may not be applicable in current times.

The original article was quite brief and without context. Searches for Levenar and crank shafts revealed very little. But I find myself coming back the crankshaft drawing and wanting to know more. What is it in the patent that is of importance here? Frustration set in. I kept coming back to this simple question. I started trawling the patent archives until I found my answer. I am very happy to present this article in a final complete form.