When bicycles were first introduced they were considered to be a recreational toy. However, retailers and message services quickly realized the value of bicycles as a delivery vehicle. Bikes were quicker than traveling by foot, and less expensive and easier to maneuver than horses were. These qualities made them ideal for delivering packages and important messages in large cities.
The first courier bikes were used by the Paris Stock Exchange in 1870. However, the American company, Western Union, quickly adopted bicycles into their New York City delivery fleet. Bicycles were gradually added to message delivery and package delivery services in other major cities through the world. Today, bikes are still a popular vehicle for in-city package and message delivery services.
If you are interested in buying an antique courier bicycle then you need to know what to look for before you start spending money. The first thing that you will want to look for is an old bike that has a single fixed gear. This is a good sign that the bike was designed for a courier service. Next you will want to look for evidence that the bike was owned by a courier service. Look especially for painted company names, company logo stickers and serial numbers that you can use to authenticate the bike with.
When shopping for an antique courier bike you also want collect the story behind the bike. Sometimes this story can be just as valuable as the bike itself. If you are buying the bike from the original owner or from a family member of the bike's owner, then you need to ask them for the story behind the bike. Ask if there are photos of the bike being used, if there are letters or written information on the bike and if they have any family stories that they are willing to share. This information and supplementary materials can add value to the bike if you are able to acquire them.
Source by Sarah Freeland