Well to be fair after the last posting about finishing touches on a restoration, I do understand that sometimes it is not the bicycle that is the true goal but the path that it takes to get there. From locating the period correct bit and bobs, to reproducing decals, and sometimes just the simple thing of finding out who actually made the bike.
Finding out who made a bike can sometimes take you down the rare road of documenting a builder that there is no gathered information about. In talking with various collectors, looking through old magazine and trade publications you begin to form a story- a history. This can be rather rewarding because you will be the keeper of the flame, someone that saved it from obscurity.
With the advent of the Internet, almost every vintage bicycle aficionado knows of Mario Confente, even though he built reality few bicycles under his own name. That is not only because he built finely crafted ones, but he is well documented. Take someone more obscure like Harry Rensch, that name is foreign to a lot of American collectors(and I assume Europeans alike, minus the British). He built very unorthodox bicycle frames that would completely stand out compared to any other postwar bicycle at the time(even most today). His history has also been cataloged for the future so collectors have correct information for restoring. Names like Pop Brennan, Dick Powers, Alvin Drysdale, or even the famous builder Gloria need to have a formal account of bikes they built and riders who used them. I applaud all the collectors that help document the history of cycling and the technical advances made over the past 100+ years. Magazines like the Bicycle Quarterly and On the Wheel, and websites like Classic Rendezvous and Velo Retro offer invaluable information and a place to meet other like minded collectors.
In the photo is a myriad of cotter drive side cranks. Rudge, BSA, JC Higgins, Raleigh and Phillips are all visible.