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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Wash. Military Cyclists Leather Pouch

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Front of Pouch
Front of Pouch  

back of Pouch
back of Pouch  
Hello and good day. My Grandmother has a 1890's leather pouch that was used by a Washington Military Cyclist on his cycle. The pouch includes two letters dated 1895.

Do you have any information about the history of this item? Can you point me to someone who does? I have found little information about military cyclists. I would love to learn more and find out if this item has any historical value. I cannot find anything like it online at this time. Any information you can share is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Answer
Beth,

That's a very interesting item and it does appear to be from the 1890's to early 1900's. The markings on the back show that this was presented by the James S. Topham company in Washington, D.C., which was a large trunk and bag maker in that city from about 1880 to the 1940's. Many trunk and bag companies made a variety of trunks, cases, bags, etc. This was most likely made by Topham and given to the cyclists as a form of advertising.  
While I don't have any specific information on the Washington Military Cyclists, I do know that there were some military cyclist troops that were trained as units and there were also many cycling clubs at that time.  I also found that in 2013 there was a large auction of cycling items from the Pedaling History Museum, including old bicycles and many other types of related items.  One auction listing was for a group of cycle club ribbons from the 1892 Washington D.C., League of American Wheelmen meet.  This list is copied for you below.   


Lot of (9) L.A.W. (League of American Wheelmen) bicycle ribbons
from meet in Washington DC. Society chapters include
Washington Military Cyclists, Columbia Cycle Club, Imperial
Scorchers, Pontiac Wheelmen MI, Smith's Tour, Warwick,
Allegheny Cyclers and YMCA Wheelmen Baltimore MD. All dating
from 1892. Good Condition. Estimate: 25.00 - 35.00

This item has some historical value both to collectors of cycling items and to some antique trunk collectors. It's very hard to determine what the value would be since I don't have items to compare it with, but I saw a variety of historical items in the 2013 auction listed in the $35 to $75 range. It would probably be most valuable to someone who has some connection to the Washington Military Cyclists.   I hope that helps some.  
Marvin  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Marvin D. Miller

Expertise

I can answer questions related to antique trunks, their age, manufacturers, styles, patents, etc, including all types of trunks such as steamer trunks, saratoga trunks, Victorian trunks, slat trunks, toy and doll trunks, stagecoach trunks, valises, hat trunks, and others.

Experience

I have over 40 years experience in trunk restoration, collecting, and research. I own the most extensive collection of historical documents, catalogs, maker's labels, cards, etc. related to antique trunks. I am always updating my inventory of historical documents and antique trunks.

Organizations
Association of American Antique Trunk Restorers, President.

Publications
Primarily on the website www.ThisOldTrunk.com Cotton & Quail Antiques newspaper (Southeast). Antique Journal magazine.

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Bachelor of Arts from the University of Georgia. I have conducted extensive research related to the topic of trunk manufacturers and trunk styles in the U.S. and Europe.

Past/Present Clients
Have consulted for the Pawn Stars TV show on antique trunks. I have sold antique trunks to museums in California and Florida and to customers around the world.

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