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Great Western Manufacturing Company Bicycle History

La Porte, IN


Not to be confused with Great Western Manufacturing of Leavenworth, KS. Thers is no connection between the two.

Thewheelmen.org states that the Great Western Manufacturing Company was formed in 1898 as the result of a merger between four other cycle companies: David Bradley, J. Lonn & Sons, Adams-Westlake, and Crown.

The New York Times reported on Sept. 9, 1902 that “The Sherman Cycle Company and Manson Cycle Company plants of Chicago have been merged with the Great Western Manufacturing Company of Laporte.” The short article goes on to say that Great Western was the product of another merger years earlier of the David Bradley and Adams-Westlake Companies of Chicago and the Crown Bicycle Works of Laporte.

The New York Times article concludes with, “In magnitude the Great Western Company is second in the country, being eclipsed only by the American Bicycle Company.” ABC was really a loose partnership of bicycle companies formed as a Trust to control manufacturing standards and stem the flow of cheap bicycles into the market. This was a time of great tumoil for the burgeoning bicycle industry. The bicycle boom of the 1990s was over. The automobile was coming into its own and taking market share away from the bike. Most bicycle companies were fighting for survival. ABC's efforts to consolidate the industry and control standards were less than successful. The consolidation was occuring, but most bicycle companies were just going out of business in the drought. The lucky ones became fodder for mergers.

The Indiana Automobile Index has The Great Western Manufacturing Company listed among other Indiana car manufacturers from 1904 to 1908.

In 1915 GWMC claimed they were capable of putting out 500 bicycles daily.

LaPorte Regional Health System‘s 2005 announcement for the opening of their Heart Center, The Crossing, lists The Great Western Manufacturing Company as owner of the building (1203 Washington St) in 1928.

Brands associated with GWMC:
Adlake (Adams-Westlake)
American
Crown
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