CMC 1871-72: the Spider

At the end of 1870, the first French firms introduced thin metal spokes. James Starley introduced his Ariel with metal spokes at the end of  that year. The Coventry Machinists Co had to keep up and copied the spoke design of the Compagnie Francaise. Somewhere late '71 they turned their wooden wheeled  'step and spring model' into a real highwheel: the CMC Spider.
Just a few of these survived, with their solid backbone and single rear stay. Maybe the brass hub just wasn't strong enough? Sure is, that the bicycle craze was over. The years 1871-1874 were very thin for the bicycle industry. 

Here you see the Spider that is for view in the Brooklands Museum (south of London). It must have been built late '71 or 1872. Somewhere around the winter of 72-73 the Spider got a hollow backbone and two rear stays. 

Click picture for more pictures on my Flickr site.