Rudge, Wedge & Co. Limited

Harry Rudge was the eldest son of Daniel Rudge, who founded Rudge cycles. In 1891, he joined Mr. C. Wedge to form Rudge Wedge & Co. They set up a cycle works at Pelham Street, and in 1902 moved to new works in Mander Street. They also built a few motorcycles, but decided to concentrate solely on building pedal bicycles. Many of their products were supplied to the trade with their own or customer's transfers and large numbers of their machines were exported to the colonies.

The following article is from an edition of the South Staffordshire Illustrated, and includes an excellent description of the company.

Manufacturers of "RUDGE-WEDGE CYCLES,"

Registered Office: Pelham Street, WOLVERHAMPTON.
LONDON DEPOT : 52 Fore Street, E.C.

Telegrams-" RUDGE-WEDGE, WOLVERHAMPTON."                            Telephone-7,266, Wolverhampton.
               "OBLIQUELY, LONDON"                                                                                  London, 5,541 (Bank).

There are few names that have achieved a higher standing in the cycle trade than that of the Rudge family, whose members have for years past been prominently identified with most of the improvements in construction of the celebrated cycles, which have attained such world wide popularity. One of the founders of the business to which our notice applies, Mr. H. Rudge, is the eldest son of the late Dan Rudge - inventor and patentee of the now universal ball bearings, and maker of the original " Rudge " bicycles - and in conjunction with some well-known local gentlemen of influence established the firm of Rudge, Wedge & Co., Limited, in 1891.

Mr. H. G. Rudge.

The success of the undertaking has been rapid and progressive, the Company from the first evincing a determination to spare neither effort nor expenditure in the constant improvement of their models in each succeeding season, with the inevitable result that the Rudge Wedge machines now rank in popular appreciation with the best high grade makes in the market. The present board of directors comprises Messrs. William F. Legg (Chairman), Fred. F. Price, Thomas Hunt, Harry G. Rudge, and Charles A. Wedge, Managing Director, with Mr. Charles Hamilton, Secretary. The works, situated in Pelham Street, have a handsome and effective front elevation of two storeys extending a distance of 120 feet along that thoroughfare, and having a rearward extension of some 80 feet.
On the ground floor are the general and private offices, and beyond these are the workmen's entrance and gateway for vehicles conveying goods and materials. Passing into the large machine shop our attention is invited to a splendid plant of machine tools and labour saving appliances, many of which are of special design, and are perfectly up-to-date for facilitating the various manufacturing operations. Adjoining is an engine house furnished with a capital Otto gas engine from which motive force is obtained for driving the machinery. Next to this is the enamelling shop with all the requisite dipping tanks, arid three large stoves in which the hardening process is completed at a very high temperature. On this level also are the bobbing and mopping shops, where the parts are polished and prepared for the plating process, which is performed in an adjoining shop, fitted with vats, dynamo, and every requisite for nickelling, and other metal deposits.

Mr. Chas. E. Wedge.

Wolverhampton Works (Pelham Street).

Ascending to the upper floor we next make acquaintance with the brazing shop, with open fires, this apartment being of fire-proof construction, with concrete floors, a precautionary measure by the way generally adopted throughout the establishment. Adjoining this are stock rooms for rims, frames, and other parts all readily accessible when required to be given out for making-up.
Fine lofty- apartments are apportioned to the finishing and building departments, which are fully equipped with complete outfits of machine tools for their purposes, and below in the large yard are joiner's shop and wood stores for materials used in the manufacture of packing cases which are all made on the premises, and spacious accommodation for the storage of saddles, pedals, and other parts, and cycling accessories of every description.

The Machine Shop.

The whole of the works’ departments are in charge of Mr. Rudge, who gives the closest personal supervision to every detail of construction of the machines, which are built of the best materials available.

The Building & Assembling Department.

Special attention being given to the bearings, which are made from the best bar steel, hardened and tempered to stand the severest strain, and as none but the most experienced workmen are employed, the firm can with confidence guarantee every cycle sent out to be of general and excellent finish. 
The popular models of the firm for the approaching season are the "Rudge Wedge" tandem for two gentlemen or lady and gentleman riders, racers, road racers, roadsters, ladies’ safeties. made in Nos. 5, 6 and 7 patterns, and unsurpassed in workmanship, finish and through reliability.

Exhibition Show Stand.

Numerous testimonials received from clients in all parts of the country give convincing evidence of the satisfaction invariably expressed as to the high class qualities of the Company’s machines, which now experience a constantly increasing demand in the home and export markets. Full particulars of the various models are embodied in a handsome catalogue issued by the Rudge Wedge Company, which we have pleasure in commending to the attention of those of our readers about to make a selection of a suitable and desirable mount. 

A Rudge Wedge ladies bicycle from the1895 catalogue.

Courtesy of Jim Boulton.

A Rudge Wedge gents bicycle from the1895 catalogue.

Courtesy of Jim Boulton.

View Some of the Company's Products

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