Rudge, Wedge & Co.
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 following article is from an edition of the South
Staffordshire Illustrated, and includes an excellent description of the
RUDGE, WEDGE & CO., LIMITED,
Manufacturers of "RUDGE-WEDGE CYCLES,"
Registered Office: Pelham Street,
LONDON DEPOT : 52 Fore Street, E.C.
Telegrams-" RUDGE-WEDGE, WOLVERHAMPTON."
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
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
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
Courtesy of Jim
|A Rudge Wedge gents bicycle from
Some of the Company's Products
the List of Manufacturers