Although the bike bears no manufacturer badge, its very distinctive features lead us to affirm that it is indeed a Quadrant nº 21—produced by the Quadrant Tricycle Company from Birmingham. The company manufactured several models and types of bicycles, including tricycles for adults which were very common in the late 1800s along with tandem bicycles.
There remains only 5 Quadrant no. 21’s in the world as far as it is known today. There’s one in the Dutch National Museum, one at the Shimano Museum in Japan, another is the property of Jan Sirer of the Czech Republic, one is owned by Herman Pickering from England and the last one is in the Museu do Caramulo.
At the launch of the Quadrant no. 21, pneumatic tyres which are so common today were having to fight to establish their place in the market. As an 1891 advertisement for the Quadrant No. 21 in an English publication commented:
“The last great invention in the construction of bicycles; no tyres needed; unsurpassed comfort; fewer vibrations; [problems] tyres don’t solve…”.
This rare and uncommon specimen was donated to the Museu do Caramulo by Joana Correia de Barros.