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The History of Speedwell

   Charles Bennett was the founder of Speedwell in Sydney,Australia in 1882.  Somewhat of a celebrity resulting from his attainment in Penny Farthing racing of the title of Intercontinental Champion of Australia before Australia became a nation he commenced his business by importing and servicing Penny Farthings from Great Britain. In the early 20th century he commenced his manufacture of bicycles under the name of Speedwell Bicycles.This business grew into the biggest cycle manufacturing buisness in New South Wales. Although primarily a mass market manufacturer of bicycles the marque developed at the top of their range high quality lightweight racing cycles. Speedwell's most famous rider was "Dunc" Gray who won Australia's first Gold Medal in cycling in the 1000m time trial at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. The bike that he rode to the Gold Medal success is now displayed at the "Dunc" Gray Velodrome in Sydney, Australia. This was the venue for the Sydney 2000 Olympic track events. 

Interesting to note that the first noted advertisement for a Royal Speedwell bicycle appeared on the 15 December 1902 in the Sydney Morning Herald.  The cycle is advertised with " Dunlop Vulcanised Tyres" as a main feature. It is sold by Bennett and Wood of 55 Market Street Sydney. This same company was associated with bicycle sales in Australia for the better part of the 20th century.


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