L.W. Keenan Champion branded bikes...Colson Heavy Service and ACE HIGH brands as well

Discussion in 'BIKE I.D. & VALUATION QUESTIONS' started by RustyGold, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    ...or not :grin:. I know there must be more of these out in the world, but, I've ran into some dead ends on information. We live in sensationalist times, so I'm trying sensationalist tactics :nod:. The bikes are Columbia-Westfield built, the two guy's bikes are '41s, the girl bike is a '42 (corrected, previously thought 39s and and a 40).
    IMG_20170805_180006733_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_175935879_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_175923123_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_175911147_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180037190_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180028223_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180021049_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180051273_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180059618_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180107021_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180138770_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180200866_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180208555_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180233420_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180243110.jpg IMG_20170805_180253813_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180326924.jpg IMG_20170805_180333257_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180345935_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180338283_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180355947_HDR.jpg IMG_20170805_180403437_HDR.jpg
    Oh...pic heavy :bigsmile:,
    Jason
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  2. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    I can find some information on an F.P. Keenan in Portland (Oregon) from the 1900s into the teens, or early 20s...that seemed prominent in the motorcycle community and owned a bicycle, motorcycle, and automotive accessories store. I have newspaper ads that show him as a Columbia Bicycle Dealer.

    Only things I can find on L.W. Keenan and Co. are personal. He won a prize in a card game held by a gentlemen's club (not-stripper...actual gentlemen, though there were women's names participating as well). Got busted supply alcohol to a couple of under drinking age girls. He and his wife (don't know if this was one of the previous mentioned under-age drinkers :)) got some camping reservations. This was all in the early 30s, I believe. No mention of business stuff.

    My assumption is that F.P. and L.W. are father-son...I have nothing to support that. I also assume that the business was passed on to L.W. somewhere in the late '20s/early'30s.

    My understanding is, that Columbia would only allow one dealer per city to sell Columbias. Anyone else, would have to come up with there own branding to slap on there Westfield built bike. So, since F.P. Keenan advertised Columbias...and I can't find any ads for L.W. Keenan, but did find another bike shop selling Columbias from the 20s/30s on...so, I would guess that L.W. lost, or gave up, being the primary Columbia Dealership in Portland.

    What I'm looking for:
    1) more info what/who/where/when/was L.W. Keenan and Co.
    2) how long Champion branded bikes were sold
    3) what trim levels could Champion branded bikes be had in (were there tank bikes? springers?)
    4) what chain guards should be used (vented, not vented, etc...)

    ...and another related nuggets would be cool as well.

    The origin stories for these particular bikes are
    1) diagonal 'Champion' badge bike...got from @Hophead on this forum...when he got it, it had a dana 3spd (hence the mag ring on it now), and he kept the seat in the price negotiation (probably a mistake on my part :bigsmile:). No other history

    2) other guys bike...got it from an older gentleman that thought it looked cool, no history.

    3) girl's bike...got it from the husband of the daughter of the original owner. They have pics of her riding it as a kid...but, no other history.

    That's what I got.
    Jason
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  3. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    Sooo...too verbose?

    I found an interview (2010) with a guy that had worked for L.W. Keenan & Co. ...http://gardenhomehistoryproject.weebly.com/oscar-and-mary-olson.html

    I've found three different versions of this interview, all edited in different ways that lead to different interpretations. Best that I can figure, Oscar worked at L.W. Keenan from either sometime in High School, or after graduating (probably ~'39), until he went into the Navy in '42. The pertinent quote:

    "Oscar first worked for L.W. Keenan & Co. down by Union Station in Portland, assembling wheel goods, bicycles etc. and inventing new parts."

    Unfortunately, Oscar passed away ~4 months ago...and Mary proceeded him.

    Found this on the ebay...

    I think it could very well be the same L.W. Keenan, but, I don't think it has anything to do with bikes. My current theory is that the bike business in Portland probably shut down during WWII. So, it is quite possible that he relocated and started another business sometime after the war. Can't find anything on this...I would guess by name and imagery that this would probably by '60s era. I doubt if it is bike related, even though it is listed as such, as there isn't any bike related images on it. I contacted the seller...he bought it with a bunch of other stickers from an estate sale. The seller said he was told it was bike related.

    That's my update...whether you wanted it, or not,
    Jason
     
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  4. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    Internal Server Error prevented me from including the sticker from ebay :headbang:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Phil Fink

    Phil Fink

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    You probably have already seen this 1912 Pope ad:
    upload_2017-9-6_10-3-39.png
     
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  6. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    Hadn't seen that one...thanks Mr. Fink! I've saw ads showing that F.P. Keenan & Co sold Pope Motorycles...but, not this full pager :thumbsup:.

    Adding it to my archive!
    Jason
     
  7. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    Upper Right hand corner shows F.P. Keenan's sign...
    Port4.jpg
    ...this page talks about the Portland to Corvallis and back endurance race that F.P. Keenan was one of the sponsor's of...
    http://theoldmotor.com/?p=110782
    ...click on the pictures to get to the original newspaper article describing the race results...400+ miles caused a lot of carnage, today we would call it, 'a leisurely day trip' :grin:

    Jason
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
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  8. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    I think I misinterpreted the serial# table on Mr. Columbia's site. I believe the boys bikes are 1941, and the lady's 1942. Still prewar :thumbsup:

    Jason
     
  9. SILVERKINGPC

    SILVERKINGPC

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    Cool! Love the history lesson RG. Life was so simple back then. Not anymore..
     
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  10. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    Haven't done much more research, lately. I've have some ideas, such as visiting the historical society library in Portlandia. I'm also going to go to the two addresses I have for the Keenan storefronts and see what is there now :).

    Mostly this post is to bump this up...and declare, STILL THE ONLY THREE L.W. KEENAN CHAMPIONS KNOWN TO EXIST...IN THE WORLD ! ! ! :crazy:

    Jason
     
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  11. RustySprockets

    RustySprockets

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    If you have the address, just use Google Maps street view. Probably a Starbucks.
     
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  12. ADVHOG

    ADVHOG

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    Sorry I can't help but this is a fascinating read!
     
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  13. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    I'm shooting for more of the weekend adventure than the actual site. I think I know the street where the earlier shop was located...I think it is an REI now. If it is, its an old building and may have been there bitd :thumbsup:.

    Jason
     
  14. Saddletramp

    Saddletramp

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    Here's a fourth LW Keenan Columbia bike. My father was employed by Keenan and the bike belonged to his sister. It has a rare two speed hub and is still rideable.

    Columbia-LW Keenan d.JPG
    Columbia-LW Keenan a.jpg
    Columbia-LW Keenan b.jpg Columbia-LW Keenan e.JPG Columbia-LW Keenan f.JPG columbia-lw keenan g.jpg Columbia-LW Keenan c.jpg
     
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  15. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    WOOHOO! 1942 then? I would guess the H12 is december of '41? The badge seems to be the same as my '41/'42.

    The only additional info I've ran across since my last post is a patent for F(rank).P. Keenan of Portland Oregon for a door lock for houses in 1901. Any information you have through your father regarding the Keenan's, and the Champion brand would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to post here or PM me :thumbsup:

    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  16. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    This thread now the home of the pictures of the ONLY FOUR CHAMPIONS KNOWN TO EXIST...IN THE WORLD!!!

    :grin: Jason :grin:
     
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  17. Rustinkerer

    Rustinkerer

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    There are some fairly obscure store badges out there! I have two J & R Flyers, one is a Shelby built '30s motobike, the other a wartime Monark built bike with blackout hubs. And, I've only heard of maybe one other! -Adam
     
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  18. RustyGold

    RustyGold

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    Yep...the variety of badges on the Mr Columbia site make it pretty clear there were a ton of re-branded bikes out there. Oregon being a backwater back then (...and still is), the novelty of a bike branded with 'Portland, OR' has been a real draw to me. People from the rust belt probably wouldn't understand my obsession as there were probably dozens of these boutique brands from just a few surrounding states.

    Thanks for the info, Adam
    Jason
     
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  19. Scribble

    Scribble

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    This is a super cool thread lots of good info, I kind of want to drive to Oregon now and hunt for one of these :D.
     
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  20. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

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