1896 S.H Justin ‘Spitfire’
They come from far Cathay, from Egypt’s desert sands,
Siberia’s waste of fields and the Arctic frozen lands.
They would come from Mars and Saturn, if a pathway could be made,
To buy the Spitfire cycles, the best bikes ever made.
– S.H. Justin
The road from Bristol to Weston-Super-Mare was well used by cyclists by the end of the 1890s. According to the Bristol Mercury Penny Guide Book: ‘The cycle run or drive down is worthy of consideration; the road is a well known one and in the summer months often resembles a pilgrimage route, for Nimrods and Jehus may be counted by the score and hundred.’
This Spitfire Safety Bicycle was manufactured in Bristol in 1896 by S.H. Justin & Co. At that time, a few cycle companies were located in that area, in particular the Nimrod Cycle Co. Samuel Justin worked for Nimrod and, through them, worked alongside the most famous American cycle champion, A.A Zimmerman.