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The Davis Sewing Machine Company had survived 30 years in the bike industry, but were finished by 1922. Horace Huffman was put in charged of liquidating the companies machinery. He used the funds to create the Huffman Manufacturing Company in 1924.
The remaining Davis bike inventory was sold through 1925.
The Huffman company concentrated on non-bike products until 1928 when the Huffman Company incorporated for the purpose of building bikes.
Work began on modernizing the Davis factory.

It wasn't until October 1934 that the Huffman Company announced their new
line of bikes. They used many of the Davis names including Snell, National, LaFrance, Dixie Flyer and Dayton (for the top bikes only).
New names that appeared included Zephyr, Airflyte, Davis Flyer as well as many private label brands.
The Yale name had been transferred to the D.P. Harris Company.
All Huffman bikes used balloon tires and "Aircrafted" frames. All joints were fillet brazed, then ground down and polished.
The models were identified by D (Dayton) and H (all others) and a number
(1, 2, 3 or 4), a higher number meaning more equipment.

Huffman became the sole supplier for Firestone starting in 1935.
During the first year only 90 bikes were ordered, which was also the year
that the curved seat stays were introduced.

1936 introduced 0the D-44E Safety-Streamline. The frame featured a double rear fork sweeping behind the rear tire. A special horn and headlight combination was molded to the front of the head tube. The fender braces were replaced with bracing placed inside the fenders and attached directly to the frame or fork.
A countersunk taillight was powered by a battery located at the front of the
rear fender. All of the wiring was contained inside the frame tube. The horn button was hidden in the end of the hand grip.
Since the normal location of the head badge was covered by the horn/light combo, the head badge was moved to the front of the back fender. All the bikes were "sea Mist Green".
Six months later the bike was replaced with the D-44K "Super- Streamline".
The bike featured a normal Delta horn light and taillight, braced handlebars,
truss rod fork and flat fender braces. The bike also had extra-long painted darts on the frame.
The 1936 frames all had a necked-down area on the top three inches of the seat tube.

For 1937 the Super-Streamline was available in two models. Both models had shorter frames since the original battery box was eliminated. The D-2E used the 1936 frame with a torpedo style headlight, a "Huffman Streamline Extended" gooseneck, new style rear reflector and gothic style fenders. The rear stands attached to the frame instead of the rear axle. A short mesh-like chain guard replaced the previous years extra long unit. The Dayton and National bikes were chromed and the Huffman bikes used painted chain guards. The new pedals were of a streamlined teardrop shape. The second model D-1T used a slightly modified frame. It used a 3-ribbed "Zephyr" tank with a horn button. Dual "twinlites" were also part of the package. The owner could use four "D" cell batteries or a "409" size battery in the tank. A unique feature was a cast aluminum speedometer housing that fit over the extended stem. It was know as the Dayton "ashtray" and housed either a Stewart/Warner or Walthan speedometer. The 1937 Dayton line offered 16 models and the Huffman line consisted of 22 models. There was a new camel back frame with a single top tube in addition to the Standard Motorbike with the conventional frame. An economy version, the 6-T, was available with a camelback frame, hanging tank and aluminum headlight.
The lightweight line for 1937 was available as the Model #16 with drop bars, 28" tires, aluminum fenders, chrome-moly frame, rat-trap pedals and solid rear hub. The model #17 featured an upright bar and coaster brake.

The Super-Streamline made its final appearance in 1938. The chain guard was changed from the mesh style to the "Crows Beak" style. The frame was changed to a double curve down tube. The tank was available in chrome for the Huffman model 1-T. Other changes included a lock for the front end and the newly introduced New Departure 2-speed coaster brake and front wheel brake. 1938 saw the introduction of the Twin Flex, "the most important development in cycling since the coaster brake". The suspension systems had springs on the left and right sides of the fork ends on both the front and rear. The 4-TS had a chrome tank and Delta Twin lights. The model 14-TS had a painted tank, 5-TS was the ladies' tank model, 6-TS was the men's' camelback frame with chrome tank and model 104-S was a men's model
without tank, rack, light or chain guard. After the bikes were shipped, it became obvious that the frames would break under normal use.
Huffman Incorporated created a total recall of the bikes. The recall was so complete that a 1938 Twin-Flex had not been found until 1998. The Twin-Flex became known as the "Death Bike" because of the demise of the model and the troubles it caused the company. Because of the Twin-Flex problems, Firestone decided not to rely on one supplier and gave much of their account to the Colson Corporation. The Twin-Flex was re-introduced in April 1938 as a 1939 model. The suspension was redesigned using a single spring for each wheel. This model had a straight down tube for a month before it was changed to the double curved tube.

In 1939 Huffman designers replaced the top tube on the 51-X with a Zephyr-looking "tank" that was made into he frame. The base model was without accessories. Firestone offered the same model with all the accessories named the "Flying Ace". When the Firestone bikes had a chain guard the guard used three embossed speed lines instead of the curved ones found on the Huffman branded bikes. Some Firestones had a place for the owner's initials on the front fender. Any model could be accessorized.
The 1939 dealer price list includes:
chrome chain guard $.10, painted head light $.70, aluminum head light $.80,
chrome twin lights $.80, horn tank $1.95, Twin Flex cushioning on any Dayton model $4.00.

1939 saw hand brakes and Sturmey-Archer 3-speed available on the lightweight models. The Dayton line featured the Mainliner for 1940 while Huffman had the Champion. Both bikes had a tank that wrapped around the front of the head tube, two teardrop lights on either side of the tank, and a chrome plated grill in place of the head badge.
The Mainliner featured a lighted luggage carrier and new chainguard.
The extra-deep fenders had a chrome plated ornament on both models.
The Huffman Top Flite had the tank without the built-in headlights and a stainless steel nosepiece instead of the front grill.

Most 1940 models had a gracefully curved down tube. "Safetee Kick Stand" side stands replaced the old style center stands. For this year only, the frame had a welded-on kick stand with an "H" head bolt. 1940 was the last year for the Twin-Flex, model 21-TF, which was available by special order only.

1941 was the last year of production prior to the war.
It was also the last year for the extra-long tank that wrapped around the head tube. The top models featured a new springer fork that was similar in style to the Schwinn fork. The dual lights were replaced with a single large chrome headlight in front of the fork. The Huffman Top Flight came with chrome struts instead of the spring fork and a less deluxe carrier.
The 1941 bikes also had fake molded springs on the seats even including fake molded nuts. The budget bike from Huffman were the Deluxe Line. The tank did not wrap around the head tube but it did have the same spring fork and substituted a front load Delta torpedo light on the fender.

1942 brought the Civilian Transport models with simple diamond frames, no ornamentation and painted parts. Huffman and Westfield Mfg. were chosen to produce a GI bicycle. The standard balloon tire "Universal Military Bicycle" and women's military bike (M306) used standard interchangeable parts for both manufacturers. All bikes were painted olive draband had a leather seat, small air pump, seat-mounted tool kit, coaster brake, handlebar bell, fenders, chainguard and Delta Winner fender light. The bikes were used at every camp in the U.S. and most overseas facilities that were not at the front. By the 1950's most of the bikes had been sold for scrap and are hard to find these days.
In 1942 Horace "Huffy" Huffman was named president of the company.

In 1943 civilians could qualify for a bike if the could show a "need" for one.

1946 brought a rush of pent-up demand for bikes. The Champion line featured the 1941 style spring fork that was now known as the Gliding Ride spring fork.
The "Deluxe Special" line of bikes didn't have the springer, but they did have the tanks and carriers.
The "Special" bikes had no accessories. 20" and 24" bikes were available. These bikes used the same chain guard as the pre-war bikes without the grilled nose. The louvered tank found on the less expensive 1941 models was now attached to the top models.
The Deluxe line had a large dart painted on the tank that matched those on the frame.

On May 13, 1947 the 1 millionth bike was made. The 14K gold and chrome plated bike was sent to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI where it remains today.

1948 brought entirely new models from top to bottom. The Champion include a new tank, carrier and full length chain guard. The frame was slightly redesigned and a new "Streamlite" headlight that followed the fender contour. Auto style chrome trim was added to the tank, carrier and chain guard.
The Deluxe Special came without the chrome trim, a new chain guard and Delta torpedo light. The new carrier attached directly to the rear fender with no additional braces. The fender braces had a gentle curve to them.
Huffman improved the chain adjusters to use lock nut installed in the frame. If there was a problem this made it much easier to fix than the adjusters that were tapped into the frame.
The Model 90 was made for the Whizzer motor. It had a slightly modified frame, notched rear fender, and a special crank to clear the belt guard. A Morrow rear brake and New Departure front brake were used for stopping and .120 gauge spokes were used for extra strength.

For the year of 1949 the recession chopped bike production in half. The Deluxe Line now had screenprinted decorations on the chain guard, tank and carrier. Most models had an embossed aluminum badge wrapped around the seat tube. Both sides of the badge had Scotchlite reflectors for visibility. Most models had "Air-wheel" rims which were available in chrome
or paint finishes. The rims held more air due to their shape and were supposed to give a better ride. More chrome was added to small parts such as lock washers.
The 1949 Champion used a Delta Road-liter instead of the Streamlite. The Huffy name was used for the first time in 1949 on a new "convertible" model. 20" and 24" Huffy models were soon added.

1950 found the Huffy name added to an electric mower. Huffman bikes introduced the "Dial-Your-Ride" fork in 1950. The large fork had an adjustable knob on the top of the spring to adjust the spring tension. The torpedo style light was replaced by a larger ball-type light that mounted on the front fork. Bikes in 1950 or 1951 were the last to use the Dayton name badge.

The Huffy line added a 26" model in 1951. The Super Deluxe Tank Model 210SFG was very similar to the previous Dayton bikes except for a different chain guard. The 26" bike used a Gliding Ride fork and ball shape headlight. The 24" bike used the Rocket Ray headlight that was introduced the year before.

By 1953 import bikes accounted for 22% of sales. Huffy introduced the XC210SFG with a rear carrier that flowed into the tank and the tank wrapped over top tube. The hand-striped fenders were dropped in favor of chrome fenders.
The Gliding Ride fork was used and a front expander brake was added.

Huffy joined with Raleigh in 1954 to market the "Huffy-Sportsman" line of English bikes.
To help remain competitive the "Mainliner" line of bikes were cut 20% off the previous years models.

To respond to the imports, Huffman introduced the lighter weight "Huffy Customliner" with 1.75" tires in 1955. They had a Bendix 2 speed hub and a headlight with a long tapered lens for a futuristic look. Because the volume of Huffy bikes were increasing a new factory was needed. A plant in Celina, Ohio was built in 1955. One of the first bikes made in the new facility was the Huffy Radiobike. This bike had a radio built into the tank powered by a "Power Pak" mounted on the rear carrier. They had a 2 speed Bendix hub, 1.75" tires, long lensed headlight and was available in red, blue or green.

The lawnmower division acquired the mower division of the Monark Silver King Company in 1957.
Later in 1957 Huffman acquired the bicycle division of Monark as well. Some of the Monark tooling was shipped to Celina and the Monark name lived on into the 1980's. Some Monark parts began to show up on Huffy branded bikes such as the "Custom Royale".

Huffy's four millionth bike was produced in 1961.

By 1975 Huffy had a 28.7% market share.

In 1977 the name was officially changed to the Huffy Corporation.

In the 1980's Huffy acquired the rights to the Raleigh name in the United States.

The Huffy Tech Center in Miamisburg, Ohio, under the direction of Mike Melton, produced the
1984 Olympic bikes. Greg Lemond would ride Huffy branded bikes in the Tour De France.

Most of this information was distilled from the Volume 3 Number 2 1997 Classic Bike by
Steve and Lynn Culver.

* Note* I have a few Huffys- the early 1950's one (unknown model) is a good solid bike, but their early middleweights, such as my 1957 Customliner were of extremely poor quality; hence, I believe this is where the reputation as being "garbage" came from. By the early sixties the frame construction and fit of parts had come back up to a decent and acceptable level, but unfortunately, that reputation has persisted through the decades.
Purely my own perception and opinion; based on experience, but my own opinion just the same.
I don't think ANY bikes are made in the U.S anymore, aside from very high end, specialized racing rigs. I wish I had the backing/funding to start up. To create American jobs building quality bicycles here at home... But I don't right now, so I'll just keeping dreaming.:cool:
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It is a nice dream.

But judging from the cost of many of those Chinese goods, I suspect the workers are earning, maybe, a bowl of rice and a fish head per day.

And American workers just can't compete with that. It's a shame.
You are right; I forgot about them!!! expensive but dang good quality!!!
Sideline Huffy thingee

If this is off topic, or inappropriate feel free to move or delete it. I'm just not sure where to put stuff sometimes. Please forgive me.

I've made reference to my love of Huffy's due to my first bicycle being a huffy. For one of my composition classes I wrote an essay about it. I just thought I'd post it so you would understand why I'm so passionate about bikes, huffy's and motored bikes. It all stems from here:

Not too long ago I was sitting alone in the old barn that now serves as my workshop. The wind was whistling through the broken and missing windows whispered between the gaps in the ship lap siding. In an effort to keep from freezing I was sipping freshly percolated, hot coffee. Strong and black, just the way I prefer it. I watched for a moment finding a certain measure of serenity as my senses attuned to the rain falling. I took another sip of coffee, and shivered a smile.
I was taking a deserved break from the project at hand; a Kustomized 1940 Schwinn DX, a real hot rod job being built from the frame out; this was a special build-up for an old friend.
I allowed my eyes to wander around the workshop; observing the various machineries of joy that, in these recent years, I had come to insulate myself with.
These remnants of the past, hanging from rusty nails driven into the rough-hewn rafters, resembled the tattered ghosts of another time. A time I, unfortunately, never knew. There was a late twenties (or early thirties) Sears and Roebucks Elgin Motorbike frame. Here again a 1964 Schwinn Typhoon frame with only one wheel, alongside a 1930's Monark frame and fork. Over there on the shelf rested a 1939 Elgin Twin-Bar which was mostly just a frame, but the parts I had collected for it lay piled next to the frame.
A couple of dozen old bikes and then some to be sure were scattered about. Most of these old treasures are faded, chipped, rusty, and battered. All but forgotten, I'm sure these old bicycles once gave great pleasure to someone. But for now they patiently rest- waiting for me to give them new life.
Rain continued falling, striking the ragged remains of a window pane in scattered rhythm while Tommy Roe softly sang "Dizzy" on the beat up old radio, which was hidden in the background amongst the scattered tools, parts, and god knows what else that lay scattered and piled around this old workshop. In looking about and softly dreaming, my eyes eventually found their mark. In the corner, dirty and rusting, hiding inconspicuously amongst the junk and clutter of wheels, hubs, handlebars, and seats was a small yellow Huffy frame. Upon seeing this frame my mind inevitably turned back to the summer days of my youth. This was the one. This was my bike. For me, that first bike represented all the things that my imagination brought forth, yet it was also a trusted friend; Silver to my Lone Ranger if you will. I took a long sip of coffee and drifted away; another time, another place; a time when, and a place where, my cage seemed a whole lot larger.
The summer of 1976, when I turned from six to seven years old, was the real turning point in my youth and thus began a life long love affair with bicycles; even if I did forget about them for a little while.
I arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Glendora, California for my summer vacation, with all the hoopla that I had come to expect each year upon my arrival. This year, however, was a little different in that I was told in no uncertain terms to stay out of the garage. I would have to wait until my birthday to find out what was in there.
That old garage was the magical secret place where Grandpa would let me use his tools, and would teach me how to use those tools properly. I remember there was this one time the following summer- I had been working feverishly for about an hour building this grand play set for my "Star Wars" figures. Grandpa came out to see how, and what exactly, I was doing. He took one look at my project chuckled quietly and said to no one in particular, "It might taxi nice but I don't think you'll get it off the runway." and with that, continuing to chuckle to himself, wandered back in the house to listen to the baseball game on his transistor radio.
So of course this staying out of the garage business came as a complete surprise to me. For three whole weeks I wondered, "What could possibly be in the garage?" I sat and pondered; wondering, squirming, and all afire with twitching and burning curiosity. I would have sworn (cross my heart and hope to die) I was going to explode before that big day came.
Patience has never been one of the more dominant qualities of my personality.
I awoke on the morning of July 30th 1976, (the day of my 7th birthday), to a beautiful sunny southern California morning. The mourning doves were singing their melancholy song. The scent of the Magnolia trees that lined the suburban streets permeated the air, filling my nostrils. This was going to be a great day indeed. I flew out of bed to go out to Marie Callendar's to have my birthday breakfast with the whole family, which was a long-standing tradition in my family.
More importantly though, there was something I needed to find out! With all the speed and agility of a comic book super hero I threw on my favorite jeans and tee shirt, jammed a pair of socks on my feet, screwed on my Chuck Taylor All-Star high top sneakers, and was out the door!
The large door to the garage was already open. Sitting there gleaming in the morning sun was the brightest and shiniest yellow, black, and chrome bicycle I had ever seen! It looked like it was going a hundred miles an hour standing still! I rubbed my eyes in disbelief. I had to be dreaming. I was dreading the part where I would wake up.
It never happened, I didn't awaken from this dream. It was real, I had a brand new "muscle-bike" of my very own. With tall handlebars, sissy bar, and all!
I immediately nicknamed it "Lightning". Oh man, was this bike gorgeous: bright yellow with black racing stripes running up the fenders, bright chrome wheels with black wall tires, gleaming chrome high rise handlebars with black handgrips, and a black banana seat with a yellow racing stripe off center along the length of it. It was exquisite.
Grandpa spoke with a soft yet firm tone, "I know this is going to be difficult, but you can't ride it until you can touch the ground with your feet."
"But Grandpa...!"
"Now listen here little mister, before you get all twitterpated I'm telling you this because you just don't have enough control without being able to stand with the bike, and it's very dangerous."
"But I know how to ride a bike, and I won't get hurt. Just once? Please??? Just down the sidewalk right here in front? PLEASE ?!?!?"
Usually when Grandpa spoke that was the final word. Maybe this time he recalled his first bike, perhaps he wasn't so far removed from the wonders and mysteries a bike held for a young boy. Maybe he was unable to resist the pleading of his first-born grandchild. I don't know, but whatever the cause he gave in.
"All right, but just one turn up the sidewalk and back. Then back into the garage it goes. No 'ifs', 'ands', or 'buts'. Period."
Overcome with joy I climbed up on the bike settling myself into a comfortable position on the new black vinyl covered banana seat, with my 'tippy-toes' touching the cement sidewalk. I made sure to point this fact out to Grandpa.
I imagined myself racing at a hundred miles per hour winning the Grand Prix, just like Speed Racer. Then I imagined myself flying through space saving the galaxy. Oh, the adventures I imagined having on 'Lightning' with my best friend Ron back up in Washington (state). I wanted this feeling to last forever, so for a time I just sat with Grandpa holding me up. Finally it was time.
"Are you ready?"
"Off you go then," and with a slight push, I was on my way.
I rode up to the end of the cul-de-sac and was turning back around when it happened.
BAM! I was on the ground unable to breathe! I was trying to cry out but had no air! I was going to die!
Out of nowhere Grandpa was kneeling over me laughing but still concerned. "Knocked the wind outta ya' didn't it?"
The bike had slipped out from under me in the turn, and when I hit the ground the end of the handlebar had caught me square in the sternum.
My pony had thrown me.
Shortly I began to catch a few small short breaths. I immediately began to scream.
"Bill! What did you do to my grandson?!" Upon hearing my cries Grandma had come running.
"Calm down. He just knocked the wind out of himself and is scared more than anything else." Turning his attention back to me, "Now just calm down and relax. You are not going to die. Just relax and catch your breath. That's right, nice and easy."
Lifting my shirt-front he let out a low whistle, "that's going to stay for awhile."
I looked down and saw the mark. Purple turning to blue and black with a little yellow softening the edges. A nice perfectly circular bruise about the size of a quarter was forming. With a sage look deep in his eyes, Grandpa spoke again, a little firmly this time.
"Get back on there and try it again."
"What ?!"
"Get back on there and ride up the walk and back. Now."
"No arguments. You didn't get to finish your ride."
With my breath soft, for that spot was still burning with every short breath, I climbed back up. I was still shaking but I rode, and executed the u-turn flawlessly. I had something to prove.
"Now take it back up the drive and into the garage."
Soon after that incident we went out to Marie Callender's for my favorite breakfast: Strawberry waffles with all the trimmings, including extra whipped cream! The whole time though, my mind was glued on that bike. I couldn't wait to get home so I could just sit staring and dreaming about riding that beautiful new bike of mine.
Once we arrived back at the house, Grandpa showed me how to care for that bike. With his supervision and guidance, I waxed and polished my bike with a great amount of love and pride.
I had many great years of adventures on that bike with my childhood best friend Ron. We were darn near unstoppable on our bikes, Ron and I. That feeling of adventure, freedom, and wanderlust from my tricycle days grew more pronounced with that yellow Huffy, and continues to linger to this very day; nagging, and biting; chewing at the back of my mind, like a virus contracted that infects the very spirit. I would go out and ride even if no one else was around. Rain or shine it didn't matter, I wanted to explore, to see the world. I just wanted to ride, to go. I even took it out in 6 and one half inches of snow once. That outing didn't last long, as I fell over about every two feet, and the snow was up over the pedals.
Yet the ride really was all that mattered. When I was out there on my bike, everything else just went away. There was nobody trying to push me around, tell me what I had to do or couldn't do; it was just my two wheels, the open road, and I. No one to squash my dreams, or to taunt and humiliate me, there were no teachers trying to take the vision from my eyes and the art from my soul. This was the truest, purest sense of freedom I have ever known. Where I went, well, that was completely up to me to decide. This was as close to having wings as one could get.
I eventually grew too big for that bike, and moved on to the then popular BMX style bikes. Then came the time for cars and girls; all the while, my beautiful "Lightning" lay disassembled in a corner of the barn. Mummified in webbing and dust it waited, serving as a home for wayward spiders. Nearly two decades it sat almost forgotten.
I set my coffee cup down on the workbench and stood up. My knees creaked and popped as I stood and stiffly I crossed the age darkened and history stained concrete floor to where my old Lightning lay. With a little sadness, guilt, and love I picked up that one gleaming yellow frame and hung it on the nail next to my workbench with but a single thought;
One day soon I'll restore that old Huffy...
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Actually, Worksman bicycles are NOT expensive. A Good bike, similar to a Worksman Classic , in the mid 1950's cost $50 !! In today's dollars, that is $375. Worksman is cheaper than that ! PLUS, their quality is great ! Good & interesting website below.
rif wrote:
All Huffman bikes used balloon tires and "Aircrafted" frames. All joints were fillet brazed, then ground down and polished

Huffman did make lightweights,some with cro-mo tubing and also in 26 & 28 inch wheels(racing bikes)Also their frames were not brazed but rather gas welded using steel as the fillet.---sam
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