Humber penny farthing, c. 1880

Thomas Humber was a very succesful inventor and industrial. His different firms were well known and the Humber car factory was active until the 1970's. The bicycle production continued until 1932, when it was taken over by Raleigh.
This makes it a bit amazing there are so little Humber ordinaries left. The first one I found pictures of is this ugly coloured bike, represented on the website of mr. Sterba in Czech. 

Do not look at brake spoon or brake lever, do not look at colour or lining. But the rest of the bike looks quite original, including an engraved spring which carries the name Humber, Marriott and Cooper. 
The bike carries the serial number 1405 and it dates around 1880. It has double ball bearings, as you can see in the pictures below. The forks look solid, but the new owner told me it really has hollow forks. Especially the rear fork has a specific shape, which could help people identify their bikes if the spring is missing. 

Looking at the Encyclopaedia of Bicycle Manufacturers (VCC, Ray Miller) we find that Humber's firms were called:
just 'Humber': 1873-1875
Humber & Marriott: 1875-1878
Humber, Marriott & Cooper: 1978-1885
In 1885 the firm split up. Then there were two 'Humber'-firms, Marriott & Cooper kept building Humbers, but Thomas Humber himself also continued building bikes as 'The Genuine Humber'.

The book also tells us serial number 1450 is contributed to 1880, 3250 to 1885 and 4875 to 1887. So, they did not really make much bikes at the time, compared to CMC or Singer... 

Click the pics for a link to more pictures of this yellow survicor.


And the pictures of the ball bearings, thanks to Dominique: