J.C. Higgins: A Testament to Innovation and Reliability

Bicycle Sales and Service

In the annals of cycling history, few innovations hold the unique blend of ingenuity and impact that the J.C. Higgins rear coaster hub embodies. As a revered product sold in the 1930’s by Sears, Roebuck and Co., the J.C. Higgins rear coaster hub set a new standard in cycling technology, boasting a seamless amalgamation of durability, performance, and safety features.

The hallmark of the J.C. Higgins rear coaster hub was its incorporation of the internal Musselman Brake system, an engineering feat that afforded cyclists unparalleled stopping power and control. This pivotal feature reshaped the cycling experience, providing riders with a newfound level of confidence and security on the road.

Furthermore, the hub was meticulously crafted with a heavy skip chain, showcasing a commitment to enduring quality and consistent performance. Paired with an impeccably matched crankset and rear gear ring, the J.C. Higgins rear coaster hub represented a complete ecosystem that underscored the brand’s dedication to precision and practicality.

As an integral part of the Sears, Roebuck and Co. family, the J.C. Higgins rear coaster hub stood as a testament to the brand’s unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation. Its introduction marked a significant milestone in cycling history, resonating with cyclists and enthusiasts alike as a beacon of reliability and technological advancement.

The legacy of the J.C. Higgins rear coaster hub endures as a living testament to the union of craftsmanship and practicality in the cycling realm. Its impact on cycling technology continues to be felt, serving as a timeless reminder of how innovation can elevate the cycling experience to new heights.

The J.C. Higgins brand history

The J.C. Higgins brand history is a story of innovation and evolution in the world of sporting goods, deeply tied to the legacy of John Higgins, an esteemed Sears employee. This history began in 1898 when John Higgins joined Sears as the manager of the headquarters’ office bookkeepers, eventually retiring as the company comptroller in 1930. The transformation from “John Higgins” the employee to “J.C. Higgins” the brand name took place during a discussion in 1908 among Sears’ executives considering names for a new line of sporting goods. John Higgins consented to Sears’ use of his name, and the “C” was added by Sears, as Higgins did not have a middle initial.

In 1908, the Western Sporting Goods Company in Chicago started labeling baseballs and baseball gloves sold in Sears catalogs with the J.C. Higgins label. The brand’s popularity led to an expansion of the product line, including footballs and basketballs by 1910. As American youth participation in sports grew, Sears began offering tennis equipment, soccer balls, volleyballs, boxing gear, and baseball uniforms under the J.C. Higgins name. By the 1940s, the brand represented all of Sears’ fishing, boating, and camping equipment.

The evolution continued after World War II when Sears consolidated all sporting goods under the J.C. Higgins brand name and added it to a line of luggage. Notably, the J.C. Higgins brand also made a significant contribution to cycling with the development of the rear coaster brake bicycle hub. This hub featured heavy-duty Musselman Brakes integrated into the design, providing exceptional stopping power for cyclists. The hub was crafted with heavy skip chains and matching cranks and gear rings, reflecting a commitment to durability and performance.

The J.C. Higgins brand endured until the early 1960s when Sears introduced the Ted Williams brand of sporting and recreation goods, a move that led to the eventual discontinuation of the J.C. Higgins line. Despite its eventual end, the J.C. Higgins brand remains a testament to a storied legacy of quality, innovation, and enduring impact on the world of sporting goods and recreational equipment.


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