The Canada Cycle & Motor Company (CCM) has a fascinating history. For many middle-aged Canadians today, during their childhood CCM was a respected household name for hockey equipment, including ice skates, pads, and sticks. But the company's origins date to 1899, when CCM manufactured high quality bicycles in Toronto as part of its operations with the Russell Motor Car Company. The picture below is from CCM's 1918 catalogue.
According to information from this interesting site (based in nearby Perth, Ontario), it appears my wheel could date to 1908-1918. The hub is a "Hercules" armless coaster brake, one of CCM's models manufactured under license from Musselman (patent number 106391).
The oil port in the middle of the hub is inscribed with what appears to be "JOSLUCASL2", "No 1" and "BIRMM". (I'm guessing this is a part made by Lucas Industries in Birmingham, England, which was a major centre of bicycle and motorcycle manufacturing and home of BSA.) Apparently, CCM marketed oil specifically for their Hercules coaster brake hubs in the late 1920s. Their brake grease didn't appear until the 1930s and even then the company recommended the periodic addition of a few drops of oil to preserve performance. (As a footnote, there was debate among cyclists as early as the late 1890s as to whether grease or oil was better for hubs!)
Since it's not a "New Hercules" model, it's almost certainly the original 1908 model as shown in the patent and product sheets below.
The hub and spokes are nickel-plated, the nipples are brass.
I disassembled and cleaned the bearings and coaster brake mechanism, and straightened and chased the threads on the axle. It now works smoothly when reassembled! I also removed surface rust from the spokes and applied a conservator's microcrystalline wax to all metal parts to retard further corrosion. Varsol and linseed oil were used to clean and protect the wooden rim, as I felt this was an authentic and appropriate treatment given the probable age of the wheel. Unfortunately, there's too much corrosion to risk tightening the fragile spokes, so it won't be possible to true up the wheel. However, it holds its shape well enough as-is.
As a bicycle enthusiast, I'm thrilled to have this wheel on display as a reminder of Canadian cycling heritage. I wonder who, a hundred years from now, may admire some of the wheels I've built?