Hawthorne Bicycles

Hawthorne was a brand of Montgomery Ward stores. Most Hawthorne bicycles were manufactured by the Cleveland Welding Company or H.P. Snyder (makers of Rollfast bicycles).

While Montgomery Ward did not actually manufacture the bicycles that they sold, they did commission some unique designs that were exclusive to their stores. The most desirable of these is the 1936-1939 Hawthorne ZEP. Then from 1940-1941, they sold the American, a bike designed by famous industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague. They were so proud of this that they even used his name to advertise the bike. 

In the 1930′s, Montgomery Ward commissioned the Monark Battery Company (later Monark Silver King) to build a line of aluminum bicycles based on Monark’s own line of aluminum bikes. The Hawthorne versions, referred to as the Duralium, differed only slightly. These are very sought after by collectors today.

Many Hawthorne bicycles share a lot in common with other bicycles built by the two primary companies, Cleveland Welding, and H.P. Snyder. Most parts are interchangeable, so restorations are a lot easier than if you were dealing with something exclusive. This can also make identification of a Hawthorne bicycle difficult if it is missing it’s badge or other unique identifying components, such as the sprocket.

There are no publicly available serial number records to help us identify the build date of Hawthorne bicycles. Dedicated collectors have compiled serial number lists that can help them approximate a build date, but no official or published list exists. Instead, we are forced to use the original published catalogs from Montgomery Ward to identify the year and model. Fortunately, a reprinted book containing catalog pages from the 30′s through the 60′s is available. Click here to find one on eBay.

If you’d like to see more Hawthorne bicycles, there are plenty at Nostalgic.net. Click Here.


1940-1941 Hawthorne American

1936 Hawthorne Zep

1939 Hawthorne Zep

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Comments

Hawthorne Bicycles — 38 Comments

  1. I am 67 years old. When I was eight, I got my first bicycle . . . a Hawthorne that my mother had owned and that my father rescued from the rafters of the garage on my grandparents’ farm. I know he replaced the tires and the handle bars, and he painted it green. We didn’t have a lot of money then, but Dad knew how to fix things. I rode that bike for ten years (yes, even after I could drive). I have no idea what became of it, but it disappeared sometime after I went to college. What I remember is that my mom rode it for years on the gravel roads around the farm, and I rode the heck out of it wherever I could. It was a solid, sturdy, dependable bike.

  2. I’ve looked at pics of every Hawthorne bike i could find on the internet and havent seen one like the one i just acquired.

    It is a boys bike with dropout adjustors like the prewar bikes – looks like someone retrofitted a single pitch chain and crank to it.

    The unusual thing is the extra tube in the frame, about one foot above the bottom bracket, connecting the down tube and the seat tube.

    Ever seen one? I’ll get a pic soon, but i recently dropped and broke my camera.

    Thanks
    Al

  3. I have a 1950 harthrone montgumery wards 26 ” BOYS TANK BICYCLE WITH A D 267667 # every thing is there except chain gaurd a lot of surface rust, does this have any value. thank you

  4. I e-mailed you photos to the e-mail address you have above. I hope that is alright. I have been trying to figure out the year and the value of the bicycle I have in my garage but have had no luck. Please respond.
    Thank you,
    Donald Adams

  5. Had a Ward’s steering wheel Bike I bought out of a Wards catalog in 1970 Sting ray style 1 speed GREAT bike Any leads or pics???

  6. i have a 41 hawthorne mens 26″ skiptooth and am looking for the brake light assembly ,rear carrier and also the tank any leads thanks for any input

  7. I have my fathers Hawthorne Its all chrome and he got it for his birthday in the 1930′s how can I find more info for help in identifying the style of bike R Malcom

  8. Who do i contact for info on seriel # H80506 what model and year? it has a 1940 Redding Ca. lic tag still on the ladies 4 tube frame and Fisher seat it is a 26″ bike.

  9. Please,can anyone tell me where I can buy or find a pair of those red tread whitewall tires on that 1939 Hawthorne at the top of this page? Thank you. mjd.

  10. My wife has a Hawthorne Ladies bike I would like to know more about. The year and maker and model . She rides it every day to work and loves it. the serial # is B072936 Thank you Robin and Christine Hannah Napa Calif.

  11. I have a Wards bike out behind my house grown over with a grape vine. I’ve looked on line, and it appears to be a 1930′s model. Any value?

  12. Wards Hawthorne
    Re: my deceased father’s Wards Hawthorne pre-war bicycle serial number 4069 purchased new for him by his mother when he started middle school in NYC. My dad’s birth year: 1921 (so would seem to place it in mid-1930s range).
    Description:
    • men’s red bike
    • streamlined horn tank,
    • rocket shaped headlight mounted on front fender
    • 9-oval tapered elliptical hole rack over back fender
    • grooved rocket-looking chain guard
    • balloon tires
    • original double vertical coil spring seat (deteriorated leather).  
    All complete, rust-free original (repainted in 1950s). Always stored indoors.  Assistance in identifying the year and other info is greatly appreciated.

  13. I just found a Wards Hawthorne bike at a yard sale, very rusty, serial #415570. Would like to know how to get a new set of front and back wheels. I think the bike is a 1938 and has side tanks with horn and peaked fenders. Present wheels completely rusted away, rims ok but spokes are rusted completely away. Do you have any idea the value of this bike?

  14. Hi, i reacently got a hawthorne 26 inch boys bike . i am trying to figure out the year. the serial # is C223205 .it has a cantilever frame with a tank. the tank has a plastic light that looks like a rocket on each half. the crank has a star like shape. it has the old 3 ,spring seat and rounded handel bars. i think it might be around a 1950. but dont know .any info. would be great . thank you for your site and your help.

  15. I have an montgomery ward bicycle with SE D271151 stamped on left rear drop-out and says hawthorne on coaster brake arm..it also says hawthorne on front emblem plate….im having a hard time finding out anything on this bike…please help thank you….if a pictures are needed to help i can provide…..thank you.

  16. I have a Hawthorne bike I bought at a antique motorcycle show a few years ago… All I know Is that is is red and gold , original everything but grips and I have the original the headlight doesn’t work. And very little rust all can b buffed out ….. I love my bike and took me years to find one that I loved …. I would love to know more about it and a value … So I have a story to tell…. Anyone have knowledge on the matter ? If so il send pictures thank you!!! Highlandchica@gmail.com

  17. Hi there. So yesterday I found a Hawthorne at a dump and I was wondering what model it was. I have been looking online and haven’t found one like it. It’s a banana seat bike. Please contact me if you know more about it.

  18. I just picked up a 1950′s Hawthorne tandem bike, but I can’t find a serial number. I’ve looked everywhere (except where it is, obviously). Anyone have any ideas?
    Thanks,
    Mike

  19. American pickers website seems to have info on hawthorne bikes,i too have one from the thirties,only missing front fender,even has the Wards Riverside tire,recieved it from an elderly neighbor,was his as a kid.

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