Schwinn - From World Leader To Bankruptcy

The Schwinn Empire came about as the result of one man's dream to introduce to the world a quality product created under a well planned strategy that would knock the socks off their competitors. Ignaz Schwinn, a German immigrant who came to America in 1891, had the desire to be the best and would not accept anything less.

Four years later in 1895, Ignaz Schwinn teamed up with Adolf Arnold, a member of a successfull meatpacking and banking family. Together, they formed the "Arnold, Schwinn & Company." Their focus was to produce a bicycle that was safe, dependable and easier to operate than the current bikes on the road.

In 1896 there were some 300 bicycle companies in the United States. The bicycles of that day had a way to go to be seriously accepted by the overall population. Early bicycles up to the late 1800's were riding on hard rubber tires and were hard to operate. And with prices ranging from $100 to $125, they were not easily affordable to the average Joe.

As the turn of the 20th century was approaching, there was a growing market for dependable and affordable transportation. The world was changing and new inventions were popping up everywhere. Some were hot and others were flops.

Ford's Assembly Line-Model T
The biggest contender in the early 1900's was Henry Ford, the father of the assembly line. His success in the automobile industry was an example and an inspiration to Schwinn. Schwinn sought endlessly to produce bicycles that were innovative, dependable, and affordable.