Yesterday I had the pleasure of viewing the private collection of Mark Mattei, the owner of Cycle Smithy. I only had about 45 minutes to spend with him, ended up staying an hour and a half, and could have stayed for days. The collection Mark owns has to be one of the finest I’ve seen. Over two hundred bicycles and I’d venture thousands of documents related to Schwinn are the core of the collection. Most of the bicycles are in original condition though the photo above is a restoration true to it’s original form. As a museum employee, I found all the documents incredibly fascinating. Above are photos of the original patent granted by the US Patent Office for the “receptacle for bicycles.” This was granted in 1935, and pertained to the Aerocycle, a bicycle initially released in 1933. Above is also an original drawing by Frank W Schwinn for a replaceable seat post clamp. A truly amazing piece, and just one of many original drawings by Frank. I could have stayed and gone through the paper portion of the collection for days and days. I have to thank Mark for his generosity of time in showing me these amazing items. My next trip to Chicago will definitely include another stop to this world class collection.