This article covers the exciting new developments that were on display at the 1899 editions of the Stanley Show and the National Show, both held in London in November. The Stanley Show was the pre-eminent bicycle show of the time.
Of particular interest is the description of the Whippet New Protean derailleur gear system, which is shown in drawings on scan 1 and described in the text on Scan 2. Two particular features of this system, that are curiously familiar to modern cyclists, are that, to aid shifting, it used specially shaped outer plates on the chain and that it had special ‘shifting ramps’ built into the freewheel cogs. A third feature, that would not be at all familiar to modern cyclists, is that the chain wheel had wide, ridge-like, teeth to allow the chain to slide sideways to improve the chainline.
Interestingly, the article makes no mention of Edmund Hodgkinson’s Gradient derailleur system, which was supposedly also on display that year.