Edmund Crane, co-founder of the Hercules Cycle Company, was a man who started with no social or material advantages who, nevertheless, managed to change the face of the bicycle industry throughout the world.
In 1899, his father, Jack, who owned a small bicycle assembly business, was declared bankrupt. With his mother Edith as proprietor, the family made a living until she too was bankrupted in 1910.
It was left to Edmund, with the help of his younger brother Harry, to fend for his parents and three younger sisters. Not only did he succeed beyond their wildest expectations, against very stiff competition, but he did so in a remarkably short span of time. His finest hour was in the Depression of the 1930s, when Hercules produced and sold enormous volumes of bicycles that were strong, reliable and, above all, affordable.
Edmund Crane was knighted in 1935. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Hercules, a celebration was also held at the factory.