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Realizing he needed to grow the company, Ignaz Schwinn purchased several smaller bicycle firms, building a modern factory on Chicago's west side to mass-produce bicycles at lower cost.He finalized a purchase of Excelsior Company in 1912, and in 1917 added the Henderson Company to form Excelsior-Henderson.During the next twenty years, most of the Paramount bikes would be built in limited numbers at a small frame shop headed by Wastyn, in spite of Schwinn's continued efforts to bring all frame production into the factory.On , Alfred Letourneur was able to beat the motor-paced world speed record on a bicycle, reaching 108.92 miles per hour (175.29 km/h) on a Schwinn Paramount bicycle riding behind a car in Bakersfield, California. Goodrich bicycles, sold in tire stores, Schwinn eliminated the practice of rebranding in 1950, insisting that the Schwinn brand and guarantee appear on all products. Schwinn tasked a new team to plan future business strategy, consisting of marketing supervisor Ray Burch, general manager Bill Stoeffhaas, and design supervisor Al Fritz.The share of the United States market taken by foreign-made bicycles dropped to 28.5% of the market, and remained under 30% through 1964.Despite the increased tariff, the only structural change in foreign imports during this period was a temporary decline in bicycles imported from Great Britain in favor of lower-priced models from the Netherlands and Germany.As a result, Schwinns became increasingly dated in both styling and technology.
The administration noted that the United States industry offered no direct competition in this category, and that lightweight bikes competed only indirectly with balloon-tire or cruiser bicycles.Ignaz Schwinn was born in Hardheim, Baden, Germany, in 1860 and worked on two-wheeled ancestors of the modern bicycle that appeared in 19th century Europe. In 1895, with the financial backing of fellow German American Adolph Frederick William Arnold (a meat packer), he founded Arnold, Schwinn & Company.Schwinn's new company coincided with a sudden bicycle craze in America.In 1900, during the height of the first bicycle boom, annual United States sales by all bicycle manufacturers had briefly topped one million.By 1960, annual sales had reached just 4.4 million.