Thistle Bicycle Origin and Information

Hi I am fairly new to bicycle collecting so my knowledge isn't quite at par with many on this great forum. I am hoping someone can help me with information on this bicycle I recently rescued from a barn with a 1968 boys CCM bke. The name badge on the front appears to read Thistle?  I know of children's toys made by the Thistle company would this be the same company?  Any help is much appriciated and thanks for the chance to post on this forum. 


The three sides of the triangle in the badge represent the three Lines Brothers. You can make out part of the wording of Lines Bros. up the left side of the triangle and Canada Ltd down the right side. Lines Brothers was a British toy company with its roots going back to 1850. The younger generation of Lines Brothers set up their company in 1919 and later registered Tri-ang Toys as their brand name. They got into bicycle production in England between the wars with the acquisition of The Unique and Unity Cycle Co. Then... "In 1947 Lines Brothers founded a company in Canada. The trademark in Canada was the thistle which had first been used by their father Joseph Lines so many years before." During the 1960s, Lines Brothers owned Meccano and Dinky Toys. In 1971 the parent company collapsed. Lines Bros. Montreal was taken over by Tube Investments Ltd. UK.

You can read the full story at, which was the source of the above summary.



P.S. Here is an even better page: I collect Canadian made bikes and had never even heard of Thistle before your post, so thanks for showing us your bike. It's been fun learning about it. The factory was in Montreal, on St. Patrick St. by the Lachine canal. The showroom exterior pic was taken in Vancouver.


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That chainring sure looks familiar. It might have been made by BSA and supplied to more than one bicycle maker, but it looks like the same chainring that was on my c.1947 Canadian Tire Supercycle. The supplier of that bike to Canadian Tire was the source of much discussion in an older post on this site but now I'm wondering if it was the Lines Bros. that was the source. Your bike also looks like it's from the 1940s or early 1950s, from the saddle and grips. It even seems to be a similar shade of blue as my Supercycle. The rear hub brake on mine was a New Departure Model D, and the front hub was Celtonia - a strange mix of British and American. Can you read the stamping on your hubs and tell us what they are?


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Thanks for all the information Brian. I guess I wasn't looking in the right places. The hubs are pretty grimmy and without doing a complete overhaul and cleaning hears what I can somewhat make out. The front hub reads Falcon 1/4 Balls made in Canada. The rear has a stamping code AO7217. If I should be looking for something more I am going to have to give this old timer a bath. 

great Thistle shop picture! It would be cool to see a toy museum set-up like that.

Anyone here ever visit that toy museum before? The one having the auction!

I was good friends with the son Shane Jolly many years ago.  He is the son of Carl and if my memory serves me correctly runs a bike shop in Owen Sound.  We spent our summers at camp together and other youth weekends. Great people but we lost touch due to distance. 

Spelled the name wrong Jolley

And I will add I only knew the father as Mr. Jolley.  Shane's uncle was Carl and father Ralph. My apologies for the mix up. 

FYI, the Lines Bros. facility became Raleigh Canada, which was a division of Tube Investments, so the bicycle connection was maintained.

I bought this smart little Thistle today at the Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show. It has big bike features like a coaster brake, rack, and drop stand, and yet it has solid tires. My 8 year old had fun riding it around the grass at Trinity Bellwoods Park. The hub brake is a made-in-Canada Bendix. The solid tires were made in England. The head badge is thick metal and says made in Canada. The tool bag was added by the previous owner. It's plastic not leather, so I think I'll leave it on this bike. As for age, I'm guessing late '40s early '50s, but  if anyone knows differently please tell me.



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