Frame dating

Carpenter used a straightforward frame numbering scheme, allocating 4-digit numbers sequentially, presumably as the orders were placed. This may or may not not have started with frame 0001, a common trick was to start with a higher number to give the impression of prior experience.

John Gill has established a number of precise purchase dates in this sequence by way of dated invoices.  See Classiclightweights.co.uk. There is scope for some minor variation between the  sequence of these purchase dates and the original order dates. We can also be sure that no frames were built from 1940 until after the war was over and the Kingston shop opened late 1945 or more likely 1946.

The lowest number in our collection is #1949, a late ’29/ early ’30 Clubman; the highest is #5767, an  early ’70s track frame (in which case, built for Carpenter in Swindon). Click here for our ready-reckoner: Carpenter dating

Note that undue precision can’t be attached to anything but the verified dates, especially for pre-war and late machines.