The first bicycles arrived in Australia in the 1860s. They gradually gained in popularity and by the 1890s they offered a cheap and relatively comfortable mode of transport. Far being just a means of leisure, long distance cycle travelling became a fact of life in rural areas for people such as sheep shearers and other agricultural labourers with migratory work. The bicycle and swag travelled much of Australia on dusty dirt tracks, long before the automobile was introduced. Today the bicycle continues to be an important item for general, cheap transport, sport and leisure.
Tool kits such as those shown in the item, were and important piece of equipment for bicycle enthusiasts, particularly on a longer ride where assistance may not be close by if the rider experienced a punctured tyre.
John Bull Rubber Co. Ltd. was a British tyre manufacturer based in Leicester. It was established in 1906 and was originally named Leicester Rubber Company. In 1915, a new factory was built in Evington Valley Road as indicated on the repair outfit tin in this kit. It was renamed John Bull Rubber in 1934 after its popular product of the same name. In 1958, the company was acquired by Dunlop Rubber.
A leather bag containing tools and 2 tins containing rubber patches to repair bicycle tyres. The bag has 2 straps and metal buckles to attach it to the back of the bicycle seat.
Inscriptions & markings
On tin 1: "The John Bull / Repair Outfit/ John Bull Rubber Co. Ltd./ Evington Valley Mills, Leicester"
On tin 2: "ZENITH Repair Outfit / For Cycle and Rubber Repairs/ Self Vulcanizing"
On tin 3: Around the DUNLOP logo "Six Self Lighting/ Patch Heat Units / For Cycle Tube/ Vulcaniser"