In 1893, at this very building on Geddes Street, in our city's awesome westside neighborhood, the E. C. Stearns Bicycle Agency was established by industrialist Edward C. Stearns, who began his business as a hardware manufacturer, then branched out into bicycle production from 1893 through 1899.
Stearns was manufacturing the popular "Yellow Fellow" by 1895. This model was manufactured by the thousands at the the plant and made the name of the city familiar in almost every corner of the world, as the slogan read "The Yellow Fellow from Syracuse."
After becoming one of the best sport riders in this "section", Stearns soon developed several of the "best selling models of the bicycle era. He employed "noted" riders to "race his product", few of them any better riders than he. His models became so popular they were in demand throughout the world. At one time, the Co. had four plants in Syracuse and 3,500 employees.
By 1896, Yellow Fellow production was at an all-time high and "the smoke poured from the chimneys of the Stearns company." Carloads were shipped from Syracuse bearing huge posters that read, "Yellow Fellows, made in Syracuse," followed by the name of the dealer in some distant city.
In addition to the racing bike, the YF model was produced in one-seater, two-seater tandems, triplets and sextets! This mural is a commemoration of this little slice of local history, with a contemporary twist! We hope you've enjoyed it's evolution with nearly 80hrs of combined artist input!
This is only 1 of 12 murals slated for production of the course of 12 weeks this fall, please consider spreading the news and please find some time to contribute to our project crowd fund!