1.22.2016                               Click on small images to see a larger view.

    "Le Lewis parts were developed by constructeur Louis Villemus from the Rhône-Alpes area, the marque being a pun on his first name. These components were around from the mid 1930s to the late 1940s. Villemus was an old timer competing with youngsters like Herse and Singer in the Concourses of the 1940s. One of his machines won the Grand Prix Duralumin category "serie" in 1946.  "Lewis" then joined company with the mighty Etienne Bernadet, who inspired a generation of builders through the Reyhand bikes he co-developed and rode to victory in 3 consecutive Grand Prix in the 1930s. Although he's largely forgotten, Villemus seems to have had some influence."

    "There had been earlier models, but the Lewis cantilever brakes appear to have been the blueprint for the slightly later and near identical Mafacs. You're somehow right about the Lewis direct centerpull brakes being "paleolithic", in the sense that they look to have been the first of their kind. I believe it's safe to say there would have been no Mafac Racers and Raids without the work of Louis 'Lewis' Villemus, nor the current Compass models that prove the lasting relevance of this type of brake."

                                     Robert van Driel on the Classic Rendezvous Google group

More to come...

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