Here's the answer I received off-list from Hilary Stone to my question on fixed gear nomenclature. I thought some of you on the CR list would like to read his response. As always, Hilary's answer is solid gold! --Chuck Schmidt, South Pasadena, Southern California ---------------------------------------------
Track bikes were known as track bikes in England from post-WWI onwards. Path racer was a rather old fashioned term used in some catalogues and just occasionally in the press in the 20s. It was not used then to describe multipurpose machines though back in the teens path racers were often used for time trials.
Road/track iron or road/track bike was a term used mostly post-WWII (though I think it originated in the 30s) to describe a bike with rearward facing track ends which was designed for use on the road as well as the track.
Road racing had not existed in Britain since the 1890s and it was only in 1933 that the first road race was again rerun. Road racing bikes from about 1933 onwards in England were normally fitted with gears - some early ones used hub gears but the vast majority were fitted with derailleurs and used on circuits such as Brooklands, IOM or Donnington prior to 1943. Time trial bikes were different - most bikes used for the shorter distances (10s, 25, 50s) were fixed wheel in the 30s - from the middle/late 30s gears were increasingly used for longer events (100, 12hr, 24hr). Gears were not used to win the National 25 until about 1960. Derailleurs and hub gears were used initially with hub gears even then in the minority. Derailleurs gradually assumed the completely dominant position.