Now and again the connection between guns / arms / weapons producers and bicycles turns up here. So i think i'd better add the Dutch version of this connection.
So lets have a look at Springfield: http://www.wooljersey.com/gallery/Freeks-racefietsen/1976+Springfield/
Springfield originated in Amsterdam, as an wholesale firm, at the Oudezijds Achterburgwal (in the heart of the red light district). As real estate was worth quite considerably more in that area than trying to sell bike stuff, the firm sold the house/shop (which was their property) and moved to Haarlem, around 40-45. There Willem Metz bought the business, and thought of a suitable name for the racing bikes. He came up with Springfield, since Springfield rifles had a ring of quality to him. The shop in Haarlem carried the name Hoogland Sport, so thats why that name is on the stem and other parts of my Springfield.
The frames were built by Jasper Bouma (Jabo) in the beginning, and later by Witte Ko (Ko de Jonge). I believe the business ended somewhere in the mid-80s.
Ko de Jonge first lived and worked in Amsterdam, later he moved to Brouwershaven, southwest of Rotterdam (and thats when he built my Visser Vainqueur, in 1981). In earlier days Ko de Jonge worked for Joco, a bike firm owned by Toon de Jonge, so there might be a family relation here. Every time I go around asking about Witte Ko, i get the same anecdote, so i'd better pass it on (it must be true!). It seems that when still living and working in Amsterdam, in the 50s and 60s, he delivered the frames he built with his motorbike with sidecar, accompanied by his wife. When he was done delivering, he was probably in a good mood, and rode his bike slalomming around the trees that line the canals in the center of Amsterdam. Sidecar with wife balancing precariously above the murky waters ...
Ko de Jonge taught framebuilding to Frank Groot (Vittorio, Alkmaar) and Cees Raas; Cees Raas is a nephew of Jan Raas, And who doesn't know Jan Raas ... Cees Raas is a Zeeuw (Zeeland), his bikes are called Cera.
Here are some old pics relating to Springfield. The text might be too much for most of you ..
Enjoy the weekend,