Dave Gilbert's Mossberg model VM-1
1972: Across the street from the University of Maryland, 3 young bike enthusiasts decided to make their own bikes and a booming business was begun. Proteus took a very hands-on, proletariat approach… you could buy a bike frame, or a bike frame kit, or have your kit’s tubes mitered by Proteus, or have your bike painted after you made it at home! Proteus also was a prime supplier for building bits and tubing. They published a frame building book (sadly long out of print) which made the magical art of frame construction more accessible to the average craftsman. It was The Proteus Frame Building Book: A Guide for the Novice Bicycle Frame Builder by Dr. Paul Proteus. In fact there was no Dr. Proteus and it is presumed the book was created by Larry & Barry (see below) In all cases, this paperback put in very basic terms what was required to make a ride-able bicycle with simple hand tools. It is published online HERE. Frames sold by and labeled PROTEUS were made by various employees who changed regularly. Yet highly trained master builders also came & went at Proteus. Perhaps most notable was Koichi Yamaguchi, who went on to have his own workshop in Colorado and build quite a reputation.