In 1958, as part of government efforts to promote the establishment of industrial centers on the country‘s kibbutzim and to integrate disadvantaged residents of the country‘s development towns into the work force, a bicycle factory was established on Kibbutz Tzora. The factory was founded with the encouragement of the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Pinhas Sapir, on land allotted to the Beit Shemesh transit camp. It was jointly owned by the kibbutz and by a group of South-African investors, while the kibbutz was responsible for the factory‘s management.Kibbutz member Elisha Shemer was responsible for the commercial and financial matters of the ICM factory, alongside the CEO Abie Frame. The two founded a team which succeeded in recruiting a group of investors for the establishment of the factory.One of the signature features of the bicycles produced on the kibbutz was the cogwheel in the form of a camel - the company emblem. The factory‘s name, Israel Cycling Manufacture, was rebranded early on using the foreign initials ICM. The machinery was purchased in Germany as part of the Reparations Agreement. The company initially manufactured bicycles for men and women, as well as sports bicycles. Later on, it began producing additional models, and almost all the parts were manufactured at the factory. At the height of its activity, approximately 100 workers were employed at the factory, and 12 different models were produced every month, amounting to a total of 1,000 bicycles pairs.The bestselling model was a motorized bicycle with a 49 cc engine named Tilon - one of the most popular vehicles among young Israelis during the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1963, the factory was awarded the Ministry of Labor‘s Kaplan Prize. Several years later, however, production was restricted due to a decline in sales, and the factory began manufacturing laddersand additional equipment. In 1974, the factory stopped producing bicycles and began producing metal furniture. Accordingly, it was renamed Tzora Furniture.
photo: Benny Gam Zo Letova