Paris, France ca. 1863
|The velocipede (named the "Boneshaker" for its springless, uncushioned ride) enjoyed an exciting, yet brief, history. This machine was the first evolutionary step towards the adult bicycle. The attachment of cranks and pedals to the front axle created the rotary propulsion system that remains in use today, albeit with modifications and improvements. A similar model appeared in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.|
Singer Coventry Sewing Machine Co.
Coventry, England ca. 1865
|This very early tricycle is of the Boneshaker era. The company later built the Singer Motor Car until the 1950s.|
|Almost half the cycles produced during this era were tricycles. Ladies, of course, could not ride the high wheelers and many men lacked the skill and courage. A slightly different version of this machine, called the Royal Salvo, was built for Queen Victoria.|
|Rudge High Wheeler
|This bicycle design replaced the velocipede. Commonly known as the "Ordinary" or "Penny Farthing" (the large and small wheels reminded the English of two relatively sized coins), it was a much faster and more efficient bicycle, albeit more dangerous to its riders. Its development led to a resurgence of manufacturing in Coventry as the woolen industry was being phased out. This bicycle put the Englishman on wheels, giving him a mobility not previously available. This model was ridden around the world by Thomas Stevens in 18884-1886. It is occasionally ridden around Palo Alto even today.|
|An American invention designed to make the high wheeler safer to ride by placing the small wheel in front. Its unusual propulsion system operated with a vertical motion of the pedals through a system of leather straps, ratchets and springs. As a demonstration of its safety, an American Star was ridden down the steps of the Capitol in Washington D.C. (Possibly the first advertisment of a vehicle featuring "closed course, professional driver"?)|
|Rambler Safety Bike
|One of the original safety bikes. It has a diamond shaped frame similar to that of today's bikes, but not pneumatic tires. The company later built the Rambler automobile.|
|This model held the 24 hour record of 361 miles and 1446 yards. It had solid rubber tires. The company later manufactured automobiles.|
Tom Tit Cycle Co.
|This is a bicycle for children. The frame is fabricated of solid steel rods, except for the steering post, which is a diagonal tube. It has hard rubber tires.|
|A side-by-side "Sociable". With this machine, a blind person could be taken for a cycle ride. Weight differential of up to 100 pounds could be accomodated. A single rider could operate the machine by removing a seat and installing it on the center post, then pedaling with the inside pedals.|
Pope Manufacturing Co.
|It could have been the famous "Bicycle Built for Two" from the song. Note the dual-linked steering for control from front or rear handlebars. The lower front seat accomodated the ladies in those days.|
|Columbia Model 46
Pope Manufacturing Co.
|The Model 46 was the standard for ladies bicycles in the late 1890s as it offerred full protection for ladies skirts. It was also equipped with wood fenders and a chain guard, plus gas light, plunger brake and neat handle grips. Pope Manufacturing also produced automobiles branded "Columbia".|
|Pierce Arrow Shaft Drive
George N. Pierce Co.
|In this unusual design, the drive shaft runs through the lower right side stay and there is no chain. No dirt or grime got into this system! The company later manufactured the Pierce Arrow Motorcar.|
|This tricycle was a Sears-Roebuck catalog item, sold throughout the country for only $4.95. The actual manufacturer is unknown. The steering tiller could also be swiveled around to become a tow bar. The tires are solid rubber.|
|Columbia Shaft Drive
|Shaft drive bicycles were expensive to manufacture as it was difficult to insure an accurate fit of the bevel gears connecting the drive shaft to the pedal crankshaft. Assembly was difficult and time consuming. The design also made it difficult to change the rear tire. Dispite the disadvantages, shaft drive bicycles were produced well into the early 1900s.|
|This bicycle has a unique cantilever frame system with all ridged member in compression only. One of the Dursley Pederson models weighed only nine pounds and is still considered a cult bicycle in England|
|Marsten Golden Sunbeam
|This is the Rolls Royce of bicycles. It was originally sold by Billy Morris of Oxford who later opened an auto repair business and then the MG Motorcar Company. It is distinguished by its patented "little Oil Bath" that kept the running chain coursing though a pool of light oil and a foot-peg on right rear axle that lifts a mounting rider high enough to come forward over the back of the saddle in a "gentlemanly" fashion.|
|This ball-bearing wheeled auto-coaster features a hand brake, a clutch release and a steering wheel.|
|Pierce Arrow with
Smith Motor Wheel
|(Photo not available)Thousands of these power units were produced in the early 1900s. The Smith Motor Wheel was also manufactured in England as the Wahl Motor Wheel.|
|This machine is propelled by the rider pumping his weight up and down, causing the rear eccentric wheel to rotate. Popularly rented and ridden in amusement parks, it was ridden by its inventor from Chicago to Miami in 11 days (another definition of pumping iron?). A skilled rider is said to be capable of attaining speeds of 20 mph. Ingo racing is a popular pastime on the East coast.|
|This folding bicycle was dropped from aircraft to ground forces by parachute in WWII. It is the successor to the non-folding bikes used by the British military in the Boer War and in WWI|
England, Kansas City
|Designed by Englishman Benjamin Bowden in 1946 in an attempt to revolutionize the English bicycle industry, manufacturing was later moved to Kansas City in 1954. About 500 units were produced from 1954 to 1960 subsequent to the move.Construction is all fibergalss except for the forks and handlebars. Bicycle collectors consider the Spacelander a fine example of "Art Deco" design.|
|This steam propulsion unit was sold in kit form in the 1950s by Richard Smith of Southern California. A ½ h.p. engine drives this machine at 25 mph. It is propane fuel-fired. Boiler steam pressure is 150 psi.|
William Smith Electric
|(Photo not available)This electric bicycle was built by Bill smith of Alameda, CA, who used it to commute to work. A Datsun starter motor and motorcycle batteries power this gem.|
Cinelli Bicycle Co.
|This Italian-made bicycle was ridden by Olympic speed skating champion Eric Heiden in the Tour de France. A similar frame hangs in the Milan Technical Museum.|
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