The Wheel -
The bicycle changed American society, business and culture more than any other invention of the 19th century. Technological improvements to a rich man's toy (Baron Draisine's walking horse) led to the introduction of the steerable velocipede in the 1860s. It earned its reputation as the "boneshaker" for obvious reasons.
Note: This introductory page is under construction.
As a social revolutionizer it has never had an equal. It has put the human race on wheels, and has changed many of the most ordinary processes and methods of social life. It is the great leveler, for not 'til all Americans got on bicycles was the great American principle of every man is just as good as any other man, and generally a little bit better, fully realized. All are on equal terms, all are happier than ever before, and the sufferers in pocket from this universal fraternity and good will may as well make up their minds to the new order of things for there will be no return to the old.
Harper's Weekly, Feb. 13, 1869
An early advertisement illustrated Parisian Velocipedes by Wood Brothers Manufacturers.
"Harper’s Weekly is really the only consistent, comprehensive, week-to-week chronological record of what happened world-wide in the last half of the nineteenth century. The 56 years of Harper’s Weekly provide a continuous record of what happened on a weekly basis from 1857 through 1912."
John Adler, Publisher www.HarpWeek.com
Popular music noted the rise and fall of the bicycle and explains its popularity more entertainingly than most histories.
The Bicycle Museum of America
Bicycles: History - Beauty - Fantasy
Classic & Antique Bicycle Exchange
Columbia Bicycle History
Pryor Dodge Collection
The Exploratorium - Cycling
Franklin Institute - Cycle of Heroes
FI - Getting a Handle on Technology
The History of the Bicycle
Japanese Bicycle History Research Club
Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum
National Bicycle History Archive of America
Oakland Museum of California
Pedaling History Bicycle Museum
Rideable Bicycle Replicas
UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History
Velorama Nationaal Fietsmuseum
Victorian Station - Bicycling
See 19th Century Bicycle News for a selected bibliography and historical resources online, or use the links to find other sites of interest.
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