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19th Century Bicycle News

The Library of Congress, Cornell University Library and other institutions have collaborated to provide a unique online resource in The Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals, a collection that presents digitized editions of twenty-three popular periodicals. Use the menu to view a sampling of bicycle news and commentary from original sources as it was presented more than a century ago, or scroll down the list of annotated links to find a topic of interest.



Progress of the Velocipede
in Scientific American
- Volume 20, Issue 15, April 10, 1869

Improved Three-Wheeled Velocipede
in Scientific American
- Volume 20, Issue 20, May 15, 1869

The Velocipede
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 1, Issue 8, August 1869

Around the World in Eighty Days
by Jules Verne
Hetzel, Paris, France - 1873
Porter & Coates, London, England - 1873
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library - 1999
Jules Verne Virtual Library

A Bicycle Era
in Harper's New Monthly Magazine
- Volume 63, Issue 374, July, 1881

"Suddenly the nickel-clad horse takes the bit in its mouth and goes slanting for the curbstone defying all prayers and all your powers to change its mind — your heart stands still, your breath hangs fire, your legs forget to work . . . . Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live."

— Mark Twain, in his essay Taming the Bicycle, after taking his first ride on an ordinary, May 10, 1884

Taming the Bicycle
by Mark Twain in From What Is Man? and Other Essays
Harper and Brothers, New York, N.Y. - 1917
BoondocksNet Edition - 2001

The Columbia Bicycle Calendar for 1887
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 19, Issue 2, February, 1887

Around the World on a Bicycle
by Thomas Stevens in The North American Review
- Volume 145, Issue 371, October, 1887

Nellie Bly's Book
- Around the World in Seventy-Two Days

by Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Jane Cochrane)
Brentano's, London, England - 1890
Pictorial Weeklies, New York, N.Y. - 1890
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. - 1999

Application of Rubber to Bicycle Wheels
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 23, Issue 6, June, 1891

"Personal transportation was still by buggy, carriage or farm wagon. Livery stables were a major building type in Corvallis' business district. In 1892, the newspaper noted that Chas. Hodson rode a Columbia with pneumatic tires from McMinville to Corvallis — 53 miles in 8 hours. This was the first time a pneumatic tire was brought to Corvallis (Corvallis Gazette, June 27, 1892). An indication of the popularity of bicycling at this time is the formation of the Corvallis Cycling Club in 1894 and the establishment of several bicycle shops in downtown Corvallis in the 1890s."

Corvallis History from 1811 to 1915 provides an overview of the city's history prepared by the City of Corvallis Planning Division.

The Lovell "Diamond" Safety Bicycle
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 24, Issue 8, August, 1892

An Asphalt Bicycle Road from New York to Chicago
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 24, Issue 11, November, 1892

Cycle-Infantry Drill Regulations
by Brigadier General Albert Ordway
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 25, Issue 1, January, 1893

The Bicycle in its Relations to the Physician
by Seneca Egbert, A. M., M. D.,
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 25, Issue 3, March, 1893

The Evolution of the Bicycle
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 25, Issue 5, May, 1893

"With the cheapening in the cost of bicycle riding in the public streets has come the abuse of that privilege by thousands of ignorant and loaferish individuals. Many of the bicyclists who swarm along the smooth asphalt of the Boulevard [Broadway, as it was known then], particularly at night and on Sunday, are irresponsible and reckless young men to whom a stable keeper would not entrust a saddle horse . . ."

New York Times editorial, May 31, 1893
from The Museum of the City of New York

Kyphosis Bicyclistarum
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 25, Issue 8, August, 1893

Aluminum for Bicycles
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 25, Issue 9, September, 1893

Bicycle Power-Plating Dynamo
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 25, Issue 9, September, 1893

Bicycle for the Park Police
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 26, Issue 5, May, 1894

Across Asia on a Bicycle: Beyond the Bosporus
by Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. and William Lewis Sachtleben
in The Century - Volume 48, Issue 1, May, 1894

Across Asia on a Bicycle: The Ascent of Mount Ararat
by Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. and William Lewis Sachtleben
in The Century - Volume 48, Issue 2, June, 1894

Across Asia on a Bicycle: Through Persia to Samarkand
by Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. and William Lewis Sachtleben
in The Century - Volume 48, Issue 3, July, 1894

Across Asia on a Bicycle: From Samarkand to Kuldja
by Thomas Gaskell Allen, Jr. and William Lewis Sachtleben
in The Century - Volume 48, Issue 4, August, 1894

The Search-Light Bicycle Lantern
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 26, Issue 5, May, 1894

Improved Pneumatic Saddle for Wheelmen
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 26, Issue 6, June, 1894

An Improvement in Valves for Pneumatic Tires
in Manufacturer and Builder
- Volume 26, Issue 10, October, 1894

The Reign of the Bicycle
in The Century
- Volume 49, Issue 2, December, 1894

The Bicycle - The Wheel Of To-Day
by Philip G. Hubert, Jr. in Scribner's magazine
- Volume 17, Issue 6, June, 1895

The Bicycle - Woman And The Bicycle
by Marguerite Merington in Scribner's magazine
- Volume 17, Issue 6, June, 1895

The Bicycle - A Doctor's View Of Bicycling
by J. West Roosevelt, M.D. in Scribner's magazine
- Volume 17, Issue 6, June, 1895

Bicycle Problems and Benefits
in The Century
- Volume 50, Issue 3, July, 1895

All Paris A-Wheel
in Scribner's magazine
- Volume 18, Issue 2, August, 1895

A Long Chase
by Owen Hall in Scribner's magazine
- Volume 19, Issue 2, February, 1896

The Rule of the Bicycle
in Scribner's magazine
- Volume 19, Issue 6, June, 1896

"As a social revolutionizer it has never had an equal. It has put the human race on wheels, and has thus 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 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."

Scientific American, June 27, 1896

The Bicycle Outlook
in The Century
- Volume 52, Issue 5, September, 1896

Bicycling for Women
in The Century
- Volume 52, Issue 5, September, 1896

American Bicycles in England
by George F. Parker, United States Consul,
in The North American Review
- Volume 163, Issue 481, December, 1896

Dangers and Benefits of the Bicycle
in The Century
- Volume 54, Issue 3, July, 1897

Over the Alps on a Bicycle
by Elizabeth Robins Pennell in The Century
- Volume 55, Issue 6, April, 1898

"A century ago, bicycling already was popular in Benton County, but cyclists here and elsewhere often had to put up with rough, muddy, and dusty roads. The state legislature tried to help by passing a law to improve bike paths. Not all counties were happy about the tax that would be required, and a group of counties — including Linn — got themselves exempted from the law.

"The weekly Union Gazette (on Feb. 17 and Feb. 24, 1899) complained: 'As it now is, the Linn County wheelman who travels through Benton County receives the benefits of the improved paths in the latter county, but when the Bentonite wheels through Linn County he gets no return favor.'

"Within a short time, Corvallis and Albany cyclists resolved that problem on their own. Bicycle clubs formed in the area, and the Corvallis and Albany clubs built a bike path between the two towns along the west side of the present-day Highway 20. It wouldn't compare with modern paths, but it was a great improvement over the old wagon roads."

The Corvallis Cycling Club was formed in 1894, and the Benton Road Club was formed in 1898.

Benton County History Minutes provide a glimpse at local history prepared by the Benton County Historical Museum.

The Spanish-American War
by Henry Cabot Lodge
in Harper's New Monthly Magazine
- Volume 98, Issue 586, March, 1899

The Rough Riders
by Theodore Roosevelt
Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, N.Y. - 1899
Bartleby.com, New York, N.Y. - 1997

An Autobiography
by Theodore Roosevelt
Macmillan, New York, N.Y. - 1913
Bartleby.com, New York, N.Y. - 1999




The Manufacturer and Builder published a wide range of technical, scientific, political, medical and sociological stories — as well as news — that today would be found in a dozen different magazines.

Hyperlink to The Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals at the Library of Congress.

The Manufacturer and Builder combined stories that today would be found in Time, Popular Mechanics, Harpers, National Geographic and Forbes among others. This is the cover of Volume 1, Issue 1, published in January, 1869. The Library of Congress, Cornell University Library and other institutions have collaborated to provide a unique online resource in The Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals, a collection that presents digitized editions of twenty-three popular periodicals.


Hyperlink to Benton County Historical Museum.

The Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath, Oregon, is housed in the former Philomath College Building. The central part of the building was completed in 1867. The left wing was added in 1905 and the right wing in 1907. Philomath College closed in 1927. The museum opened in 1980.

In 1884, Thomas Stevens left San Francisco on a Columbia high-wheeler with the outrageous goal of becoming the first man to ride a bicycle across the United States. When he reached Boston, he decided to continue around the world.  Charles Scribner's Sons first published this adventure-travel classic in 1887.

Hyperlink to Stackpole Books, publisher of the new edition.
1072 pages, 6 x 9 inches, 108 engravings
$24.95 ISBN: 0-8117-2653-3 - January 2001

Around the World On a Bicycle
by Thomas Stevens
with a new introduction
and notes by Thomas Pauly

On April 22, 1884, Thomas Stevens left San Francisco pedaling a Columbia Standard model high-wheeler with the outrageous goal of becoming the first man to ride a bicycle across the United States. He reached Boston on August 4th and decided to continue around the world. He soon sailed to London for the ride across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The 50-inch high-wheeler was heavy and cumbersome; his supplies were limited to socks, a spare shirt and a slicker that doubled as tent and bedroll. Much of the country he traversed was wild. Yet he persevered, recording his colorful and often harrowing adventures during the three-year odyssey in a classic of 19th century adventure and travel writing first published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1887.

Stackpole Books
Mechanicsburg, Penn. - 2001

An Autobiography
by Theodore Roosevelt
Macmillan
New York, N.Y. - 1913
Bartleby.com
New York, N.Y. - 1999

The Bicycle
by Pryor Dodge
Flammarion
Paris, France - 1996

City on the Willamette
by Percy Maddux
Binfords & Mort
Portland, Ore. - 1952

Early History of Independence, Oregon
by Sidney W. Newton
Panther Printing Co.
Salem, Ore. - 1971

First Highways of America
by John L. Butler
Krause Publications
Iola, Wisc. - 1994

History of Corvallis 1846 - 1900
by Bruce Martin
Master of Arts Thesis
University of Oregon History Department
Eugene, Ore. - 1938

History of the Oregon Country
(in six volumes)
by Harvey W. Scott,
compiled by Leslie M. Scott
Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass. - 1924

Inventory of the County Archives of Oregon
No. 2 - Benton County (Corvallis)

Federal Works Agency
Work Projects Administration
Oregon Historical Records Survey
Portland, Ore. - 1942

"Oregon Geographic Names"
by Lewis A. McArthur
Oregon Historical Quarterly XXVI 409

Oregon Geographic Names
by Lewis A. McArthur
Sixth edition, revised and
enlarged by Lewis L. McArthur
Oregon Historical Society Press
Portland, Ore. - 1992

Railroads Down the Valleys
Some Short Lines of the Oregon Country

by Randall V. Mills
Pacific Books
Palo Alto, Cal. - 1950

The Rough Riders
by Theodore Roosevelt
Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, N.Y. - 1899
Bartleby.com, New York, N.Y. - 1997

Taming the Bicycle
in From What Is Man? and Other Essays
by Mark Twain
Harper and Brothers, New York, N.Y. - 1917
BoondocksNet.com, Syracuse, N.Y. - 2001

"T. Egenton Hogg - A Footnote"
by Keith Clark
Oregon Historical Quarterly LXXXXIV 301

Two Wheels North:
Bicycling the West Coast in 1909

by Evelyn McDaniel Gibb
Oregon State University Press
Corvallis, Ore. - 2000

The Willamette Valley: Migration and
Settlement on the Oregon Frontier

by William A. Bowen
University of Washington Press
Seattle, Wash. - 1978

Union Centennial Album
by Rick Steber and Jerry Gildemeister
Union County Museum Society
La Grande, Ore. - 1978

A Social History of the Bicycle
by Robert A. Smith
American Heritage Press / McGraw Hill
New York, N.Y. - 1972

Corvallis History from 1911 to 1945 . . .

Corvallis Public Library

The Counties of Oregon:
Their Evolution, 1851-1917


Denver Public Library
Western History / Geneology Department

General History Of The Town Of Netarts, Tillamook County Oregon

HistoryLink.org

The Museum of the City of New York

Museum of History and Industry

New York Public Library

Oregon Historical Society

Oregon Newspaper Microfilming Project

Oregon State University Press

Salem Public Library

Salem Public Library
Historic Photograph Collections


Seattle Municipal Archives
Photograph Collection


State of Oregon Blue Book

University of Washington Libraries

American Memory at the Library of Congress is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections around the country.

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the largest and most heavily used libraries of manuscripts, rare books, and special collections in the United States. As the primary center of special collections within the library system at Berkeley, Bancroft supports major research and reference activities and plays a leading role in the development of research collections. Among its components are the Bancroft Collection of Western Americana and Latin Americana, the Rare Book Collection, the History of Science and Technology Collection, the University Archives, the the Free Speech Movement Project, the Bancroft Library Pictorial Collection, the Mark Twain Papers and Project, and the Regional Oral History Office. Bancroft's holdings include over 400,000 volumes, 32,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 2,300,000 photographs and other pictorial materials, 67,000 microforms, 21,000 maps.

Inventions of Note Sheet Music Collection
in the Lewis Music Library at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

HarpWeek.com is the online presentation of Harper's Weekly - A Journal of Civilization from 1857 through 1912. Fletcher Harper published the first issue of Harper’s Weekly on January 3, 1857, aiming at the middle and upper socio-economic classes and tried not to print anything considered unfit for the entire family to read. The weekly is a consistent, comprehensive, week-to-week chronological record of world events in the last half of the nineteenth century. John Adler, a retired advertising executive, began digitizing his personal collection of original editions in 1992 and assembled a professional staff to catalog, index and database every article and image. This remarkable resource is available online from nearly 500 colleges and universities and is available commercially.

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 - 1920 (EAA) presents over 9,000 images, with database information, relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, provide a significant and informative perspective on the early evolution of this most ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music is part of Special Collections at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library of The Johns Hopkins University. It contains over 29,000 pieces of music and focuses on popular American music spanning the period 1780 to 1960. All pieces of the collection are indexed on this site and a search will retrieve a catalog description of the pieces. An image of the cover and each page of music will also be retrieved if the music was published before 1923 and is in the public domain.

The Making of America is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. This site provides access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. The project represents a major collaborative endeavor in preservation and electronic access to historical texts by the Cornell University Library and the University of Michigan Libraries with funding by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: The Making of America in Books and Periodicals is a collection that presents twenty-three popular periodicals digitized by Cornell University Library and the Preservation Reformatting Division of the Library of Congress. They include literary and political magazines, such as The Century, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, The Manufacturer and Builder, Scientific American and Scribner's magazine. The longest run is for The North American Review, 1815-1900.



The Bicycle & The West


Copyright © 2001  Dennis Cowals
All rights reserved.