Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ideas for Bicycle Saddles (1896)

Google presents zillions of digitized patent applications - in the 1890s there were so many patent applications related to cycling that there was magazine, Cycling Monthly, that was nothing but patent and trademark applications related to bicycles. Not surprisingly it is more entertaining to page through that (if one works in a large library where there are some issues) and then bring up the Google versions rather than try to find 1890s patent applications for bicycle stuff directly in Google.

One quickly realizes that then as now, there is a sense that there must be a better bicycle saddle. The following examples are all from 1896 ~

Patent for Bike Saddle 554337
Patent number 554,337

The notion in the above "invention" is that really you just want to sit on a couple of springs.

Patent for Bike Saddle 556250
Patent number 556,250

Above is something like the opposite view to the previous patent - no, what you really want to do is sit on a shaped piece of wood! Oh, with a slit in the middle.

Patent for Bike Saddle 557238
Patent number 557,238

Above, the well-known view even today (perhaps even more so today) that a wider base of support is key.

Patent for Bike Saddle 558917
Patent number 558,917

A rather complex contoured approach . . .

Patent for Bike Saddle 562919
Patent number 562,919

The last example here (but hardly the last patent application for bicycle saddles from 1896) is an "add on" to an existing saddle the would provide inflatable cushions held in place by their invention.

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