Monday, November 19, 2012

"A Brilliant Idea" - Bicycle Comedy of 1896

I found a script deposited for Copyright in 1896 for a "comedy sketch" about bicycling in American Memory - a married couple's adventures in owning bicycles.

Page 4 of "A Brilliant Idea" comedy sketch 1897
Page 4 of the 10 pages of script

Jack and Fan (short for Fannie) attempt amusing dialog - Jack dirties up the living room pillows while working on his bike while Fan is out learning to "mount" (get on) a bicycle. And while she was out, Jack bought her a new "wheel" for her birthday! Eventually it segues to a discussion of her desire to modify her cycling attire - "not too short," says Jack (not surprisingly).

One could easily read too much into this, but overall this short vignette suggests how bicycling introduced new aspects to social life.

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