When the first diamond frame bicycles became popular in the 1890s they were often called "wheels" - the national cycling association was called the "League of American Wheelmen." We have moved from "wheels" to "bikes," but the bicycles have remained remarkably the same over more than 100 years - elegant in their efficiency and simplicity. And many of the issues that we think are new? They were around then too.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Idyllic Country Bicycle Ride - Monarch Cycle Co. Ad 1896
Full page color ad for Monarch bicycles in The Referee and Cycle Trade Journal issue for January 23, 1896.
According to a short online biography of the founder, John William Kiser, the Monarch Cycle Manufacturing Company was active during much of the 1890s but became part of the "bicycle trust" shortly before an economic crash that (as I understand it) seems to be credited with much of the fall in bicycle sales around that time.
Here is an earlier post with another color ad from Monarch showing bicycles in Egypt, apparently navigating through sand. This journal (Referee and Cycle Trade Journal) must have been pleased to have their full page color ads from time to time since presumably they got more income from them. Color ads in publications like this were rare - most issues that I have looked at do not have any.
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