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.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Happy Days of Riding - 1896 Washington State Example
From my alma mater, the University of Washington - "H. Ambrose Kiehl and his daughter, Laura Kiehl, on a bicycle, Washington"J
I found this in the Flickr Commons. It appears the daughter is sitting on the top tube side-saddle (in effect).
Below is a father-son photo from roughly the same time taken on the other side of the world.
Unidentified father and son posing with a bicycle for a travelling photographer - from the State Library Queensland (Australia)
The first photo is posed to give the impression of what the pair would look like while riding, but they are leaning up against a fence. The second photo presumably was intended as a posed family portrait and would have been provided to the purchaser in a cropped version, but this uncropped copy with the second child peering in from the side is more entertaining for us now, looking back. Bicycles were often used as props in photographs of the time so it is not obvious that this bicycle even belonged to these folks.
Posted by michael neubert at 10:04 AM
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