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.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Women Bicycle Racers of 1898
"Young women who will strip for the seven days bicycle race championship" - click through to Flickr to zoom
From the New York Journal and Advertiser, November 13, 1898, photographic supplement.
Riders identified are Tillie Anderson (who today seems the best known of these riders, with an entry in wikipedia), Clara Drehmel, Lissette (last name not given, identified as "Mlle. Lissette" who was a French rider), Lizzie Claw.
This newspaper often tried to appeal to what one could consider a prurient interest - here, the notion of the women racers "stripping" in order to race (which is demonstrated in a sequence of photos on the page).
Lissette shown in mid-1890s photo from France
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