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Exploring Continuity and Change: the History of the Bicycle

Developed by Peter Pappas using images and text from the online - Smithsonian Bicycle Collection

Peter Pappas

on 22 October 2011

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Transcript of Exploring Continuity and Change: the History of the Bicycle

(1868) Also known as a “Boneshaker” because of its rough ride
A metal forged frame with footrests in front for coasting
Iron fork, topped by a handlebar mounted in brackets, swivels to steer
Wood-spoke wheels with 1” wide iron tires. Wheels: 37” front, 31” rear
Bronze pedals with cranks on front wheel, adjustable from 4" to 7”.
Twisting the handlebars winds up a cord which presses a brake shoe against the tire of the rear wheel.
A padded metal saddle is mounted on a long flat steel spring, adjusted forward or backward according to the length of the rider's legs. Soon Americans became interested in the velocipede. By early 1869, a number of carriage builders were making them. Many riding schools were created in eastern cities, and the sport of riding became suddenly popular, especially among the students of Harvard and Yale Universities. 6. A velocipede riding school (1869)
from The New York Coach-Maker's Magazine. By the early 1870s, high-wheel bicycles and tricycles using wire-spoked wheels were commonly seen. This type of cycle, with modifications, gained popularity and later became known as an “Ordinary” in the 1890s. The Ordinary, or high-wheel bicycle, was light weight and fast. The larger the wheel, greater the distance traveled in one rotation of pedals. They were available in different sizes with front wheels typically ranging between 4-6 ft in diameter for adults. Riders bought the highest wheel that their legs could operate. 7. The man riding a 1882 Columbia Expert with boy. Both wear bicycle club member uniforms (Date unknown) Also known as a Penny Farthing - after two British coins of different sizes
53-inch front wheel, and 18-inch rear wheel.
The tapering frame is made of 1 1/4-inch tubular steel. A step for mounting is located on the left lower side.
The adjustable cranks are attached directly to the front axle, provide a throw of from 5 to 6 inches. The pedals are rubber covered.
A friction brake, operated by the rider's right hand, works against the tire of the front wheel.
A leather saddle suspended on springs. 8. High wheeled bicycle Columbia Light Roadster ordinary bicycle (1888) The "Ordinary," or high-wheel bicycle, was very dangerous. The rider's center of gravity was only slightly behind the front wheel and the rider could easily fly forward.

This common accident happened when the front wheel struck something in the road, or when the brake was applied too quickly, causing the rider to be thrown head-first onto the road ("take a header") as his cycle tipped over forward. Serious injury, and occasionally even death, resulted.

Partially because of the "Ordinary's" height, few women rode them, yet there were some who not only rode, but even became known as racers. Soon, the costume of both men and women was modified to suit the sport. 9 . Annie Sylvester was a noted trick and fancy rider in (1885) 10. A.S. Wieners with 1887 Rudge Racing bicycle (about 1887) Because of the "Ordinary's" danger, efforts were made to design a safer bicycle. One change was to reduce the size of the large wheel. Designers tried to make up for the loss of speed by using indirect-drive methods as chains, levers, or other mechanical devices. The rider's center of gravity was also shifted slightly backward.

In the United States, one of these early efforts produced the well-known "Star" bicycle, which had the large wheel in the rear, driven by treadles instead of pedals. This design eliminated the danger of taking headers, and became relatively popular, though it never approached the popularity of the "Ordinary." 11. High Wheeled Safety bicycle: Smith Pony Star (1891) The front wheel, fitted with a solid rubber tire, is 23 inches in diameter.
The rear wheel is fitted with a 40-inch-diameter single-tube pneumatic tire.
Adjustable leather saddle, mounted on springs
A right hand brake connected to a spoon brake to press against the rear tire.
The rear wheel is turned by leather straps wound on the clutches and attached to pedal levers. Springs rewind the straps when the pedal levers rise.
The straps can be easily attached to either of two positions on the levers to provide two driving ratios. 12. This couple, photographed behind the White House in Washington, D.C, ride a tandem convertible quadricycle roadster of about 1885. 13. High wheeled Smith tricycle (1888) Metal tubing frame. Wheels have metal rims with solid rubber tires.
Diameter rear wheels: 40" front wheel: 25 " Track of the rear wheels is 29" wide.
The rear wheels are turned by leather straps wound on the clutches and attached to pedal levers. Springs rewind the straps when the pedal levers rise.
The straps can be easily adjusted to provide two driving ratios.
The rear wheels of the tricycle have separate axles.
A wooden saddle mounted on springs - can be raised or lowered to suit the rider.
A right hand brake connected to a friction brake that rubs against the tire on the front wheel
A small metal mudguard is secured over the rear of the front wheel. 14. "Wheeling on Riverside Drive,"
from Harper's Weekly (1886) While some people tried to modify the "Ordinary" to make it safer, others put their efforts into a major redesigning the bicycle. The second path won out as “Safety” bicycles became more popular.

New metal techniques allowed for chains small and strong enough to design bicycle with two small wheels of equal size, a chain driver, and gears. Soon after the advent of the Safety bicycle, John Boyd Dunlop patented a pneumatic tire (in both England and the United States). Brakes were also improved in the 1890s. 15. Woman's safety bicycle, Overman Victoria (1889) Front wheel: 28 inches diameter. Rear wheel: 28 inches.
The frame is metal tubing, metal wheels with thin solid rubber.
The leather saddle is on a coil spring and is adjustable vertically / front / back
The rear-wheel sprocket is driven by a block chain from the front sprocket.
There is no coaster attachment; the pedals are always turning while the bicycle is in motion.
The front fork is designed to reduce shock.
A small mudguard on rear of the front wheel. A large mudguard is over the rear wheel.
A chain guard surrounds the chain and twine is laced in the mudguard to protect the rider's clothing from becoming entangled in the wheel spokes or the chain.
Brakes on the handlebar controls, a rear wheel spoon brake by a system of wires and pivoted arms. As bicycles became safer and more affordable, more women saw personal mobility as a route to personal freedom. In 1896, feminist Susan B. Anthony, said that bicycling had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” 16. "Have Dinner
at One, Dear."
Stereoscopic view,
from 1897, of liberation on a bicycle - notice that she's leaving with a man's bike! The number of bicycles in use boomed as production rose from an estimated 200,000 bicycles in 1889 to 1,000,000 in 1899. By 1899, only a few dozen automobiles had been built, horses and carriages were expensive to maintain in crowded cities, and urban public transportation was slow. 17. Sheet music: New York and Coney Island Cycle March Two Step (1896) Directly and indirectly, the bicycle had an influence on the development of the automobile. In addition to introducing thousands of persons to individual and independent mechanical transportation, the bicycle proved the value of many materials and parts that were later used by the automobile designers.

Ball bearings found one of their earliest uses in the bicycles of 1880 or earlier. The differential unit was employed in tricycles, and various forms of free-wheeling and gear-shifting devices were in use. Steel tubing, developed largely for cycle frame construction, was adopted by some early automobile builders. Pneumatic tires and wire wheels were also in use on bicycles prior to the introduction of the gasoline automobile in America. 18. Rochester NY, Main Street
(1903-1910?) 19. Iver Johnson woman's bicycle (1925) Frame - heavy steel tubing
Hollow steel wheel rims are fitted with 28-by-1 1/2-inch Gillette inflatable single-tube tires. Each wheel has ball-bearing hubs.
Coaster brake in the rear hub. Roller chain drive with nonadjustable pedal cranks.
Handlebar grips are of black rubber. The saddle is fully adjustable.
This cycle is equipped with front and rear mudguards, the rear one has a red reflector and holes through which a cord skirt guard is laced, a rear luggage rack, chain guard, and kick-stand. 20. Snyder boy’s bicycle (1927) Tubular, diamond-shaped frame that weighs about 50 pounds.
It has hollow steel wheel rims with 28" single-tube tires.
Rear-wheel hub has a coaster brake. Both wheel hubs run on ball bearings.
A hand-cranked horn is mounted on the brace.
Adjustable saddle.
Front and rear mudguards, a luggage rack over the rear guard, which carries a red glass reflector, and a stand are provided, but no chain guard is supplied.
The bicycle is finished with orange and black paint and with nickel plate. 21. Schwinn girl's Panther bicycle (1953) Balloon-tire bicycles for girls and boys, introduced by Schwinn in 1933, gave millions of young Americans the promise of personal mobility, and appealed to their imaginations with features that simulated automobiles and motorcycles. A typical model had long fenders, whitewall tires, streamlined styling, and a fake gasoline tank containing a battery-powered horn. Lightweight diamond pattern frame with built in kick-stand.
10-speed derailleur - the chain can be "derailed" from one sprocket to another, offering ten different gear ratios.
The rear hub is fitted with five sprockets and the pedal cranks have two sprockets.
Caliper brakes are used - front brake and rear.
The 36-spoke wheels have tubular chrome rims and carry 27” nylon sports touring tires. 22. Schwinn Varsity Tourist bicycle (1965) 23. Schwinn Super Deluxe Sting-Ray bicycle (1965) Chrome-rimmed wheels with 20-inch whitewall tires, rear studded tire.
The front wheel is mounted in a shock absorbing, spring-fork.
The rear hub has a automatic 2-speed coaster brake, which is shifted from one speed to another by back-pedaling slightly, the brake works by back-pedaling more firmly.
A chain guard protects the rider's clothing. High-rise handlebars.
A white, padded "banana" seat adjusts to three different heights.
Finished in a metallic sky-blue, chrome-plated fender and kick-stand. 4. Detail from flier advertising the Lallement velocipede (1869) Two separate iron frames, one for each wheel, pivot at the center.
The wooden seat rests on a coil spring can be adjusted up / down.
Turning the wood-grip handlebars causes wheels to turn for steering.
The 36” wheels have iron tires.
The pedal cranks are attached to the front wheel, and can be adjusted to add one inch of length for riders leg. 3. Laubach velocipede (1869) 2. "Johnson's Pedestrian Hobby Horse Riding School in London" (1819) In the 1860’s, the “Hobby Horse” (also known as the velocipede in Paris) became popular in France and England. "Riding academies" were created and soon many riders were seen on the streets of Paris and London. Main frame - 4 ft wooden bar with iron forks to hold wooden wheels
Height adjustable saddle
Moved by walking and coasting
Padded seat with rest for the rider's forearms.
24” wooden wheels with one inch iron tires. 1. Hobby horse (1818) In 1817, Charles, Baron von Drais, of Sauerbrun Germany, made a vehicle with a front wheel capable of being steered. He also gave it a padded saddle, and an armrest in front of his body, which helped him push against the ground. The origins of the bicycle are shrouded in mystery. It is not possible to credit its invention to any one person. But it's clear that the first "ancestors" of the modern bicycle were in use by the early 1800s. Early models -
the Walking Machine and Velocipede High Wheel Bicycle High Wheeled Safety Models Chain-driven safety bicycles make cycling more popular Adults use other new types of transportation. It's the era of the kid's bike! A metal toolbox is placed between the two horizontal sections of the frame. Under it hangs a metal container and battery for headlight. As the 19th century closed, the bicycle industry began a rapid decline. Between 1900 and 1905 the number of bicycle manufacturers in the United States shrank from 312 to 101. Interest in the automobile was only partly responsible for this. Other reasons for decline were a switch to other forms of recreation, and the fact that many electric railways took over the side paths originally constructed for bicycle use. For the next 50 years the bicycle was used mainly by children. Quote from: “Champion of Her Sex,” New York Sunday World, February 2 1896. It could be converted into a single tricycle by separating it in the center, and detaching either the front or the rear portion. The bicycle met the need for inexpensive individual transportation— just as the cars do today—for going to and from business, for business deliveries, for recreational riding, and for sport. Exploring Continuity
and Change:
the History of Bicycle Developed by Peter Pappas A.S. Wieners with 1887 Rudge Racing bicycle (about 1887) Let's go back in time 2. Compare different bicycles - construction, design, features, uses? What things do they share in common? How do they differ? 1. Focus on the details - What am I looking at? What materials were used? How were bicycles propelled and steered? Your Assignment 3. Make your own decision about how bicycles changed over time and how they stayed the same. 4. Decide on a way to share what you learned with someone else. Mechanical features included internal-expanding brakes and shock-absorbing spring forks. Sales of children's balloon tire bicycles increased after World War II and remained strong until the late 1950s. Schwinn was an innovator and one of the largest makers of bicycles at the time. Cycling
today Since the late 1960's there's been new interest in cycling by people of all ages as an inexpensive, non-polluting form of travel, recreation and even deliveries. Bicycles continue to evolve - with new technical improvements, more specialized uses, and changing life-styles. Photo: Peter Pappas Photo: Peter Pappas Photo: Flickr by kworth30 Photo: Flickr by c.miles Photo: Flickr by David Barker Photographic Unless otherwise noted, all text and images from the Smithsonian Bike Collection Bicycle racers and trick riders Exploring Continuity and Change:
the History of the Bicycle Click images to enlarge http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_264.html Click links for more info http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_270.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_267.htm http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_267.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_294.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_292.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_22.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_308.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_309.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_90.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_314.html http://americanhistory.si.edu/ONTHEMOVE/collection/object_315.html Two separate iron frames, one for each wheel, pivot at the center. The wooden seat rests on a coil spring. It can be adjusted up / down.Turning the wood-grip handlebars causes wheels to turn for steering.The 36” wheels have iron tires. The pedal cranks are attached to the front wheel, and can be adjusted to add one inch of length for riders leg. Two separate iron frames, one for each wheel, pivot at the center.
The wooden seat rests on a coil spring, that can be adjusted up / down.
Turning the wood-grip handlebars causes wheels to turn for steering.
The 36” wheels have iron tires.
The pedal cranks are attached to the front wheel, and can be adjusted to add one inch of length for riders leg. Full teacher's guide Photo: Peter Pappas A Prezi DBQ
Using Resources from the Smithsonian Bicycle Collection http://www.peterpappas.com http://bit.ly/qHxfXh
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