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Wheels and Wheeling: The Smithsonian Cycle Collection

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dc.contributor.author Smith Hempstone, Oliver en
dc.contributor.author Berkebile, Donald H. en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-09-27T18:29:07Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-18T18:00:03Z
dc.date.available 2007-09-27T18:29:07Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-18T18:00:03Z
dc.date.issued 1974
dc.identifier.citation Smith Hempstone, Oliver and Berkebile, Donald H. 1974. "<a href="http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.5479%2Fsi.00810258.24.1">Wheels and Wheeling: The Smithsonian Cycle Collection</a>." <em>Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology</em>. 1&ndash;104. <a href="https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.24.1">https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.24.1</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0081-0258
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.24.1
dc.description.abstract The bicycle, with a history that spans nearly two centuries, has frequently been looked upon in the United States as a child&amp;apos;s plaything. Recent trends seem to indicate that Americans may come to follow the example of those other nations where the bicycle is an important means of transportation, extensively used by businessmen and workers traveling to and from their jobs. In the United States, during the late 19th century, the cycle&amp;apos;s greatest use was likewise among adults, and this use sparked the early good-roads movement. Of equal importance was the role of the bicycle in demonstrating the possibilities of independent personal transportation, thus creating a demand that facilitated the introduction of the automobile.<br/>The first known bicycle was shown by the Comte de Sivrac, who in 1791 was seen riding a two-wheel "wooden horse" in the gardens of the Palais Royal in Paris. Called a <I>célérifère</I>, the machine had two rigidly mounted wheels, so that it was incapable of being steered. To change direction, it was necessary to lift, drag, or jump the front wheel to one side. In 1793 the name was changed to <I>vélocifère</I>, and, as these machines became increasingly popular among the sporting set of Paris, clubs were formed and races were run along the Champs Elysées.<br/>At some time during the first decade of the 19th century the <I>vélocifère</I> lost favor temporarily until, in 1816, Nicéphore Niepce of Chalons, better known as the "Father of Photography," demonstrated an improved type in the Luxembourg Gardens. Niepce&amp;apos;s machine, still not steerable, was considerably lighter, and the larger wheels helped smooth the ride and permitted greater speed.<br/>A revolutionary improvement in the <I>vélocifère</I> occurred in 1817, when Charles, Baron von Drais, of Sauerbrun, devised a front wheel capable of being steered. As chief forester for the Grand Duke of Baden, von Drais found the machine useful in traversing the forest land under his supervision. He also gave it a padded saddle, and an armrest in front of his body, which assisted him in exerting force against the ground. Granted a patent in 1818, he took his <I>Draisienne</I> to Paris, where it was again patented and acquired the name <I>vélocipède</I>, a term that was to continue in use until about 1869 when the word "bicycle" came into use. en
dc.format.extent 26207061 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 6276598 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology en
dc.title Wheels and Wheeling: The Smithsonian Cycle Collection en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 113127
dc.identifier.eISSN 1948-6006 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5479/si.00810258.24.1
rft.jtitle Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology
rft.issue 24
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 104
dc.description.SIUnit SISP en
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 104
dc.relation.url http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810258.24.1


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