Pieces of Science Home
The Story
Background
Quiz

For Teachers
Teacher Guide

For Students
Student Guide
Search
Treasure Hunt
Slide Show
Quiz

For Reference
Bibliography

Bicycles...getting a handle on technology

Bicycle Slide Show

backtable of contentsnext

 

read about the early years read about the early years read about the early years read about the early years read about the early years

Draisine bicycle
Draisine:
Paris, 1816.
(acquired from Veteran Wheelmen's Association, Philadelphia.)

Draisine

In 1816 German Baron, Karl von Drais, designed the first two-wheeled vehicle with a steering device. This machine was made with wood and was named after the Baron. It had a handlebar that pivoted on the frame, enabling the front wheel to be turned. Its nickname was Swiftwalker and was propelled by the rider striding along road while straddling the frame.

The popularity for this only lasted about 5 years. It was mostly used by the artistocrats and middle class doctors, clergy, and children.


Sheridan Tricycle
Sheridan:
Tricycle: 1876.
mfc: Crosby, Gilzinger & Co. Patented in England and France.
(acquired from Veteran Wheelmen's Association, Philadelphia.)

Sheridan

Tricycles became a popular alternative to the high-wheeled Ordinary bicycle. They were especially used by women and short, unathletic men. This was made with wood.


Velocipede Tricycle
Velocipede:
Tricycle: 1880.

Velocipede

The word "velocipede" literally means "fast feet" and was nicknamed boneshaker. With the combination of the wooden structure and cobblestoned roads, the ride was far from comfortable. The pedals were attached directly to the front wheel. Later the wooden wheels were replaced with metal tires wrapped in solid rubber, which still offered a very bumpy ride.

The velocipede was extremely difficult to control. Riders had to walk the bicycle up hills and carefully guide them down hills. The veolcipede tricycle was popular with older people and considered safer than the two-wheeled version.


| back | table of contents | next |


Note: The objects pictured above are part of The Franklin Institute's protected collection of objects. The images are The Franklin Institute. All rights are reserved.

Franklin Institute Online Museum Educators Franklin Institute Online Museum Educators Franklin Science Museum Science Learning Network Home