19th Century Bicycle Memorabilia
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.
These bicycle prizes once belonged to Mr. Abbott Bassett. Mr. Bassett was the secretary of The League of American Wheelme (LAW). 150 wheelmen gathered in Newport, Rhode Island to attend the first meeting of the LAW. During this time horse-drawn carriage drivers did not like the idea of having bicycles on public roads. Bicycles were not allowed in Central Park, New York City! The league worked very hard to change these laws and improve the conditions for bicyclists
Cycling became so popular that in 1897 there were 100,000 members in the League of American Wheelman. This league still exists today and is called The League of American Bicyclists.
Did you know that bicycles changed the way women dressed? Before bicycles were around, women wore very restrictive clothing. Once they began to ride bicycles they had to wear clothing that allowed them to move about. In 1896 Susan B. Anthony said, "The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women then anything else in the world."
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