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Mounting a bicycle with a large front wheel required finesse. Once one had mounted, a smooth roadway was important in order to stay aboard. This invention replaced "bone-shakers," or cycles with two equal sized wheels and no pedals. Introduced in the 1870s these early velocipedes were usually the province of men, simply because women's clothing was not suitable for riding astride. Then, too, exercise by women was still suspect in the early 20th century. Riding such a device was dangerous; the roads were bumpy and falls were common.


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High wheel bicycle

creator   Columbia Bicycle
date   1885
location   Massachusetts
process/materials   wood, metal
item type   Distribution & Transportation Artifacts/Land Transportation - Human-Powered
accession #   #1912.13

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Springfield bicycle club displaying their trophies

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