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Vintage Bicycles

Enjoy The Little Things Wood Sign

Bicycle Beginnings

The earliest bicycles, circa 1817, were made of wood, and involved a not-so-complicated motion of propelling yourself and the mechanism, known as the "hobby horse" or Draisienne, forward while peddling your feet along the ground. This device was not quite as practical as originally hoped, and was mainly used for well groomed paths in places like well-maintained garden areas.


 Not So Successful Designs

When pedals were first added to the bicycle in 1865, they were added directly to the front wheel. This version was called the velocipede, although those who actually rode these all wood bikes around on cobblestone streets commonly called them the "bone shakers," as your body was jolted about as you rode along.

The first all metal gadget did not appear until 1870, with rubber wheels and pedals still attached to the front wheel.

Metal Bike Wall Art
Speaking of the front wheel, these began to become larger and larger as manufacturers realized that the bigger the front wheel, the longer distance someone could travel with just one push of the pedal. This was also the first variation to be called a bicycle, meaning "two-wheel." Nowadays, these are commonly referred to as the penny farthing bicycles, easily recognizable like the Metal Bike Wall Art shown above.

A Bicycle Built For Two

Tandem bicycles, those with seats and pedals arranged fore and aft from each other, were first popularized in the 19th century. As early as 1898, patents were being filed for two-person and four-person tandem bicycles weighing close to 25 and 65 pounds respectively. On Bicycle Jute Wrapped Wall Art, a vintage tandem bicycle is featured with scrolling script reading: "And they lived happily ever after."

Bicycle Jute Wrapped Wall ArtBicycle Bookends