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Engraving of a two bicycles and a tricycle in 1882

Engraving of a two bicycles and a tricycle in 1882

V310/0012

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Bicycle and tricycle. Engraving from 1882 of two bicycles (nearest and furthest) with a tricycle between them. Due to the differences in size between the wheels, the bicycles were known as 'penny farthings'; a penny was a large, British coin and the farthing a small one. The front wheel was so large in order to gain sufficient traction when pedalling; gears had not yet been invented. The tyres were made of solid rubber. Social ettiquette decreed that bicycles were 'unlady-like' but the more sedate tricycles seen here were acceptable. This engraving appeared in Punch, a British satirical journal.

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