Download Bicycle: The History by David V. Herlihy PDF


By David V. Herlihy

ISBN-10: 0300104189

ISBN-13: 9780300104189

The 1st complete heritage of the bicycle—lavishly illustrated with pictures spanning centuries. within the twenty-first century we have now all skilled new applied sciences that promise to alter our lives. in the course of the 19th century, the bicycle evoked an exhilarating new international during which even a terrible individual might commute afar and at will. yet used to be the “mechanical horse” really destined to herald a brand new period of street trip or would it not stay in simple terms a plaything for dandies and schoolboys?

In this, the definitive historical past of the bicycle, David Herlihy recounts the saga of this far-reaching invention and the passions it aroused. The pioneer racer James Moore insisted the bicycle could develop into “as universal as umbrellas.” Mark Twain was once extra skeptical, enjoining his readers to “get a bicycle. you won't remorse it—if you live.”

Because we are living in an age of cross-country bicycle racing and high-tech mountain motorcycles, we might disregard the a long time of improvement and ingenuity that remodeled the fundamental inspiration of human-powered transportation right into a wonder of engineering. This energetic and engrossing background retraces the extreme tale of the bicycle—a background of disputed patents, impressive innovations, and neglected possibilities. Herlihy exhibits us why the bicycle captured the public’s mind's eye and the myriad ways that it reshaped our world.

A dialog With David Herlihy
Q: What was once the influence of the discovery of the bicycle?
A: The bicycle had a considerable technological effect. it isn't an exaggeration to claim that the bicycle company of the Eighteen Nineties spawned the automobile undefined. through the height 12 months of construction in 1896 a few 300 enterprises within the usa on my own produced approximately million bicycles, and lots of of those businesses went directly to make cars utilizing an analogous hugely complex construction platforms. Many automobile pioneers, together with Henry Ford, began operating with bicycles. And bicycle expertise additionally helped produce the 1st airplanes. The Wright brothers have been bicycle mechanics; they used bicycles for wind tunnel experiments and equipped the Wright Flyer of their workshop.

Q: What in regards to the social influence of the bicycle?
A: The bicycle replaced social existence in every type of ways—for girls specifically it supplied a justification to decorate extra sensibly and a way to trip with no supervision. And within the early 20th century, whilst automobiles have been nonetheless prohibitively pricey, thousands of working-class humans depended on the bicycle for daily transportation. this can be nonetheless the case within the constructing global. and naturally the bicycle has lengthy supplied fit and enjoyable workout to humans of every age and backgrounds.

Q: You’ve spent so much of your existence driving and writing approximately bicycles. what's it in regards to the bicycle that has held your fascination for therefore lengthy?
A: My ardour for bicycles all started while i used to be within the Seventies, while the USA came across light-weight eu ten-speeds. For a number of years I lived in Italy, the place I skilled the buzz of possessing and using a superb racing motorbike. the fun of relocating and balancing on wheels is sort of as outdated because the bicycle itself—even in its crudest kinds within the 19th century, the bicycle stirred ardour and fired the mind's eye. It represented the spirit of the age—a decision to take advantage of know-how to enhance the human condition.

David V. Herlihy is a historian and freelance author. He has been drawn to bicycle expertise because his days as a member of the Harvard biking membership, and for the earlier decade he has researched largely the discovery and early improvement of the bicycle. His paintings has been featured on nationwide Public Radio and Voice of the USA and within the big apple instances, the Boston Globe, Boston journal, and ancient upkeep. In 1999 Herlihy bought the McNair heritage Award from the Wheelmen, the preeminent American organization of vintage bicycle creditors. He lives in Hull, Massachusetts.

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It seems to differ entirely from ... " While the Peales evidently valued the velocipede primarily as a recreati0nal tool, they also gave some thought to its practical possibilities. That summer, the elder Peale n0ted that Franklin had used his new mount to visit a friend some distance away, taking three-quarters of an hour. " Local officials, however, took a dim view of the velocipede. In June, one rider who dared to stray onto the smooth sidewalks was fined three dollars, a harsh retribution that stifled local use 0f the velocipede on public streets.

A few years earlier, Peale displayed his own velocipede to the delight of curious crowds. and half minutes. " The journalist finally managed t0 catch up with the fleeter vel0cipede, but only after Franklin came to a complete halt. Peering through the dense crowd that had encircled the novelty, the j0urnalist studied its form. "It seems to differ entirely from ... " While the Peales evidently valued the velocipede primarily as a recreati0nal tool, they also gave some thought to its practical possibilities.

Even the velocipede designers themselves, it seems, were uncertain. Noted one contributor in 1839, "We occasionally meet with some one of these numerous contrivances for aiding and extending the locomotive powers of man, wending their solitary way through unfrequented roads . . " But, he cautioned, "to imagine they can ever be made extensively or usefully ... " Yet to many, even a satisfying recreational vehicle seemed hopelessly out of reach. In the 1830s, more than a decade after the demise of the draisine, velocipede designers were still at an apparent standstill.

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