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Bicycles and Velocipedes

Velocipedes or bicycles or tricycles . . . whatever the name, the bike has been the first rapid transit vehicle for children for generations. These are the photos of those bikes and their riders. Read more >>

Bicycles are a part of most people's lives - either as a child, an adult, or both. It seems like they've been around forever but it wasn't until the early 1800's that the first bike was introduced to the public. Just a decade or two later, the first camera was invented so we're lucky enough to have plenty of photos of the development of the bicycle.

Consider these interesting - and fun! - facts about bikes:
  • The first "horseless carriage" wasn't a car - it was the bicycle. That's what Karl von Drais, a German baron, called the bike he invented to help him get around faster. Two-wheeled and pedal-less, it was propelled by pushing his feet against the ground.

  • The term “bicycle” wasn't used until the 1860s, when it was coined in France to describe a new kind of two-wheeler with a mechanical drive - yay, no longer having to push against the ground with your feet!

  • The Wright brothers, who built the first fixed-wing flying airplane, operated a bike repair shop in Dayton, Ohio. They used their workshop to build their airplane - the Wright Flyer

  • The longest tandem bike? It had 35 seats and was about 67 feet long!

  • It is estimated that there are 1 billion bicycles in the world, more than double the number of cars. It's also estimated that there are 50-100 million new bikes made every year.

A recent study says that people who ride bikes have a "unique blend of intelligent generosity" and possess the "cool" factor. Perhaps those who regularly ride bikes as adults are also thrifty - a bike costs 20x less to maintain than a car - and is earth-friendly. Certainly these vintage photos show that our ancestors were cool and "with-it"! << Read less
A photo of George Arthur Howlett
People in this photo:
George Arthur Howlett
around 1892 - 1915
Maldon, England, United Kingdom
This little lady is my great Aunt (by marriage) Cora Belle Johnson (1875-1963). She was married to Sherman Frederick Lucas.
People in this photo:
dad, Daniel Johnson, when he was little boy.
People in this photo:
A photo of John D. Rockefeller, full-length portrait, standing with a bicycle
People in this photo:
A photo of Archie Roosevelt (5th child of Presidet Theodore Roosevelt) on a bicycle.
People in this photo:
A phoot of "me and my bike" on Thanksgiving Day at Riverside Park. Written on the back: Nov. 23, 1944. Buddy, 5 yrs., 9 months, 8 days.
A photo of George Kennedy, son of Aaron and Sarah.....Worked for the Oakdale Water Works where he also had a bicycle shop. Married to Alice Learned. Married to Lillian Thurber, 1 child Charles. Married Sofia widow of his cousin Guy Dunfee. His mother was Sarah Kane Kennedy Barnes.
People in this photo:
A photo of a boy, surname Russell, on a bicycle. It looks like it was taken in the early 1900's. I found this photo in an antique store so I don't have any more information about this Russell boy. Do you know him?
Shared on Jan 1, 2001 by:
A photo of Edward Hurlbut
People in this photo:
Edward Hurlbut
Dec 19, 1929 - January 1987
Boulder Creek, California
A photo of Viola Gershaneck
People in this photo:
Viola Esther (Keeler) Gershaneck
Oct 21, 1925 - August 1981
A photo of Paul M. Jeannelle in Elwood Indiana. 2nd from right. Born in Liepvre FR 1869. Died st Louis MO 1911.
People in this photo:
Paul M. Jeannelle
1869 - Feb 26, 1911
A photo of a young couple on bikes with puppy. 1900Found in Suitcase in the Attic . Notice the wardrobe, she has nice fluffy blouse, he has a tie and boots
A photo of Helen (Motowski) Zettler
People in this photo:
Helen Jane (Motowski) Zettler
Dec 31, 1927 - 2002
Enrica was arrested at her hometown in Rome, Italy then deported to Auschwitz Death camp on October 18, 1943 then sadly murdered 5 days later at age 5.
People in this photo:
Enrica Anticoli
Apr 19, 1938 - Oct 23, 1943
This is a photo of my uncle, Lt. John Lynn Mort; caption says "Seeing France via bicycle".
People in this photo:
A photo of Joel Delft with his friend, 1943 .Joel was sadly murdered at Sobibor Death Camp on May 7, 1943 at age 6
People in this photo:
Joel Delft
Oct 5, 1936 - May 7, 1943
This is definitely a photo of Callie Ballard's son Jimmy. the date I have listed on the photo was a past assumption, I now think it is more likely to be later than 1923. Could be in Nebraska And if my researching is near correct, I think he is the son of James L. Gill. but don't accept that as gospel yet.
A photo of Joy Anderson with her bike and a puppy in the basket. This photo, as well as all the Sutela family photos I posted, were contributed by William "Bill" Ostrom, a cousin.
People in this photo:
Joy Anderson
Born: 1943
This is a photo of Helen Alice Levine (Fowler) Moir and Dr John Wilson Moir added by Sarah Lennon on June 20, 2016.
People in this photo:
Dr John Wilson Moir
Aug 22, 1843 - Dec 11, 1926
A photo of Annie Lee Merek or Meek & Archie Stevenson of Fulton, Kentucky. Vintage Photos Lost & Found on FB - Annie Lee Merek / Meek, Archie Stevenson, found in Memphis, Tennessee. Locations mentioned in album include Fulton, Kentucky, and Louisiana.
People in this photo:
A photo of Meijer Kroese, posing with his bicycle in Amsterdam. Meijer was sadly deported to Sobibor and murdered in 1943 at age 6. Can't imagine-kids use to love bike riding in the 30's and 40's and kids like Meijer were forbidden to ride bikes during the war.
People in this photo:
Meijer Kroese
Sep 27, 1936 - Jun 4, 1943
A photo of George Andrew Ashworth, Jr. from my mother's (Mary Louise Ashworth) photo album who was his first cousin.
People in this photo:
A photo of an unknown woman - "Lady with a bike" original. Black and white version of this photo has also been submitted under the Del Grosso surname. Nothing is known about the photo or the photo's subject.
A photo of an unknown woman: "lady with a bike" Odd picture, probably a relative. Found this picture when my Uncle passed away. He was the last to leave the farm so he had all the old photo's. I have no idea where or when this picture was taken. The original is very yellow
A photo of Leslie George Chambers - 15 years of age. Won this bike race by the width of a tyre.
People in this photo:
Leslie George Chambers
1911 - Mar 15, 1989
Homebush Lower, Australia
A photo of Augustus Callaghan
People in this photo:
Augustus Callaghan
Born: 1890
Colac, Australia
A photo of Karl Thommessen, from Oslo, Norway. Though I suspect the photo might have been taken in Frankfurt, Germany.
People in this photo:
Karl Fredrik Albert Thommessen
Nov 22, 1898 - Jan 12, 1992
A photo of Barbara (Dippold) Honis in 1943
People in this photo:
A photo of Geoffrey Alexander Goodwin
People in this photo:
Geoffrey Alexander Goodwin
Dec - Jul 29, 2013
Liverpool, United Kingdom
A photo of Elmer Otis Hubler
People in this photo:
A photo of Aaron v Slason 1933 - 2001
People in this photo:
Aaron v Slason
Jan 27, 1933 - Apr 7, 2001
Leesburg, FL
A photo of Henry J. Endom and family
People in this photo:
A photo of great grandpa Frank Lawrence
People in this photo:
cruisin! Ruth Peck on bike, Upton Peck with his dog in middle & Roland Peck on other side. Sibling photo.
People in this photo:
A photo of Madeline M Martz Corderman
People in this photo:
Madeline Marian (Martz) Corderman
Nov 27, 1922 - May 2, 2002
Williamsport, PA
Photos of Flournoy Shepperson Jr
People in this photo:
Flournoy Shepperson Jr
Nov 22, 1914 - Aug 30, 1976
Now THIS is a Halloween costume - if you can outrun Orkin! And evidently, this pest has found the way to do it . . . hop on your bike!
A photo of Matti Rissanen on a bike.
People in this photo:
Matti Rissanen
Mar 15, 1894 - May 1969
Maynard, MA
Just look at the clothing worn by women bicyclists early in the century. From the album of Howard Van Buskirk.
This is a picture of Charles on his schwinn Bicycles back in 1956
People in this photo:
Charles Larry Phipps
Born: Mar 15, 1951
A bicycle outing for two - when one of the two is a skeleton! An obvious studio Halloween photo from the turn of the century. Funny and a bit macabre - it probably reflects the humor of the time. Or it could be a message against dangerous bicycle riding!
Dad, Alexander Perlberger of Florida, always loved riding his bike, and I will always remember him fondly this way. Love, Annie
People in this photo:
Jo Ann Allen on a bicycle around 1950.
People in this photo:
Jo Ann Allen
Apr 29, 1937 - Nov 19, 2010
Union Star, KY
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