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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.

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"!

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Taken in Atkinson, NE United States of America.
This little lady is my great Aunt (by marriage) Cora Belle Johnson... more
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Shared on Nov 26, 2013 by
dad, Daniel Johnson, when he was little boy.
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Shared on Apr 23, 2013 by
Taken in .
Another photo of a velocipede and a motorcycle.
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in .
A photo of John D. Rockefeller, full-length portrait, standing with a bicycle
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Shared on Jan 9, 2012 by
Taken in .
A photo of Archie Roosevelt (5th child of Presidet Theodore Roosevelt) on a... more
Shared on Jan 9, 2012 by
Taken in in .
A phoot of "me and my bike" on Thanksgiving Day at Riverside Park. Written on... more
Shared on Aug 17, 2004 by
Taken at Oakdale Water Works, Oakdale/Stanislaus, CA in .
A photo of George Kennedy, son of Aaron and Sarah.....Worked for the Oakdale... more
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Shared on Jan 27, 2004 by
Taken in USA.
A photo of a boy, surname Russell, on a bicycle. It looks like it was taken... more
Shared on Jan 1, 2001 by
A photo of Paul M. Jeannelle in Elwood Indiana. 2nd from right. Born in... more
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Shared on Mar 7 by
Taken in .
A photo of a young couple on bikes with puppy. 1900Found in Suitcase in the... more
Shared on Mar 4 by
Taken in Metropolitan City of Rome County, Lazio Italy.
Enrica was arrested at her hometown in Rome, Italy then deported to Auschwitz... more
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Shared on Jan 10, 2017 by
Taken in France in .
This is a photo of my uncle, Lt. John Lynn Mort; caption says "Seeing France... more
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Shared on Jan 3, 2017 by
Taken in Wildervank, Veendam County, GR Netherlands in .
A photo of Joel Delft with his friend, 1943 .Joel was sadly murdered at... more
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Shared on Dec 28, 2016 by
This is definitely a photo of Callie Ballard's son Jimmy. the date I have... more
Shared on Dec 18, 2016 by
A photo of Joy Anderson with her bike and a puppy in the basket. This photo,... more
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Shared on Aug 12, 2016 by
Taken in Fulton, Fulton County, KY.
A photo of Annie Lee Merek or Meek & Archie Stevenson of Fulton, Kentucky.... more
Shared on Jan 2, 2016 by
Taken in Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam County, NH Netherlands in .
A photo of Meijer Kroese, posing with his bicycle in Amsterdam. Meijer was... more
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Shared on Dec 30, 2015 by
Taken in Mt Vernon, Posey County, IN in .
A photo of George Andrew Ashworth, Jr. from my mother's (Mary Louise... more
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Shared on Aug 20, 2015 by
A photo of an unknown woman - "Lady with a bike" original. Black and white... more
Shared on Aug 1, 2015 by
A photo of an unknown woman: "lady with a bike" Odd picture, probably a... more
Shared on Aug 1, 2015 by
Taken in .
A photo of Leslie George Chambers - 15 years of age. Won this bike race by... more
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Shared on Jun 5, 2015 by
Taken in Colac, VIC Australia in .
A photo of Augustus Callaghan
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Shared on May 10, 2015 by
A photo of Karl Thommessen, from Oslo, Norway. Though I suspect the photo... more
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Shared on Apr 20, 2015 by
Taken in .
A photo of Barbara (Dippold) Honis in 1943
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Shared on Apr 8, 2015 by