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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 the United States 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 United States 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 the 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, 2018 by
Taken in .
A photo of a young couple on bikes with puppy. 1900Found in Suitcase in the... more
Shared on Mar 4, 2018 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 the 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 United States.
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 United States 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