A Bicycle Made for Two

19th century bicycle

This bicycle was already about 80 years out of fashion when it appeared in the 1900 catalogue, with the aim of showing prospective purchasers how much better new bicycles were [Ref: MS 4208/3/9/4]

If you have been inspired by Bradley Wiggins’ triumphs in the Tour de France and in the Olympics to take up cycling as a sport, think of those who were inspired a hundred years ago or more  – cycling was one of the sports featured in the modern Olympics from the beginning in 1896.

Tricyle for Two

Who Steers? Tricyle for Two, 1898

All of these exhibitions were held at Bingley Hall, which was on a small section of the site now occupied by the ICC, just off Broad Street.

What choice was there then – a bicycle or even a tricycle made for two. The illustrations in this blog are from a series of Birmingham exhibitions catalogues bound in volumes:

  • 1884 – Catalogue of the Third Annual Exhibition of Bicycles, Tricycles and Accessories, organised by Speedwell Bicycle Club [MS 4208/3/8/3]
  • 1897 – First Annual Midland Cycle & Motor Car Exhibition [MS 4208/3/9/1]
  • 1898 – Second Annual Midland Cycle & Motor Car Exhibition [MS 4208/3/9/2]
  • 1900 – Fourth Annual Midland Cycle & Motor Car Exhibition [MS 4208/3/9/4]
  • 1902 – Sports and Pastimes Exhibitions Ltd. [MS 4208/3/9/5]

Birmingham Cycling Exhibition Catalogues

Birmingham Exhibition Catalogues: 1884; 1897; 1900; 1902 [Ref: MS 4208/3]

The catalogues represented the most up-to-date bicycles – or motor bicycles –  available then. By 1900 some of the bicycles on sale are not unlike some bicycles today.

Maggie Burns


One response to “A Bicycle Made for Two

  1. Reblogged this on calmyourbeans.

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