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Bicycles

In the 1880's and 90's, cycling became the most popular sport in the nation. More than 10 million people learned to ride in this first wave of "bicyclemania". The Curtiss Museum features several bicycles from this early period.

Our collection presently consists of:

  •  Velocipede ca. 1865

  •  High Wheel Bicycle ca. 1890

  •  Rear High Wheel Bicycle ca. 1890

  •  Columbia Shaft Drive Bicycle ca. 1899

  •  Waverly Lady's Bicycle ca. 1899 (on loan from the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum)

  •  Panama Men's Bicycle ca. 1899 (on loan from the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum)

  •  Rambler Men's Bicycle ca.1900 (on loan from the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum)


Selected items from our bicycle collection.


Velocipede or “Boneshaker”
circa 1865

This type of bicycle reportedly first appeared in Paris in 1861, equipped with pedals. By 1868, it was being manufactured commercially in the United States by two major manufacturers – Woods Bros. of New York City, and Wm. Brownell & Co. of Bedford, Massachusetts.

The thin iron tires or wooden wheels with iron rims led to the nickname, “boneshaker”. The Iron springs supporting the leather seat would provide minimal comfort from the “boneshaking” shocks of travel on rough 19th-century roads. The hook on the front was used for towing the bicycle behind another vehicle.

On loan from the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum.




Certificate of Excellence
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