A New Machine? (1819)

The new machine, entitled a velocipede, consisting of two wheels, one before the other, connected by a perch, on which the pedestrian rests the weight of his body, while with his feet he urges the machine forward, on the principle of skating, is already in very general use. “The road from Ipswich to Whitton,” says the Bury Paper, “is travelled every evening by several pedestrian hobby-horses; no less than six are seen at a time and the distance, which is three miles, is performed in 15 minutes A military Gentleman has made a bet to go to London by the side of the coach.” – The crowded state of the metropolis does not admit of this novel mode of exercise; and it has been put down by the Magistrates of Police; but it contributes to the amusement of the passengers in the street, in the shape of caricatures in the print shops. In one of these a certain R——D——is exhibited on his velocipede with the following inscription on his back: – “£10,000 a year and above – “Cheap travelling to Windsor on my father’s business.” The above substitute for walking has, however, been entirely surpassed by an Italian, who has made a sort of a Pegasus of the hobby-horse, if we believe the foreign papers, one of which says: – “Mr Brianza, at Milan, has invented a new travelling machine, which is said to be far superior to that of Baron Drais and with which the traveller can go backwards and forward. In the front of this vehicle, the Milan papers say, there is a winged horse, by the wings of which the carriage is put in motion.”

The Gentleman’s Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, 1819, p 88

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