Extract From “The Stanley Show” (1869)

…The show of velocipedes was not large, but it is creditable to the moral courage of the few makers who exhibit, that they send articles bearing such a name to a horse show at all. What possible common ground, one asks, can there be between a horse show and a velocipede? Can a velocipede take a fence, or would a gentleman who follows the hounds ever demean himself on any occasion by mounting a thing with treadles? It was not surprising, therefore, that the velocipede vendors found business dull. The names of the gallant persons who ventured an appearance on such a forlorn field were Messrs Peyton and Peyton, of Bordesley Works; Messrs Northage and Co, of Nottingham; Mr Underhill, of Newport, Salop; and Messrs Forder and Traves, of Wolverhampton. Messrs Payton had a bicycle (Bourne’s patent), which was nearly all improvement on what may be fitly called “the common run.” The hind wheel is the driving wheel, whereby the strain is removed from the arms and shoulders. Instead of a saddle, there is a seat, with some shadowy approach to a back and the motion somewhat resembles that of walking – or it might be more nearly described by the fancy of a Titan sitting astride a fire engine and working the pumps with his legs, only in this case a something like a shoe receives the rider’s foot and the impulse is conveyed by leverage. Upon the vexed question whether this particular this particular velocipede can or cannot go up hill better than any other, we must refrain from entering. Messrs Payton and Messrs Forder and Traves, who claim against each other the prestige of getting up hill with ease and celerity, can settle the matter between them. The latter firm exhibit an admirable velocipede of the old pattern, but with the improvement that by the addition of a spring, the grief of passing over a stone, or over rugged ground, is considerably mitigated. Mr Underhill exhibits cheap bicycles and tricycles, for the latter of which he claims the much over-coveted power of going up hill…

Birmingham Daily Post, August 18, 1869

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