Josh Billing’s remarks on a velocipede in 1869

Josh Billing’s remarks on a velocipede in 1869

 The following was Josh Billing’s remarks on a velocipede. Josh was the worthy successor of Major Longbow and other American humourists in the 1860s:

“It don’t take much stuff to build a filosipede. I am bold tew say that a man could make one ov’ ‘em out of a cingle old plank, and then hev enough stuff left over to splinter broken limbs, or make, perhaps, a corfin. A felosipede can’t stand alone, and that single fact is enuff to condemn the thing in mi eye. I don’t want to hev anything to do with any hopeless critter that can’t stand alone, unless, I might add, it is a purty woman going for to faint. I don’t think it will ever get intew general use among farmers, az it haz no conveniences for a hay riggin, nor even a place to strap a trunk; and az tew going tew church on it, the family would hev tew go one at a time, and the rest walk. So, of course, the thing is killed in that direction.”

(Notes and Queries, Oxford journals (Firm), 1869, p.241)

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