Velocipede Improved (1819)

Velocipede Improved

The velocipedes have something so ridiculous in their appearance, as well as difficult in their management, that the modest and the idle will be equally deterred from the use of them; but there is so much ingenuity in the principle of their construction, that one would lament to see them wholly abandoned. We learn that a vehicle has been constructed, which has more of the ingenuity and usefulness, without any of the disadvantages of this mechanical invention. It is calculated to accommodate three persons; the front compartment is constructed in the same manner as the common velocipede; the center consists of a convenient seat, fitted up like the seat of a gig; and the third portion is behind the center, in the shape of a dicky. It is worked by the person in front, and the one behind, the person in the middle sitting perfectly easy The man in front has work of the same kind to do as the rider of a common velocipede; the one behind sits in the dicky, with his foot supported by a foot board and the exertion he has to make is to turn with each hand the wheels beside him: for this purpose a handle is fixed to the axis of each wheel and which is turned round in the same manner as a common hand-mill. The machine combines ingenuity with use, and most produce admiration. It is particularly available in private roads, and gentlemen’s parks. It was exhibited last week at the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who both expressed the highest satisfaction at so ingenious a contrivance. A velocipede, on a new construction, is said to be building by an artist at Hereford. It is to have beams or bodies on wheels and four wheels, which will ensure its safety. It is to quarter on the roads like other carriages, and, with four impellers, it is supposed that it will proceed with astonishing rapidity; but its peculiar recommendations is to be, the conveyance of two ladies and two impellers, at the rate of six miles an hour.

The Atheneum, or, Spirit of the English magazines, Volume 5, 1819, p.445


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