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Greene and Dyer monocycle, 1869.  Held in the photograph by Smith Hempstone Oliver, Museum curator from 1946-1956

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Greene and Dyer monocycle, 1869. Held in the photograph by Smith Hempstone Oliver, Museum curator from 1946-1956
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 41-054

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1818-1869

OTHER VIEWS
Greene and Dyer monocycle after restoration
Greene and Dyer monocycle after restoration


Greene and Dyer monocycle
Catalog #: 312,832, Accession #: 161,728
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
Allen Greene and Elisha Dyer, of Providence, Rhode Island, were awarded Patent 91,535, on 22 June 1869 for an "improvement in velocipede." This incomplete monocycle, built by them, represents their invention. It was donated to the Smithsonian in 1944. The donor stated that it was reported that the vehicle had crashed badly on its first trial run, and proved to be unsatisfactory.
Physical Description

Artifact. Unicycle with 24 spokes and the felloe are of wood, and a thin metal band attached to the felloe serves as a tire. The diameter of the wheel is 8 feet, and its thickness at the center, 4 feet. The bowed spokes radiating in from the rim connect alternately to hubs on each side, composed of two metal discs bolted together, so that 12 of the spokes are clamped between each pair of discs. Within the center of the cage thus formed a framework is suspended from short shafts extending inwards from the two hubs, and to the framework is attached a swinging seat for the operator. Small hand-cranks are also attached to the framework near the short shaft extensions, but it is not clear how they worked, for the cranks are now inoperative. The patent specifications refer to hand-cranks and foot-treadles jointly providing the motive power, but no treadles now exist, nor is there evidence of how they might have functioned. No other parts of the mechanism remain, and it is uncertain whether the vehicle was ever completed. Outer extensions of the hub shafts carry an iron fitting from which two trailing legs hung on either side. These were intended to support the monocycle when it was at rest and to assist the operator in starting from a standstill. As do several other unicycle patents, this patent specification shows a sunshade fitted over the operator's seat. It is doubtful that the improvement was ever added

Details
Date Made:
1869
Locations:
Rhode Island
Credit:
Gift of W. Easton Louttit, Jr.

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