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Hammelmann tricycle model, 1880

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Hammelmann tricycle model, 1880
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 784-A


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, about 1875-1881

Hammelmann tricycle model
Catalog #: 309,258, Accession #: 89,797
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
On 2 March 1880, Charles Hammelmann, of Buffalo, New York, was issued Patent 225,010 for a velocipede.This Patent Office model of a velocipede shows a tricycle propelled by two foot-operated, spring-returned levers that rock sector-racks meshed with ratchet gears on the front-wheel axle. The model was transferred to the Smithsonian in 1926. It is not known whether a full-scale version of this tricycle was ever manufactured
Physical Description

Artifact. The model, measuring 8 3/4 inches long, 8 1/2 inches high, and 4 1/2 inches wide, is constructed of metal, with the exception of the wooden saddle. The frame consists of a curved bar at the rear, terminating in a fork at its lower end, and a vertical fork at the front, this fork pivoting in the steering head of the bar. A saddle is attached to the curved bar by means of a spring. At the top of the front fork are the handlebars. An axle at the bottom of the rear fork mounts two wheels, each 2 1/4 inches in diameter and having six spokes. The centers of the wide treads of these two wheels are 3 1/4 inches apart. The front wheel is 6 inches in diameter and has 10 spokes. Its perimeter is grooved as if to mount a solid rubber tire, though it is not known if a tire was mounted on this model. Mounted on each side of the front-wheel hub are ratchet gears. The wheel and gears rotate as one unit on the stationary front axle. Two foot-operated levers, spring-returned to their upper positions, are pivoted at the lower ends of the front fork, one on each side of the wheel. To each lever is attached a rack meshed with a gear that is mounted free on the front axle and next to the ratchet gear on its side of the wheel hub. A pawl on the free gear rotates the ratchet gear and the wheel in a forward direction when the foot lever is depressed. The two levers are independent of each other and are intended to be depressed alternately.

Date Made:
New York
Transferred from the U. S. Patent Office

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