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Klahr bicycle model, 1883

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Klahr bicycle model, 1883
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 784


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1883-1886

Smith Star bicycle

Klahr bicycle model
Catalog #: 309,259, Accession #: 89,797
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
William Klahr, of Myerstown, Pennsylvania, was issued patent number 285,821 on 2 October 1883 for a bicycle of the Star type, propelled by single-acting pedal levers in combination with racks, pinions, and clutches on the rear axle. This patent office model of the bicycle was transferred to the Smithsonian from the Patent Office in 1926. No evidence has been found to indicate that it was ever manufactured.
Physical Description

Artifact. This model, measuring 6 inches long, 4 1/2 inches high, and 1 inch wide, is constructed entirely of metal with the exception of the tires. The triangular frame supports a vertical steering fork with a small wheel at the front, and a large driving wheel at the rear. Both wheels are radially wire-spoked and are 1/2 inches and 3 1/2 inches in diameter, respectively. The upper extension of the fork is at an angle to the fork itself, and is fitted with handle bars at its upper end. A coil spring tends to keep the fork centered, with the wheel headed straight ahead on the machine. A rear extension of the lower, horizontal forked member of the frame extends back of the rear-wheel axle, on each side of that wheel. The long curved arms, with pedals at their front ends, are pivoted from the rear ends of these extensions. Extending upwards from each arm are slightly curved racks that mesh with a gear on the axle of the rear wheel. Each of these gears incorporates an overrunning clutch, so that when the arms are depressed by foot pressure the gears will drive the rear wheel forward. When the arms return by spring pressure to their upper positions, the overrunning clutches operate, and so do not hinder the forward motion of the machine. The two arms are independent of each other but are intended to be depressed alternately. Parts of the gearing are missing from the right side of the model. A saddle is located on a leaf spring over the rear wheel. A spring-returned foot brake, operated by the left foot, is mounted in front of the rear wheel, and rubs against the rear tire.

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

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