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Smith Star bicycle, 1884Photography of bicycle as it was restored in 1960, held by A. A. Balunek, who wored for the Museum from 195901961

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Smith Star bicycle, 1884Photography of bicycle as it was restored in 1960, held by A. A. Balunek, who wored for the Museum from 195901961
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 46-567

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1883-1886

RELATED OBJECTS
Smith tricycle


Smith Pony Star bicycle


Klahr bicycle model


Smith Star bicycle
Catalog #: 248,836, Accession #: 48,354
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This cycle was built by the H. B. Smith Machine Company, of Smithville, New Jersey. It bears the serial number 1200, and patent dates of 1880 and 1884. It was donated to the Smithsonian in 1908. According to the donor, this machine was given to his father, Benjamin F. Wilkins, around 1900. Mr. Wilkins, a member of the Capitol Bicycle Club of Washington, D.C., never rode it, as it was considered a relic when he acquired it.
Physical Description

Artifact. One side of the triangular metal frame consists of a tube for the steering post, at the lower end of which is a fork supporting the front wheel. Straight handlebars are attached to the upper end of the post. The metal front wheel, fitted with a solid rubber tire 23 inches in diameter, has 28 radial wire spokes. The rear wheel, also fitted with a solid rubber tire, is 55 inches in diameter and has 64 radial wire spokes. Spring-returned, overrunning clutches are attached to the ends of the rear axle. The wheel is turned by leather straps wound on the clutches and attached to pedal levers (see the description of the Smith tricycle of 1888). The effective attachment point of the straps to the levers can be adjusted to either of two positions by means of a pivotal linkage, thus providing a "gear shift," so to speak, because two driving ratios are made available. The leather saddle is adjustably mounted upon a broad flat spring. A brake, bearing against the rear tire, is operated by a linkage on the handlebars and is controlled by the rider's right hand. The linkage is returned by a coil spring to the "off" position. Another coil spring, located at the base of the steering post, serves as a shock absorber. It is finished in black. The Star bicycle was restored in 1960.

Details
Date Made:
1884
Locations:
Dist of Columbia, New Jersey
Credit:
Gift of Thomas M. Wilkins

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