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Boy's ordinary bicycle, 1885

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Boy's ordinary bicycle, 1885
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 48-535-G


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1883-1886

Standard Columbia ordinary bicycle

Boy's ordinary bicycle
Catalog #: 317,075, Accession #: 229,882
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This boy's Ordinary bicycle was donated to the Smithsonian in 1959. It was purchased in New York City in 1885 by the father of the donor. No markings can be found that identify the maker, and it is not safe to make assumptions, yet the similarity to it of the 10-dollar Otto cycle of this size, made in 1887 by the Western Toy Company of Chicago, suggests that this could be an earlier model of the Otto.
Physical Description

Artifact. The 32-inch and 12-inch wire-spoke wheels have half-round iron rims, 5/8 inch and 7/16 inch wide, respectively, that also serve as the tires. A backbone of T-iron joins the malleable-iron rear fork to an adjustable spindle in an open steering head similar to that of the 1881 Standard Columbia. The step on the left side of the frame, the front fork, and the wheel hubs, all appear to be of malleable iron. The iron handlebars have wooden grips, and a leather-covered iron saddle is suspended on a single-leaf spring, the rear end of which slides in a keeper on the backbone. This bicycle was restored in 1961. It has a black finish that was applied at that time.

Date Made:
Gift of Elbert C. Wood

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