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Columbia Light Roadster Ordinary, 1888

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Columbia Light Roadster Ordinary, 1888
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 41-349


This object appears in the following sections:

Smithsonian Bicycle Collection — The collection, 1887-1891

Columbia Light Roadster ordinary bicycle

Columbia electric automobile

Columbia Light Roadster ordinary bicycle
Catalog #: 313,371, Accession #: 182,167
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This bicycle, built by the Pope Manufacturing Company, was donated to the Smithsonian in 1949. It is a a Columbia Light Roadster Ordinary of 1888, and is very similar, both in design and appearance, to the 1886 Light Roadster. It sold for approximately $125.00. The company sopped making high-wheeled bicycles in 1892.
Physical Description
Artifact. This Ordinary bicycle weighs, with all equipment, 42 pounds. It is fitted with a 68-spoke, 53-inch front wheel, and a 20-spoke, 18-inch rear wheel. The wire spokes are tangentially laced to the hubs. The adjustable cranks, attached to the front axle, provide a throw of from 5 to 6 inches. The pedals are rubber covered. The slight differences between this and the 1886 model include the method of springing the saddle, the shape of the handlebars and of the grips, and the fact that the step is adjustable. This machine was completely restored to new condition by its donor before being presented to the Museum. It is finished in black paint and chromium plate.
Date Made:
Gift of Albert E. Schoaf
The Pope Manufacturing Company was founded by Albert A. Pope in the 1870s and was the first company to manufacture bicycles on American soil. Pope, who had previously exported bicycles from England, began building bicycles under the trade name "Columbia" in the Weed Sewing Machine Company's factory in Hartford Connecticut in 1879. By 1890, the company was so succesful it had bought the factory from Weed because it needed all the space.

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