Bicycle Archives at The British Library

Waking this morning to glorious sunshine Radio 4 informed me that The British Library has just put two million digitised pages from 19th century newspapers online! Taking research out of their dusty reading rooms and into people's homes. With this in mind I excitedly began trying pay as you go service and found it a font of information about Victorian cycling.

Cycling was the most popular form of outdoor activity in the 1880s and 90s. Both men and women were encouraged to cycle for exercise and enjoyment and there were many different styles and designs of bike available, some more practical than others. Newspapers at the time were full of advertisement for various ingenious pedal powered machines such as the tricycle advert below.

Tricycles were popular with professional men who found it easier to carry bags and equipment on the 3 wheeled frames. Women were encouraged to ride tricycles as they were more stable and easier for them to use because their long skirts did not get in the way of the wheels.

So if you have nothing better to do today why not have a virtual thumb through the dust free British Library archives and see what you can find. Having exhausted the cycling pages I'm off to the recipe pages for some good old Victorian fare. 

Toodle pip.



This entry was posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 10:34 and is filed under Bits for Bikes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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