Friday, November 9, 2012
Historical cycles for Neo-Victorian Steampunk Revivalists and historians of the industrial revolution.
I have always like the history of early military bicycles, which for me started years back with reading an article about the U.S. Army’s flirtation with military bicycles and also with a series of pre WWI Dutch photogravures I purchased of a machine gun unit that used bicycles to transport and deploy their weapon. Add to that an interest in inventions such as the folding bike and we’re off to the races. There is no point in me “reinventing the wheel” so to speak, so I’ve decided to just post some of the photos and links I have found for others who share an interest in military history, invention, and bicycles.
For an excellent overview of Victorian military bicycling costume, which is perfect for you military minded steampunkers, click the following link. http://debyclark.blogspot.com/2012/10/victorian-military-bicycle-uniforms.html
Foldingcyclist.com has some excellent information including an amazing folding penny farthing along with a lot of good period illustrations of other early folding bikes and is perhaps one of the clearest and best sites on the subject in a single post. http://www.foldingcyclist.com/folding-bike-history.html
Don’t forget to check out the BSA & military bicycle museum site, which as a page about military folders. I really recommend it. http://bsamuseum.wordpress.com/page-5/
There are a couple of books that I keep seeing referenced, The Bicycle in Wartime: An Illustrated History by Jim Fitzpatrick and It's in the bag: A History of Portable Cycles in the UK, by Tony Hadland; I haven’t read them, but pass the titles along for others to read.
Wikipedia has the inevitable article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding_bicycle
Bicycle Infantry article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry
Also try the online bicycle museum site http://www.oldbike.eu/museum/
Here is an article about the previously mentioned U.S. Army bicycle tests. I didn’t mention previously that it was performed by Buffalo Soldiers. http://www.intriguing-history.com/army-cyclist-corps-cap-badge/ And an article about the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps and their coast-to-coast journey to prove the bicycle was an asset to military movement and logistics. http://www.fortmissoulamuseum.org/blackbicyclecorps.php and http://www.historynet.com/us-armys-25th-infantry-bicycle-corps-wheels-of-war.htm
An interesting sidelight on the subject of inventions is this chainless shaft drive bicycle that seems to offer possibilities for fresh innovation. http://www.dynamicbicycles.com/?gclid=CL387YutvbMCFWGnPAodKTEAZA
I hope these articles have piqued your interest in military and folding bikes, somewhat and that you continue follow links to find more information.