Although the phrase bicycle was coined in France during the 1860s, the archetype of the bicycle was the German “draisine” dating back to 1817. The second half of the 19th century saw the rapid development of the human-powered vehicle.
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UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 30: Photograph. There were various forms of ‘pedamotive carriage’ or velocipede during the 19th century. It was an early form of bicycle which was propelled forward by the rider pedalling cranks fixed to the front wheel(s). Interest in velocipedes dropped after the introduction of the bicycle in the form we know it today, which was both cheaper and less cumbersome. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
ca. 1890 — Original caption: American wheelmen reposing in the woods. Photograph, ca. 1890. — Image by © Corbis
1890: A cycle-race at a stadium in New York. The pneumatic tyre had not yet come into use in the US. Another peculiarity of the race was the type of bicycle, which had already been superseded in England. (Photo by George Barker/Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)
FRANCE – JULY 14: Photograph showing seven Frenchmen on a seven-seater bicycle, taken from an album of pictures collected by Charles Stewart Rolls (1877-1910), English motor car manufacturer and aviator. Rolls founded Rolls-Royce Ltd with Frederick Henry Royce (1863-1933) in 1906, creating one of the world’s most famous motoring companies. He was a well known and successful competitor in motor races of the time, and was also a keen aviator, becoming the first person to make a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel in a aeroplane. He was killed in 1910 when his plane crashed at the Bournemouth Air Show. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)