Cycling 1890's style bicycle, Penny Farthing

Cycling 1890's style bicycle, Penny Farthing

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Partial / Incomplete Date c.1890
Picture Reference MerMor_​22_​5-1
Original Format Photo
Notes / History Although the name "penny-farthing" is now the most common, it was probably not used until the machines were nearly outdated; the first recorded print reference is from 1891 in Bicycling News. It comes from the British penny and farthing coins, one much larger than the other, so that the side view resembles a penny leading a farthing. For most of their reign, they were simply known as "bicycles".
Changes in wheel design and the invention of the safety bicycle in 1885 led to a cycling craze. From this point onwards, the roads and pathways across the local Commons were regularly used by cycle traffic.

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