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made in Piccadilly, London

Postcard of Bicycle.
© National Museums Scotland


This velocopede was made by Sparrow of Piccadilly in London around 1870. It was an intermediate development between the boneshaker type machine and the high bicycle also colloquially known as the penny farthing.

The bicycle has an iron frame and a large front wheel and smaller rear wheel both made of iron-rimmed wood. A saddle is mounted on a spring steel bar attached at the steering head and the spine of the frame. A brass plate on the spring is marked 'SPARROW MAKER 89 PICCADILLY'.

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Online ID: 000-180-000-317-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1987.325
Date: Around 1870
Material: Iron, wood, spring steel and brass. Inscription: Saddle spring plate: SPARROW MAKER 89 PICADILLY
Dimensions: 1230 mm H x 1620 mm x 540 mm
What: Velocipede / bicycle, boneshaker
Subject: 15. ROAD TRANSPORT, Muscle power (Departmental Classification)
Who: Sparrow, 89 Picadilly, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Velocipede or boneshaker type bicycle, with an iron frame and a large front wheel and a smaller rear wheel both of iron-rimmed wood, by Sparrow of Picadilly, London
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