In 1891 Alexandre Darracq and Jean Aucoc formed a partnership to make Gladiator bicycles at a factory on the eastern edge of Paris at Pré-Saint-Gervais. Late in 1896 an English financial syndicate headed by Harry Lawson brought together the cycle firms of Clément, Gladiator, and the French Humber branch. Darracq soon left and established his Perfecta works whilst Adolphe Clément remained involved with Clément-Gladiator organisation.
Motorcycles are generally the three-wheeler. We saw earlier that MM. Dion and Bouton had the first idea of applying steam to cycling. Today manufacturers use the same petroleum in tricycles out of their workshops, and without equaling the speed of the powerful four-wheel cars, these slim machines, in races where they competed, have always given very satisfactory results. (Paris-Marseille and return approximately 1.700 km in 83 h. 13 min., 20 kil. to the 40 hours. Rain and wind.) The small petrol engine of the tricycle Dion is located at the rear of the vehicle, it turns on electrically by means of two accumulators contained in a sheath fixed under the horizontal tube of the frame. A pair of pedals allows the rider to add their muscle power to mechanical power in difficult passages or steep inclines.
Tricycles of the Gladiator company are arranged differently. The wheels are steered and placed parallel to the front and the engine. The mechanism is therefore under the eyes of the rider. Moreover, the weight of it, covering only the rear wheel, the pressure is evenly distributed on all three wheels, which is worth only better for the tires. As with the Dion tricycle, the tricycle Gladiator is equipped with pedals that are operable to move up inclines. The same company builds quadricycles of similar construction.
Finally, an engineer whom we had already mentioned, Mr. Bollée, of Mans, has invented a petroleum tricycle known as the Bollée Voiturette.
The Bollée voiturette is a tandem tricycle. Furthermore it has the advantage of carrying two passengers and even some luggage, this machine has a solid stability. Its parts are very simple and very obvious, its maneuvering easy. Spending on petroleum barely exceeds two cents per kilometer and three changes of speed ensures the greatest running average of 25 kilometers per hour.
Everything in the Bollée voiturette was sacrificed to the practical, unfortunately nothing to elegance. The considerable width of this vehicle, lowering its center of gravity that is, running, only 40 centimeters above the ground, the exteriority of its bodies, are a kind of monster, a monster, indeed, wonderfully docile and convenient.
From the foregoing it follows that motoring is currently capable of rendering the greatest service. We emphasize the word now, because many people, sadly impressed by the enumeration of defects publicist warned that any should give to this kind of engine, imagine that the mechanical locomotion, given its recent introduction, is still impractical. It is true that this prejudice is disappearing, as the horseless carriages are multiplying in the streets of our cities and our roads of France, unspoilt by rules and regulations, which does not occur in all countries, England for example.
Not to mention the companies that currently make to the general public motors applicable to trams, road tractors, the hackney coaches, every day we see our merchants welcome the new invention, as they adopt for their deliveries to their services, traveling salesmen, the horseless carriage. For tourists who are performing at their option, daily journeys of 100 or 200 km, ask them if motoring is practical, and why they do not expect the improvements and you will see they will not hide their desire to laugh ...
And now, we cannot close this chapter without touching on a question which must be described as burning, having already raised a number of discussions and put many minds in turmoil, this issue affects both cycling and motoring as we wanted, without good reason, oppose one another.
Motoring and cycling are two modes of locomotion, that is all their report them, and the second not dethrone the first over the use of the car has replaced walking.
Bicycle and horseless carriage can coexist, they do run the same time road, and it is concerning them, the only way that we can venture out at the same time.
In the words, not very correct, but quite striking, we have written many times, cycling is a sport, motoring is transportation.
In cycling, man uses all his organs of locomotion and also involves all the energy available to him: muscular energy, mental energy. We know that it is valuable to racing cyclists and for many of them, the success factor. Experiments with dynamometers and medical tests have established that the winner of a long distance race was the most tired sometimes, but his tenacity, increased in inverse proportion to his muscular efforts, as it kept him in the saddle to the finish line.
Feeling contact with the ground only by a narrow tire, tracing its path to the rigor in a rut, cleaving the air in balance and speed: phenomena that creates by his own will change abruptly his pace or direction by a sudden pressure on the pedals or handlebars - I was going to say a wing beat, as does the bird - always have a time of satisfaction after effort of the muscles, such are the charms that only the bicyclist knows. Adding to his horse, from time a drop of oil is sufficient.
Financially, the motorist spends much more, but his muscle effort is zero: the driver is carried, and it is clear that over long distances, it will beat all cycling champions. But apart from any question of endurance and speed, mechanical locomotion is for all ages and both sexes: it is the supreme mode of tourism that is suitable for women - accompanied by a sportsman for driving the vehicle, - means that allows all to enjoy, without the concerns of the mechanism, the charms of the trip.
For Australia. - We announced a few days ago, a so-called Australian manager was negotiating with two riders to take them to Australia.
The first negotiation having failed, he resumed yesterday with two other riders, Marie-Paule and Serpolette, who, too, are reluctant to make the trip without first serious guarantees on the part of the impresario.
Last night the little racer Serpolette left for Marseilles, where she embarkes for Australia.
A RACING WOMAN FOR SYDNEY.
Madam Serpolette, the famous French racing woman, is on her way to Sidney in the steamer Armand Beebic. She is one of the best racing women of France, and has recently won a six days' race in England, besides many races in which she has competed.
A FEMALE RACING CYCLIST.
One of the latest products of the old world is the female racing cyclist. The belles of the Parisian racing paths have, at the Olympia in London, endeared themselves to the hearts of the English crowds, and the manner in which the French ladies follow speedy pace and race from the home bend to the taps in tip-top sprints has put many of the sterner sex to the blush in the old country. Two of the most famous riders on the French and Engish tracks are Mdlles. Lisette and Serpolette, and, observes the Sydney Daily Telegraph, news was received in the city yesterday by a local cycling firm that the latter lady is on her way to Australia to race and give exhibitions on the local paths. The tour of Serpolette in the colonies has been arranged by M. Ullmo, who recently conducted the visit of the French pace follower, Lesna, with such success. Serpolette will arrive in Australia in about a fortnight, and her appearance will no doubt be eagerly awaited.
The latest excitement in the world of sport is a female bicycle racer. The young lady, who is to arrive in Australia next week from Paris, has a great reputation as a "scorcher," and holds some good records for speedy riding. When racing she wears a sort of bloomer costume, which it is stated she is willing to abandon - and of course adopt some other garb - in deference to stricter Australian ideas.
The lady's name is Serpolette, which familiar cognomen carries the memory back to the saucy servant in the "Bells of Corneville"; and if the cycling Serpolette is as speedy as her operatic namesake was fast, she should make a few records.
Madam Serpolette, the famous French racing woman, is on her way to Sydney in the steamer Armand Behic. She is one of the best racing women of France, and has recently won a six days' race in England, besides many races in which she has competed. She will give exhibitions in various towns in the colonies. She will ride an open frame Machine, and will wear skirts. While in Australia the Frenchwoman will make an attempt on several records, including the one and five miles and the intervening marks. The fair visitor will land from the boat at Western Australia, and will show at South Australia and Victoria before coming on to Sydney.
Field Sports and Aquatics.
The lady cyclist is getting on. Mdlle. Serpolett, a French champion is on her way to Australia, under engagement to a French cycle company, to ride for all records from one to five miles. The distinguished female is on board the Armand Behic, which should reach Albany this week. It is her intention, or, rather, that of her manager, to give exhibition rides in West Australia before coming to the eastern colonies. That Mlle. Serpolette is something of a "stayer" is shown by the fact that she won a six days' contest at the Olympia, London, this year. Six-day ladies' races do not mean that the competitors ride all day for six days on end. Each day's riding time is generally limited to four hours or thereabouts, but even this task is sufficiently exacting for the weaker (?) sex. Mlle. Serpolett will, it is understood, make one great concession to the Australian sense of decency by riding in skirt instead of bloomers, but a rider going for records in skirts has about the same chance of success a swimmer undertaking, in heavy boots and a long overcoat, to establish new figures for 100 yards. To judge from her photograph, the visiting cycliste is well-proportioned and athletic-looking - if such a term may be applied.
Mons. ULLINO, the Australasian Representative for the GLADIATOR CYCLE CO., of Paris, who arrived from France last week and is staying for a few days at De Baun's Hotel, would be glad to hear of a firm who is willing to take up the DIRECT AGENCY of this well-known Machine.
This wheel is ridden by Lucien Lesna, the well-known French Champion, who visited the colonies last year; Porta, the Five Miles Champion of Australasia; all the Continental "cracks ;" and Mademoiselle Serpolette, the great Lady Champion, the only woman who ever rode a motor tricycle, which is a Gladiator, in Australasia. She is now visiting this colony. This firm are also the makers of the Electric (imperial) Triplet, two of which Lesna Tom Linton, and Champion are bringing over in a couple of months' time, when they will take on any man in Australia either in matches or behind pace.
MORE CHAMPIONS FOR AUSTRALIA.
LESNA, LINTON, AND CHAMPION
ARRIVE FOR THE SPRING
By the French mail steamer Armand Behic, which reached Albany a few days ago, there arrived from France Monsieur Lucien Ullmo, the representative in Australasia for the Gladiator Cycle Company. Those who were interested in the doings of Lesna, the great French pace follower, who visited the Eastern colonies at the end of last year, will remember Monsieur Ullmo as his manager. Lesna's career was a successful one, and at the time he secured most of the long distance records for Australia. His visit was so successful that Monsieur Ullmo states that the company have made arrangements for Lesna to re-visit Australia in company with Tom Linton, the English "crack," and Champion, a young French rider, who is described as a second Michael as a pace follower. These three riders will arrive in October next, and will be prepared to engage in matches against any rider then in Australia. Linton will compete with anyone behind pace from 5 miles up to 30 miles, Champion from 30 miles to 100 miles, and Lesna from 100 miles upwards. Accompanying Monsieur Ullmo is Mademoiselle Serpolette, champion wheelwoman of the world, an account of whose performances also appears in this issue. They have brought with them a motor tricycle, which is said to be the first genuine motor machine ever imported to Australia. It is capable of travelling at a speed of 40 miles per hour, and will be used by Mademoiselle Serpolette in the streets today. Lesna and his confrères will bring with them two electric pacing machines, the success of which have in France been phenomenal.
A LADY RACING CYCLIST.
THE WORLD'S CHAMPION IN PERTH.(By "Pedal.")
The immunity from cycle racing by the gentler sex which the Australian colonies have enjoyed up to the present time seems likely to be ended. On Saturday there arrived in Perth Mademoiselle Serpolette, the champion lady cyclist of the world. Cycle races for women are carried on to a large extent in France, England, Germany, and more especially in the two former countries. Events for women are included in almost every programme which is contested in the French capital, and at the Olympia track in London races for women are of daily occurrence. Monsieur Ullmo,the Australian representative of the Gladiator Cycle Co., who "engineered" Lesna's successful tour of the Eastern colonies last year, also arrived by the same boat as Mademoiselle Serpolette. With the assistance of M. Porta, who acted as interpreter, I was enabled yesterday to glean from the lady some of her performances on the wheel and also obtain from her her intended movements while in the colonies. Four years ago, when but 16 years of age, Mademoiselle Serpolette made her début on the racing path in an amatuer race at Aix les Bains, and was successful in annexing the event. She repeated the performance at Avignon a week or two later, and her riding being of such a high order she was engaged to ride in London at the Olympian track. She competed there at Christmas, 1895, and met with varying success during her six weeks' stay in England. Here she (in conjunction with Fournier, the then French champion) defeated the English tandem pair, Barden and Miss Grace, for the championship. Returning to France she met Louise Roger, Marie Paul, and other well-known lady riders, and defeated them for the one kilometre championship of France for 1896, the medal for which she now wears. With Jacquelin, the great French sprinter, she defeated all-comers in a tandem race on the Velodrome d' Hirer at Paris. At Strausberg, in Germany, she defeated the German champion, and at Rouen won the two-kilometre championship. Returning to France, she retired from the racing path after a time, but eight months ago she once again entered the ranks of competition, this time with a motor tricycle, with which she was more than ordinarily successful. Madamoiselie Serpolette has one of these tricycles, the first in Australia, with her, and will use it in the streets to-day. It is capable of attaining a speed of 40 miles per hour. During her visit to Australia she will endeavour to arrange either handicap or scratch races against any lady in Australia. She will also give exhibition rides behind pace and will, if possible, establish records throughout the colonies both with the bicycle and motor tricycle. Mademoiselle Serpolette rode to Osborne yesterday on her 22lb. racing machine. She wears a patent divided skirt, which is not at all suggestive even of the bloomer costume, and although it allows of perfect freedom appears like an ordinary walking dress. She will appear on the Association track during the week, and will probably give an exhibition ride at the North Fremantle race meeting on Saturday next in the interests of the Gladiator Cycle Co., which firm has sent her to the Antipodes.
NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Max Porta and J. A. Healey left yesterday for the Murchison in order to compete at pace meetings at Cue and Mount Magnet. They will be absent about a fortnight, and will therefore not be competitors at the North Fremantle race meeting on Saturday next.
Mademoiselle Serpolette, the racing wheel woman who is at present in Perth, rides a machine geared 75 inches.
Music from the various parts of a bicycle is certainly something new, but according to an English authority it has lately been evolved. A trick rider, Sarrazin, in his performances at the French Vaudeville Theatre, takes his wheel apart while in motion, and then suspends each part from a series of cords strung across the stage. When nothing is left for him to straddle but the rear wheel, he takes a little hammer out of his pocket, and plays tunes on the suspended parts of his machine, moving along from one to the other precariously balanced on the single wheel. The pitch of the various parts of the bicycle varied, and M. Sarrazin was not very communicative on the subject, but on his strange instruments he managed to play several melodies.
The manager of the Austral Cycle Agency received the following telegram from J. R. Denning, the overland wheel- man, who returned to Norseman on Saturday last, having met with an accident on the overland journey attempted by him:- "Chain broke, and walked for four days, one without food and water; strained my left leg. Cannot leave on return before Wednesday. Had a rough time, but will not give up yet." It is probable that Denning will again attempt the journey.
The adjourned meeting of the League council will be held on Wednesday evening in the secretary's office.
Pressure of space necessitates the holding over of an exhaustive analysis of the handicaps issued by the official handicappers for the North Fremantle Cycling Club's inaugural race meeting, to be held next Saturday, and an article dealing with the handicapping system generally.
Mademoiselle Lizette is the holder of the world's record for one hour among women riders. Mademoiselle Serpolette holds the two-kilometre record.
All the French cracks serve 12 months in the army. Mercier, Nossam, and Jaquelin have served their time and returned to the track, riding faster than ever. Bourillon, Norin, and Piette give up racing and don the tunic for a year in
Electric pacing has revolutionised long-distance racing in France, and is likely to be adopted in England during the season just started. The Rover Company will adopt these machines. Lesna and his confrères will bring two with them to Australia next spring.
The Fremantle Bicycle Club, not satisfied with the refusal of the League committee to sanction the holding of a race meeting on May 7, has applied to the council for patronage.
When Virgin was on his overland ride, he, like Denning, lost his way and became disabled and was forced to return to Norseman. He was delayed only one day, however, before he set out again.
The motor-tricycle, which Mademoiselle Serpolette brought with her has not yet been unpacked. She will probably ride it on the track tomorrow evening.
Parsons, it is rumoured, will pay another visit to America for the next racing season, in company with B. H. Walne and other Australian riders.
NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Mdlle. Serpolette, the champion lady cyclist, yesterday rode to North Fremantle and Fremantle, and there inspected the local cycling tracks. She expressed approval of each track, and was especially earnest in her admiration of the North Fremantle track, which she said equalled the best she had seen in England, Belgium, France, or Italy. Mdlle. Serpolette lunched at the Cleopatra Hotel, and was afterwards entertained on board the steamer Kalgoorlie, at the south quay. In the evening a visit was paid to the Fremantle track, where Mdlle. Serpolette had a spin, which she relished very much. She was pleased to note the excellent accommodation provided for spectators. After this she returned to Perth by road. During her stay at North Fremantle arrangements were made by Mr. Geo. Oury, on behalf of the N.F.B.C, for Mdlle. Serpolette to try to break the five-miles world's record on the North Fremantle track on its opening day, Saturday next. A five-mile exhibition will be given behind pacers, and Mdlle. Serpolette will also give an exhibition on the electric motor tricycle.
Mademoiselle Serpolette tried her motor cycle on the road from Perth to Fremantle yesterday against a very strong head wind. She was accompanied by several cyclists. The machine attained an average speed of 18 miles an hour. In many places the attendants were conspicuous by their absence. Madamoiselle Serpolette rode round the
North Fremantle track several times on her bicycle, and will endeavour to use the motor cycle tomorrow if the portion of the track now so heavily banked can be in any way accommodated to the use of a tricycle. On the way back from Fremantle, Mdlle. Serpolette gave an exhibition of speed, and compassed the distance, including stoppages to light the lamp and avoid the traffic, in the time of 38 minutes, beating the train by 10 minutes. The machine (a Gladiator motor cycle) worked beautifully.
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 1898.
NORTH FREMANTLE CYCLING CLUB.
INAUGURAL RACE MEETING.
FIRST AND ONLY APPEARANCE FIRST AND ONLY APPEARANCE
MDLLE. SERPOLETTE. MDLLE. SERPOLETTE.
MDLLE. SERPOLETTE. MDLLE. SERPOLETTE.
(Champion Lady Cyclist of the World).
ONE MILE PACED BY A QUAD.
EXHIBITION BY ELECTRIC MOTOR TRICYCLE.
ROLL UP AND SEE ROLL UP AND SEE
THE BEST CYCLE MEETING YET HELD IN W.A.
TWO EXHIBITIONS. EIGHTEEN EVENTS. TWO EXHIBITIONS.
TWO EXHIBITIONS. EIGHTEEN EVENTS. TWO EXHIBITIONS.
AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!
T. J. LOVEGROVE, Secretary
NORTH FREMANTLE BICYCLE CLUB.
The opening meeting of the North Fremantle Bicycle Club was held on the new track on the banks of the Swan this afternoon. There was a very fair attendance, but the racing was of an uninteresting character owing to the careless manner in which the handicaps had been compiled. Following are the results:
First prize, £5; second, 30s.; third, 10s
R. J. Saunders, 60yds. 1
F. Cooper, 15yds...... 2
E. S. Brown, 20yds...1
F. A. Craeg, 50yds...2
Time, 2min. 23sec.
T. Houston, 50yds..1
J. Taylor, 60yds...2
Time, 2min. 27 i see.
C. H. Holm, 30yds.1
M. Musgrove ......2
Time, 2min. 24 2.5sec.
Craig .. 1
Brown .. 2
Cooper . 3
Time, 2min. 18 3.5sec.
NORTH FREMANTLE WHEEL RACE.
First prize, £20; second, £5; third, £2.
B. Walker,. 210yds.. 1
H. Webster, 180yds.. 2
A. Jewel,.. 150yds.. 3
Won by half a wheel, the remainder being all out of it.
Time, 4min. 39 1.5sec.
J. R. Colledge, 180yds. 1
C. J. Lewis,... 250yds. 2
B. W. Everett,. 140yds. 3
Time, 4min. 36 1.5sec.
E. R. Shaw,.. 150yds. 1
C. J. Levien, 160yds. 2
J. Coultas,.. 250yds. 3
Time, 4min. 34sec
First prize, £6; second, £2, third, £1.
Shaw,... 40yds... 1
Webster, 50yds... 2
Time, 1min. 1sec.
J. R. College, 40yds. 1
B. Walker,.... 60yds. 2
Time, 1min. 5 2.5sec.
C. J. Levien, 40yds. 1
F. A. Craeg,. 60yds. 2
Time, 1 min. 3 2.5sec.
J. Hodgins, 70yds... 1
F. Webb,... 50yds... 2
Time, 1min. 2 1.5sec.
C. Morrison, 25yds... 1
B. C. Best,. 70yds... 2
Time, 1min. 5sec.
First prize, £8; second, £2.
Ken Lewis... 1
G. Stotter... 2
J. F.Clare... 3
Won as he liked.
Time, 2min. 20 2.5sec.
First prize, £5; second, £2; third, £1
F. A Craig, 100yds. 1
F. Cooper,.. 30yds. 2
J. Bovell,.. 90yds. 3
Time, 4min. 52 1.5sec.
Madelle. Serpolette, the champion lady cyclist of the world, gave an exhibition behind pacing, and also with Ken. Lewis, on a tandem. She was evidently indisposed, but created great interest.
The World of Wheels.
(BY "THE WANDERER.")
Apart from the fun enjoyed from the touchiness of Thomas, the chief topic of interest in wheeling circles during the past week was the tricycle doings of Mademoiselle Serpolette, who has evidently persuaded "Pedal" that she is the champion of the world. She can ride well, and made her first public appearance at North Fremantle meeting yesterday. Her costumes are neat and appropriate, and were the envy of West Australian female folk. Surely, some of the grotesque feminine figures which we witness in our streets daily will improve after the example set by the French maid.
NORTH FREMANTLE RECREATION RESERVE.
OPENED BY THE PREMIER.
Another step in the progress of cycling as a sport was inaugurated on Saturday, when the North Fremantle Club successfully carried out a programme of events on the new track. Financially, judging from the attendance, the meeting should be a pronounced success, thereby placing the club on a strong footing, with consequent good fortune for racing men generally.
The new track (the cost of which is given elsewhere) is generally approved of by racing men, though as yet it is in a primitive state. The chief objection - but an unavoidable one at present - is its narrowness. That portion of it, however, which is completed is highly commended by competitors and others qualified to advance an opinion. The fast times in which most of the events were run bore evidence of the superiority of cement over other classes of surface for the promotion of speed. The straight is undoubtedly a fine one, and unlike the conditions prevailing on most tracks, every competitor within reasonable distance on rounding the last turn has an equal chance in this respect. The fresh breeze which was blowing sent clouds of sand from the enclosure on to the track, the result being an unusual number of falls. None of those who collapsed, however, sustained any injuries. The high banking at the south end was responsible for the erratic riding of those of the competitors who have never previously ridden on such an up-to-date path.
The introduction of a new phase of cycle racing into Australia was occasioned by the exhibitions given by Mademoiselle Anthelmina Serpolette, a French cycliste of repute, who is visiting the colonies under engagement to the Gladiator Cycle Co. There being no dressing-rooms on the ground, the landlady of the Gresham Hotel adjoining kindly placed one at the disposal of the wheelwoman, who wore a neat red plush bloomer costume. It was noticeable that her appearance on the track was not the signal for the applause which is characteristic of the reception with which visiting champions in all classes of sport have been received upon their début before Australian crowds. Whether this was due merely to apathy or to a desire to express disapproval of the presence of women on the racing track is, of course, a matter of opinion. Apart, however, from that aspect of the question, there can be no doubt that Mademoiselle Serpolette possesses all the credentials of a cycling champion in Europe, and it can readily be believed that the coldness of her reception had a discouraging effect. Indeed, she confesses to having felt the indifference shown. This, added to the fact that she was undoubtedly seriously indisposed, and appeared only that she might keep faith with the public and the club, can no doubt be urged as an excuse for the slow time recorded by her in the half-mile exhibition which she gave behind pace, and the unsensational nature of her performance and her abandonment of her proposed attempt to lower records. Ken Lewis and C. Glasson paced her the distance on a tandem. She was also announced to appear on a Gladiator motor tricycle, but the steepness of the banking of the track rendered such an undertaking absolutely dangerous. A tandem ride in company with Ken Lewis over one mile was substituted. The machine used was a roadster obtained on the ground. Despite this and the fact that no toe-clips were attached, the time recorded was fairly good.
(NOTES BY "PEDAL."
Yesterday Mademoiselle Serpolette, with her Gladiator Motor Tricycle, rode from Osborne to the WEST AUSTRALIAN offices, St. George's-terrace, in 15min. 4sec., against a head wind. To-day it is her intention to start from the entrance to the Perth Park on Mount Eliza and ride to the entrance to Osborne in order to ascertain in what time the journey can be done on the machine.
An interesting exhibition may be seen in the window of Messrs. Splatt, Wall and Co., Hay-street, where the Gladiator Motor Tricycle is shown in company with an old ordinary bicycle. The revolution in the construction and utility of "ye velocipede" within only a few years is strikingly illustrated.
The French cycliste, Mdlle. Serpolette, who is at present in Western Australia, and who intends visiting the Eastern colonies in the interest of the Gladiator Cycle Co., for whom she is riding, has postponed her departure till next week.
An engagement is announced between Mr. F. P. Downing, barrister, of Perth, to Miss Ida Stone, daughter of Mr. Justice Stone. The wedding will take place on the return of Mr. and Mrs. Stone from Europe.
Hearing that Mdlle. Serpolette, the cycliste, was the happy possessor of some of the handsomest and newest of bicycle costumes, I called on her yesterday to see if I could get a view of these garments and, perchance, gather a few items of information about cycling generally, which might be of interest to some of my readers. Mdlle. Serpolette was very charming. We held quite an interesting conversation. Although Mdlle. Serpolette races in public and gives exhibitions of cycling, she does not in the least degree ape mannish manners, but is contented to be womanly and, what is more, ladylike. She is pretty and graceful, and I thought looked very nice indeed in the well-cut coat and skirt of grey cloth, with a vest and ruffles of pink muslin and cream guipure, which she was wearing when I called on her. Need I say that she is disgusted with the state of our streets, which she declares are totally unfit for cycling. On Saturday last she gave an exhibition of riding at Fremantle, and she spoke with evident annoyance of the remarks made on her dress, which was rational and the shape invariably worn in Paris. Knowing the aversion which English-speaking people have to a woman riding in knickerbockers, which sentiment she cannot in the least understand, she has, out of deference to their opinions, had several costumes made with divided skirts, and these I had much pleasure in inspecting. They are made by one of the best Parisian tailors, and are triumphs of the sartorial art. They are all, without exception, heavily braided, a mode of trimming which has displaced all other kinds of ornamentation for cycling costumes for the present in Paris. The divided skirt, when the wearer is walking, has every appearance of the skirt proper, and by the skilful buttoning of a panel both at the back and the front, the two divisions are made into one harmonious whole. The ends of the two divisions fall to the ankle, and to the bottom hem is fastened a loose silk lining which draws in and fastens tightly above the knees.
* * *
Mille. Serpolette contends, and with perfect truth, that this divided skirt is much better for the purpose than the one which the English women cling to with such pertinacity. She declares that Englishwomen are very easily shocked and that their sense of modesty forbids them adopting bifurcated garments, not seeing that the skirt displays much more of the leg, which it seems their ambition to hide, is absolutely dangerous by reason of its voluminous folds, and also is - that crime of all crimes in the eyes of a Frenchwoman - distinctly ungraceful. The five costumes I saw - all heavily braided - were a smoke blue, with the coat lined with blue silk revers, sleeves and back trimmed with black braid; a black serge similarly adorned; a brown serge with short coat reaching to the waist line and fastened with oblong horn buttons. The handsomest of all was, I think, a grey cloth costume, with the blouse ornamented with lines of black braid crossing and re-crossing each other, and made with a tabbed basque and pouched at the waist. The rational costumes, with their short knickers or culottes, in claret-coloured corded velvet and black cloth, distinctly became the slight figure and graceful carriage of the Parisienne.
* * *
Mdlle. Serpolette, in answer to my questions, said that hats in the shape known as Alpine or Tyrolese, simply ornamented with a quill or wing, wore mostly favoured by the fashionable ladies of Paris, and thick white gloves, drawn over the hands and fastened without buttons, were almost invariably worn. Mdlle. Serpolette leaves to-day for Adelaide, and from thence she proceeds to Melbourne, where she is under engagement to give some exhibition riding on her "Gladiator" bicycle. Her original intention of visiting Coolgardie has been abandoned. She says that she is not really very fond of bicycle riding, and the skirts which Australian ideas of modesty and the tracks which West Australian ideas of roads have forced upon her make it anything but a pleasant pastime in Perth. "What," I asked her, apropos to nothing, "do you think of the dressing of the ladies here?" "Shocking! Dreadful!! I am sorry to have to say," she answered. "In Paris ladies are wearing skirts very tight round the hips and with trains, and are very smart indeed when walking in the street; but here one sees nothing but skirts and blouses. So far as I can see there is very little attempt at dressing as we understand it in Paris, but there the aim and object of life is to get as much pleasure out of it as possible, while here -," and a shrug of the shoulders finished the sentence more graphically than any words. There is, however, every excuse for not wearing elaborate toilettes in Perth streets. Costumes that would excite no special notice in the fashionable quarters of Paris or London would be quite out of place for ordinary wear here, where, with our simpler social life, we reserve our best frocks for special occasions. Nor can it be expected that we should be quite so advanced as the Parisiennes in the matter of dress, but this I will say, speaking from personal experience, that when the occasion comes to don fine clothes you will see proportionately quite as many tastefully dressed women in Perth as in many very much larger and wealthier cities. The reception to the Governor of South Australia only yesterday is a case in point. Quite a number of exceedingly pretty costumes graced the occasion, and afforded proof of what I am always glad to assert, that one who has lived here for some time cannot fail to be struck with the increasing good taste in dress shown by the ladies of Perth.
NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Mademoiselle Serpolette will leave for the Eastern colonies on Tuesday next, the 10th inst.
The World of Wheels.
(BY "THE WANDERER.")
The poor exhibition given by Mademoiselle Serpolette at the North Fremantle meeting will not give Australians a great idea of the powers of the lady racing cyclists of the "naughty continong." Serpolette will want to ride about twenty times as fast if she wishes to lay any claim to the championship. There are a dozen girls, even in Perth, who could run over her.
* * *
There must be something seriously wrong with the performances attributed to the pretty little French maid, or she was lamentably out of form. It is stated that she was unwell, but at the time she appeared frisky enough. At present it does not appear as though cycle racing for ladies will catch on.
* * *
Yet there are a few lady riders who are aspirants for honours. One of the local agents has supplied a member of the fair sex with the diamond frame machine, and this damsel may be seen during the evenings scorching about the streets and on the Fremantle-road. She also has a spin on the track now and again. Joe Fontaine didn't turn her off either, even though she had not parted with the usual "'arf a quid"
* * *
Serpolette goes eastward on Tuesday, and will therefore be unable to accept the challenge thrown out by Miss or Mrs. Spicer. The latter says that she can cut out a mile in 2min. 20sec, which she contends is a bit ahead of the visitor.
* * *
No matter what her abilities may be, there can be no excuse for the cold manner in which she was received by the crowd. Most of the spectators gazed at her open mouthed in an ignorant sort of manner as though they had never seen or heard of a fair creature in bloomers before. Seeing that it was her first appearance in Australasia it is only reasonable to argue that if the spectators were up to the standard of Australian crowds she would have been given an encouraging cheer. The argument which has been put forward to the effect that the apathy was a direct expression of opinion that women cycle racing won't hold water. The average colonial is about the last to object to a fair one attired in any garments or in any position. In fact, the more scanty the apparel the better he likes her. The indifference shown was felt by Serpolette, and she rightly puts it down to the ignorance of the crowd.
NOTES AND CHAT.
The French racing cycliste who had been visiting Perth for the past fortnight departed for the Eastern colonies on Tuesday by the mail train. She intends riding at Adelaide on the 19th inst., and will then proceed to Sydney, remaining at Melbourne a few days en route. Upon her arrival at Sydney, Mademoiselle Serpolette will go into active training, with a view to giving exhibitions behind pace and establishing women's records for Australia. Monsieur Ullmo, the Australian representative of the Gladiator Cycle Company, in whose interests Mademoiselle Serpolette is visiting the colonies, also left for the East by the same train. He has appointed Messrs. Splatt, Wall and Co. as the local agents for the company, one of whose principal lines are the electric motor cars.
THE OVERLAND WHEELMEN.
ADELAIDE, May 10.
At midnight on Monday, May 9, J. H. Wright, the Perth cyclist, arrived at Adelaide from fhe western capital. He started on March 28 for the purpose of lowering Virgin's record to Brisbane. He set out with Denning, who was called back after reaching Coolgardie. Wright proceeded by himself, and was ahead of time at Ponton Station. Here he was attacked by diarrhoea, brought on by the use of impure water. A delay of a day occurred. Upon reaching Kennedy and McGill's Station the illness returned, and compelled him to lay up for a week at Eucla. He was splendidly cared for by the South Australian Telegraph officials at Nullarbor Station, where his weakness compelled him to stay three days. Manwarra was his next destination, but he missed the road in the sand and had to walk 16 miles. Wright refers in most eulogistic terms to the kindness of Mr. Gleeson, manager of the Manwarra Station, who could not do enough for the weary wheelman. At this point Wright is over a week behind the record.
Interest in the several attempts which are being made by several wheelmen to cross the continent on their machines is increasing. The announcement that F. A. White, a well-known rider, was to commence the long and tedious journey caused a great assemblage at the Post-office on Monday morning as the hour appointed for his departure drew near. White rode up from Fremantle, leaving the Port at 8:30 o'clock. He was met by a large crowd of his club mates and other wheeling enthusiasts, and, headed by Mademoiselle Serpolette on her electric tricycle, a parade through the streets was held. A halt was made at Jacoby's hotel, where, at the invitation of Monsieur Ullmo, the assemblage drank success to the departing wheelman in bumpers of Pol Roger champagne. Mr. Lou Wall proposed the toast of his health, and on behalf of wheelmen throughout Australia wished White success on his trip, to which the latter suitably responded. The health of Mademoiselle Serpolette was also honoured. When the assembled returned along St. George's terrace to the starting point the crowd which had congregated was an extremely large one. To the accompaniment of many encouraging cheers White set off on his long journey at about 10:30 o'clock. He was accompanied as far as Midland Junction by J Coultas, E. White, and J. R. Denning, and as far as Greenmount by Swain and Fredericks. Jones, a local rider, will go as far as Coolgardie with him, his intention being to secure the Perth to Coolgardie record.
White, who is riding in the interests of the Gladiator Cycle Co., intends following the same route as that traversed by Virgin, Snell, Richardson, James Bros., and others, who have succeeded in riding across the sand plains and lonely wastes which abound between the goldfields and South Australia. He will endeavour to lower Virgin's record from Perth to Brisbane, and will then go on to Rockhampton. He will return to Perth over the same course, his object being to secure a world's long-distance record, which is at present held by J. L. Jefferson, an English rider, who recently traversed Siberia.
On Monday we received the following telegram from White :-Arrived here (York) at 8 o'clock to-night, having been splendidly paced by Fredricks. Found the roads very bad. Feel well and am starting again in the morning. Fredricks is returning. Milage covered so far, 86.
On Wednesday we received from White the following telegram -
" Hines' Hill, May 11.
"Arrived here 8:30 this morning. Jones broke forks and saddle springs. The roads are loose and rough. Am doing well, and expect to reach Southern Cross to-night."
On Tuesday Mr. J. R. Denning, one of the wheelmen who recently attempted to cross the continent but failed, again set out on the journey to Brisbane via Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney. He left Fremantle at 9 a.m. and the city at 10:30 a.m. Previous to his departure from the Austral Cycle Agency, a large crowd assembled, and when Denning moved off he was accorded some encouraging cheers, which were renewed as he left the Post Office.
Denning was accompanied for a few miles by some of the metropolitan wheelmen. He will follow the same route as that previously taken by him. He is riding the same machine as on the previous occasions, but has now taken the necessary duplicate parts. He will endeavour to overtake White, who left on Monday.
The World of Wheels.
(BY "THE WANDERER.")
The departure of Mademoiselle Serpolette is viewed with satisfaction by those who profess to object to a "fair damsel in bloomers." The cyclists of Perth have been given au object lesson in the way of cycling dress, and also in the way of sitting on and using their machines. The French maid will ride at Adelaide on Wednesday or Saturday next, and after making a tour of the colonies, will return to Perth, and probably join the team of French racing cracks who are expected to arrive early in the spring. For once the Council of the League have welcomed a proposal which is likely to open up a new era in cycling in the colonies. When the co-operation of the League to the visit of the continental crack riders was sought the council to a man warmly supported it. If the Leagues of the other colonies support the promoters the visit of the team will be an accomplished fact, and they will make their first appearance in Australia on our track. Such teams have revolutionised cycling in America and other countries, and the promoters are to be congratulated on coming to the rescue of the sport in these climes, when it is undoubtedly seriously in need of some impetus.
A LADY RACING CYCLIST.
An interesting event in cycle history is the arrival of Mdlle Serpolette, a French lady cyclist of only 20 years of age, who has followed cycle racing for the last four years, and has earned a fair share of fame. The young visitor has a prepossessing appearance and a ladylike manner, and is bound to be popular. If no matches with others of her sex can be arranged, she will be content to give exhibitions, and with this object has brought out a motor-cycle driven by electricity. Negotiations are in progress for Mdlle. Serpolette to appear at the Ariel Cycling Club's meeting on May 30.
A LADY RACING CYCLIST.
Among the passengers by the R.M.S. Britannia, which cast anchor at Largs Bay on Monday evening after an exceedingly tempestuous voyage, were Mr. L. Ullmo, of Sydney, and Mddle. Serpolette, a famous lady cyclist from France, and none were more glad to get ashore than they. "Spokesman," of the Advertiser, met them on board ready to land, and during the trip in the launch and the run up to the city obtained some interesting particulars of Mademoiselle's cycling career and her intentions in Australia. The trip to the colonies was arranged by Mr. Ullmo, who brought Lesna out last year, and it is probable that next season he will also introduce some of the best attractions and novelties Australia has yet seen. If arrangements can be made with the leagues for Mdlle. Serpolette to appear and give exhibitions, the cycling meetings in all the colonies will be made very attractive, and her presence should assist the leagues to have a profitable year. For Mademoiselle, who is only 20 years of age, does not in any way answer to the popular idea of the French female cyclist. She is pretty and graceful, and has a charming ladylike manner. No one would think from her appearance that she has followed cycle-racing for four years, as she looks frail and delicate, and the last two days on the steamer has told severely on her. Yet she has defeated many noted cyclists, and has held her own with Jacquelin, one of the fastest sprinters in the world. She will rest for a week or fortnight at the South Australian Hotel, and will then go on to Sydney, which will be her head-quarters during the eight months she intends to remain here. After two months in Sydney she will re-visit Adelaide, and if possible arrange matches with any lady riders here, and give exhibitions behind pace or on her motor-cycle. The visit has been arranged chiefly on account of the Gladiator Cycle Company, in which Mr. Ullmo is interested, and Mdlle. Serpolette will ride that company's machine. She has brought two racing Gladiators with her - one a diamond frame and the other a dropped frame. In any engagements here she will use the lady's machine, and will ride in skirts. The motor-cycle, which is driven by electricity and which is quite new to Adelaide, will arrive next week by the Australian and will probably be used at the Ariel Cycling Club's sports on May 30 if arrangements can be made for Mademoiselle to appear. In the course of a conversation that was interrupted by the tossing of the launch and the roar of the train, Mdlle. Serpolette said that she began racing in 1895 at Aix, Avignon. At Christmas of that year she went to London, and for a month raced morning and night in matches in which 15 Englishwomen and ten Frenchwomen took part. Amongst the competitors were Mrs. Grace, Misses Land, Patterson, Marie Paule, Marcel Vautreux, Bearing, Henrietti Louisette, and Louise Roger. She rode in handicaps and scratch races and in tandem races with women. It was at that time at the Olympia track that she and Fournier defeated Mrs. Grace and Barden, the best mixed tandem pair of England. Then she went to Paris and achieved several successes, her best performance being the winning of the one kilometre championship for ladies in 1 min. 33 sec. The race was held under the auspices of the Artistic Club, and Mdlle. Serpolette won it with a very fast sprint. All the French champions, she says, are young. Bourillon, Morin, and Gongolty are each 20, Jacquelin 21, Pielti 19, and she herself is 20. The strain in racing has not affected her at all, it has improved her health, and she loves the pastime. She did not do much at an exhibition she gave in West Australia, as she was unwell, and she was much hurt at the treatment she received from the crowd. She has invented an improved cycle costume for ladies, and hopes to introduce some new Paris styles into Australia, having with that object brought a number of samples of skirts that may be used as they are or be altered into divided skirts. They are known as Gladiator Serpolette skirts, and have been patented.
As already announced, Mr. Ullmo has arranged with Tom Linton, Lesna, and Champion to come to Australia next season and they will land in the West on October 6. If satisfactory arrangements cannot be made with the leagues for their appearance Mr. Ullmo will promote paced matches between them on his own account. It is likely that Cordang, the celebrated Dutchman, who holds the record for 24 hours (616 miles) will also come out.
Arrangements have been made by the Ariel Cycling Club and Mr. L. Ullmo for Mdlle. Serpolotte, the French racing cyclist, to appear at the club's sports on May 30, subject to the league consenting to allow her to ride. By the reciprocity agreement arrived at in 1896 the South Australian, New South Wales, and Victorian leagues resolved not to countenance women's races, and it is therefore not intended that Mdlle. Serpolette shall race. She will simply give an exhibition of riding on a motor-cycle driven by electricity, and at the same time will show some beautiful French cycling costumes that she has brought out with her. The motor-cycle, which will be the first of its kind seen in Adelaide, can be driven at from 30 to 40 miles an hour, and Mademoiselle, on inspecting the Exhibition track yesterday, was satisfied that she could give a creditable exhibition on it. In Perth, where the league allowed an exhibition, it was found that the track was too steep to allow the machine, which is a three-wheeler, to be taken round at a high rate of speed.
ADELAIDE, May 18.
Mademoiselle Serpolette, the French lady cyclist, who arrived by the R.M.S. Britannia, will not be allowed to race here, or attempt records for the colony, but the League of S.A. Wheelmen will probably not object to her giving medium-paced exhibitions on the tracks.
Serpolette, the French cycliste tourist, intends to go for the one to five mile records, wearing a skirt and riding a dropped frame (says a Melbourne correspondent of the "Critic"). If she is good enough to take down men's records so much the better for the triumph of the skirt party, but most people think that once a woman becomes a track racer rational dress is not at all objectionable, and is indeed a necessity. Mrs. Powell, wife of the champion trick cyclist, it is said, will be asked to race Serpolette. Mrs. Powell rides a diamond frame, and wears a most ingenious divided skirt which would not shock the most antiquated anti-cyclist. When she rides through the city it is only an expert who can see that she is not wearing the orthodox skirt. If Serpolette keeps to her intention of riding a dropped frame, and matches herself against Mrs. Powell, the writer, though strictly a disbeliever in betting, is willing to risk a considerable fortune on the plucky little Melbourne cycliste, winner of the only woman's road race ever held here, and two century run badges.
Field Sports and Aquatics.
Mdlle. Serpolette is in Adelaide resting, after a tempestuous voyage from Albany. Some time this week she will come on to Sydney, which city will be her headquarters during her eight months' stay in Australia.
The seventy-ninth anniversary of the Queen's Birthday will be celebrated by a public holiday in South Australia to-day. It is not often that such a host of attractions is presented for the amusement of the public as is the case on this occasion. The Adelaide Racing Club will carry out the second day's programme of their Birthday Meeting at Victoria Park. The Ariel Bicycle Club have secured fine inter-colonial and local talent for their race meeting on the Jubilee Oval this afternoon. Mdlle. Serpolette and her motor cycle should add greatly to the attractiveness of the sports.
TO-DAY'S BICYCLE RACES.
The Ariel Cycling Club's race meeting to be held on the Exhibition Oval to-day will be the last of the season, and as an excellent programme, with one or two undoubted novelties, has been prepared, and as the prospects of fine weather are of the brightest, a fitting termination to what has been a successful racing season may confidently be predicted. The first appearance of a lady on the track in the person of Mdlle. Serpolette, the famous French racing cyclist, will no doubt be the chief attraction, but irrespective of this an excellent programme has been prepared, and the contests in the Ariel Wheel Race and the Five Miles Scratch should alone be well worth going to see. Mdlle. Serpolette had a trial run on her motor-tricycle on Saturday, and had but little difficulty in getting the machine round the turns at a high rate of speed. Including the six finals there are altogether 18 events on the programme, and the first will be run at 2 o'clock. Mdlle. Serpolette will not ride the motor-tricycle until 4.25 p.m., so that those who wish to see the Birthday Cup run at the Old Course may get back to the oval in time to see her ride, as well as witness most of the finals. The ten Victorian cyclists who have entered have all arrived.
NOTES AND COMMENTS.
THE SPORT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
SOME GOOD RACING.
Adelaide, May 30.
The Ariel Cycling Club sports which were held on the Exhibition Oval to-day, drew 5,000 spectators, and resulted in a large profit. The racing provided was exceptionally good. Body, Barker, Hunt, McDonand, Middleton and Jackson were particularly brilliant. In the final of the Mile Handicap five local riders fell, but none were seriously injured. Balderstone secured first place from Merkel and Dover. Body's riding was particularly brilliant in the May Handicap mile, which was won comfortably by Jackson, followed by W. McDonald chasing him home. Time, 2min. 7 1/2sec. The Half-mile Handicap was secured by McDonald from (35 yards) from Casey (70 yards) and Windsor (60 yards.) Time, 1min. 1 1/2sec. The Ariel Wheel Race was secured by Benbow, from 170 yards, with W. T. Carter (150 yards), and L. P. Hall (270 yards) placed as named. Time, 4min. 25sec. The Mile Scratch event was magnificently contested; a splendid finish between Barker, Jackson and J. C. Baker was fought out in the last three-quarters of a lap, and they finished as named. Body got blocked.
Mdlle. Serpolette appeared on the track on a single machine, and was well received. She came on later on a motor tricycle, but the engine jibbed.
THE ARIEL CLUB'S CYCLING RACES.
A SUCCESSFUL MEETING.
Coming quickly after the financial failure of the North Adelaide Club's race meeting, and but five weeks after a league meeting which resulted in a loss of over £50 the
announcement of the proposal of the Ariel Club to carry out a big wheel-race programme caused much surprise in cycling circles. Predictions of failure were numerous from the moment the programme was submitted to the league, but the committee and the members of the club spared no effort and were alive to every means of making the gathering a success, and the large crowd that filled the stands and encircled tbe Exhibition Oval on Monday is perhaps the best proof of how the meeting was worked up. The races were under the auspices of the league, but the officials of that body lent no assistance to those in charge of running the meeting, so that the Ariel Club have all the more reason to be proud of the result which will place a good bank balance to their credit. There were nearly 5,000 people on the ground, and as it was estimated that an attendance of 2,000 would pay expenses it will be seen that the meeting has lifted the club into the position of the wealthiest in Adelaide.
For a total amount of prize money of £89 the programme was an ideal one. It attracted several well-known riders from Victoria, and was so well arranged that the public were kept interested from start to finish. It was Mdlle. Serpolette, the famous French lady racing cyclist, however, that drew the crowd, and the club were fortunate in securing her for the meeting. Her exhibition on a motor-tricycle was looked forward to with the greatest interest and no one regrets more than she does that the public were disappointed. Owing to the use of unsuitable petroleum the motor could not be got to act, and though all that could be done was done, and fresh oil was obtained the exhibition did not take place. A most successful trial was given in the morning. A start was made on the grass, and when the motor was driving the heavy machine at a fair pace Mdlle. Serpolette turned it on to the track and took it round for a few laps at the rate of about 25 miles an hour. It was intended to give a much better exhibition in the afternoon, and it was hoped to get over five miles in less than 10 minutes, but the motor refused to do its share, and the attempt had reluctantly to be abandoned. When the tricycle was in the arena it was inspected with a good deal of interest, as it is well known that in Europe the motor-car aud the motor-cycle are revolutionising cycling. It has the appearance of an ordinary diamond frame tricycle with two or three boxes attached to the back axle and the top bar. The boxes contain a small electric battery, a supply of specially prepared petroleum, and the motor, which are controlled by two or three levers on the top bar. The machine is started by a few revolutions and then the power is supplied by a small motor operated by the petroleum. The ignition of the oil is caused by an electric spark and the whole operation is electrically controlled. The shaft of the motor is connected with a small pinion which engages a larger tooth-wheel on the back axle, and when this is in action the pedals are thrown out of work, and the rider has only to steer the machine and control the force that is driving it. The speed is regulated by a lever placed on the top bar, near the saddle, but brakes are also provided. There is an ordinary brake on the front wheel and a single band brake on the back axle, so strong that it can pull the machine up when going at full speed, which is said to be 40 miles an hour. There are also two levers on the top bar for controlling the admission of air to the motor or cylinder. The tyres are 2 in. in diameter and the total weight of the machine 1601b. M. Ullmo, who was instrumental in getting Mdlle. Serpolette to come to the colonies, has arranged that she shall give a free exhibition on the machine at the oval from half-past 12 till half-past 1 to-day. Mdlle. Serpolette intended to give an exhibition of riding on a single in a patent divided skirt, but she was refused admission to the track by the league secretary on the ground that the league had not given the club permission for the exhibition to be included in the programme. The referees were appealed to and did not object, but the secretary apparently on the authority of the racing board was obdurate. In deference to the league's wishes the visitor took a dropped-frame roadster, on which she could scarcely do justice to herself, and rode round for three or four laps amidst the cheers of the crowd.
Though many were disappointed at the French lady being unable to ride ample amends were made by the excellence of the racing. The presence of men like Body, Hunt, Middleton, Corbett, Barker, and others from Victoria in competition with our own men could not fail to make the events interesting, and some of the finishes were very exciting.
ARIEL CLUB'S RACE MEETING.
The Ariel Cycling Club conducted a successful day's racing at the Jubilee Oval on Monday. They presented a splendid programme, and the 5,000 people who patronised the proceedings witnessed first-class racing. With no wind to check the competitors, fast races were the order of the day.
Mdlle. Serpolette received a capital reception when she appeared on a single, and covered a couple of laps, accompanied by Courtney. Later on she came out to give an exhibition on the motor cycle, but the petroleum refused to work, and the machine would not go. The crowd took the disappointment good naturedly. The machine went splendidly on Saturday and on Monday morning. Another attempt will be made on the Jubilee Oval a 12.30 to-day, when the public will be admitted free.
ADELAIDE, Tuesday Afternoon.
Mdlle. Serpolette, the French lady cyclist, after the failure of the motor cycle at yesterday's sports, gave a free exhibition to-day. She first rode through the principal streets of the city, and afterwards went to the Jubilee Oval, where, in the presence of a large crowd, she gave an exhibition of the powers of the machine. Although the poor quality of the petroleum interfered with complete success, she appeared twice on the track and drove the cycle at about 20 miles an hour, which is about half the speed it is alleged to go.
EXHIBITION OF A MOTOR-CYCLE.
Mdlle. Serpolette, the French lady cyclist, was much surprised that there was no expression of feeling against her on Monday at the Exhibition Oval because her motor-tricycle failed to act and therefore prevented her from giving her promised exhibition of the machine. In Paris such a failure, she says, would have caused a disturbance, while the motor would probably have been broken up and the spectators would have demanded their money back. In order to keep faith with the public as far as possible a free exhibition was given on the oval on Tuesday. Just before noon the machine was taken through some of the principal streets, and in Wakefield-street it ran splendidly and bolted from some cyclists who intended to accompany the rider. A more moderate pace was set in King William and Rundle streets, and then two satisfactory exhibitions were given on the oval. In the first one Mdlle. Serpolette rode several laps at a good rate and half an hour later another short trial at about 20 miles an hour was made. There were hundreds of people present and mademoiselle was loudly cheered. The machine, although fairly satisfactory, does not yet run as it should, as the petroleum which has to be used is not as good nor as powerful as it should be. Mdlle. Serpolette left for Sydney by Tuesday afternoon's express, but it is probable that before she returns to France in eight months' time she will again visit Adelaide.
SPORTS AND PASTIMES.
LEAGUE OF WHEELMEN.
The monthly meeting of the council of the League of South Australian Wheelmen was held at the league rooms on Wednesday evening. Mr. R. Cruickshank presided over a large attendance of club delegates.
A long discussion took place on the report of the racing board in reference to the refusal of the secretary to allow Mdlle. Serpolette admission to the track to ride on the single at the Ariel club's sports. Mr. CLARK moved that the action of the secretary was ill-advised; in other words, that the secretary be censured. Mr. O'GRADY seconded the motion, and explained the circumstances of the case. The SECRETARY stated that the Ariel club had not permission for Mdlle. Serpolette to appear on a single, and on the authority of two out of the three members of the racing board he saw he refused her admission. He had previously informed the secretary of the sports that the exhibition would not be allowed, but notwithstanding that it was included in the programme. Mr E. PEARSON said the Ariel club had bluffed the league and had got the public on the ground by false pretences. He moved that in the opinion of the council the Ariel club was to blame. Mr. W. MATTHEWS seconded the amendment, and said the secretary was trying to uphold the sport. The CHAIRMAN said the referees did all they could under the circumstances, and at the same time the secretary only acted in accordance with the decision of the racing board. The position arose through the action of the Ariel club. Mr. Pearson's amendment was lost, and Mr. DYER moved an amendment that in view of the fact that the referee had full control of the meeting the secretary had exceeded his duty in stopping Mdlle. Serpolette. The secretary had taken too much on himself. Mr. BROWN seconded the amendment, which was lost on the casting vote of the chairman, and no resolution was come to.
The Motor Cycle. - Several hundred people assembled on the Exhibition Oval on Tuesday morning, and were rewarded with a more satisfactory trial of the motorcycle, under the guidance of Mdlle. Serpolette than took place on Monday. In the morning the machine was run fifteen miles by O'Grady, and, on returning to the Lewis works, was taken in hand by the lady. She rode it through the streets to the Oval, where she gave two exhibitions and was splendidly received. On returning from the Oval the petroleum struck again, and the machine was pushed back to its quarters. By the express in the afternoon Mdlle. Serpolette left for Melbourne accompanied by L. Ullmo, Body, Jackson, Middleton, and Barker. Hunt and McDonald propose to stay in Adelaide for a few weeks, and then proceed to Petersburg and Broken Hill.
The talk of the track is now centred on Mademoiselle Serpolette, the champion lady cyclist, who arrived in Melbourne this week. The Gladiator Company, the promoters of the tour, are desirous of arranging races for her, either handicap or scratch she will also give exhibitions behind Gladiator motor cycles. Mademoiselle is twenty years of age and her racing career dates from four years back when she won an amateur race at Aix les Bains.
ARRIVAL OF MADAME SERPOLETTE.
Madame Serpolette, the famous French bicycle rider, arrived in Sydney yesterday. She was seen by our cycling representative at the English and American Cycle Agency. Madame Serpolette does not speak English, but M. Ullmo acted as interpreter, and in answer to questions she said: "I have had a splendid trip out, and enjoyed it very much. I gave an exhibition in Fremantle, and then I came on to Adelaide, where I gave an exhibition on my motor cycle. I intend to stay six months in Sydney, and I am going to give exhibitions here on singles and also behind pace, and with a motor cycle. After that I shall go for a quarter-mile, half-mile, and one mile record. With regard to costume, I ride in skirts which differ slightly from those in ordinary use. I am going to tour all through the country, giving exhibitions wherever a cycle track will permit. I have brought two racing Gladiators. You see, I could not obtain a lady's racing machine out here, and I thought it was best to bring them with me. One is geared to 77, and the other to 92."
M. Ullmo said that he had made arrangements on behalf of the Gladiator Company for Champion and Lesna to visit Australia, and they would bring with them electric pacing machines. They would open in Perth on October 6, and go right through Western Australia. At Adelaide they would appear on November 9 for a three days' meeting, and then come on to Sydney.
Madame Serpolotte's racing wheels are being shown in the window of the English and American Cycle Agency.
NOTES AND CHAT.
One would have thought that electric pacing would be far cheaper than manned multicycles, although it is only in its infancy. Riders in France who are desirous of using electric pacing for record breaking have to pay on a sliding scale, according to the distance. A 50 miles record attempt costs the rider £36. At this rate a pacing machine should quickly pay for itself.
Lady cycle displays or record attempts have never "caught on" at home, and we doubt if they will prove any more successful in the colonies. A lady tastefully and suitably dressed, on a properly adjusted machine, is a picture that tends to elevate and improve the tone of cycling. But how different is the effect of a lady (?) cyclist tearing round in an undignified manner, either in competition races or in pace following! Mlle. Serpolette, a cycliste of European and English fame, is now in Adelaide, where she gave exhibitions of riding in a becoming divided skirt at the Ariel Race Meeting the other Saturday. This lady is, we believe, charming, and capable of shifting her machine to a lively tune; but with all due respect to Mademoiselle we think the "game" un-ladylike. The morbid curiosity attracted by these exhibitions is one not likely to influence the pastime for its good.
Mdlle. Serpolette is evidently making the Australian tour more as an advertiser of a certain brand of cycles and cycle dress than a racer. She looks too fragile for racing, but her costumes are charming, and every brute of a man longs to put his arms around her delicate Parisian waist after being victimised by those graceful costumes and a glance from those dark eyes!
will give an Exhibition on the
GLADIATOR MOTOR CYCLE
SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND
SATURDAY, JUNE 25th.
The Gladiator Motor Cycles are now on View at the
ENGLISH and AMERICAN CYCLE AGENCY
(Gavin Gibson and Co., Limited),
Bicycles for Hire by day, week, or month.
NOTES BY "FALCON."
A NOTED FRENCH CYCLISTE.
The cycling craze in Australia is now on its last wheels, and not even the advent of the charming French rider, Mdlle. Serpolette, can serve to restore it. Two years ago meetings, at which large money prizes were given, were held in Sydney regularly; to-day the League has ceased to excite interest - another evidence of how fleeting is popular favour even where most pronounced. Still Mdlle. expects to do good business, and for this purpose has secured as her manager M. Lucien Ullmo, who was in Sydney with Lesna a little more than a year ago, and who is now preparing for the first public display. This, the fair rider intends making in skirts, divided skirts, on a diamond frame, the first for her own benefit - her patent - the second for a firm's - their patent. At first she thought of riding in "abbreviations," but there was "a word in her ear," and as a result she apologises to the reporter who can speak French in something of the following - "Ah, you English, you are so peculiar, so proper, I hardly like." Mdlle. Serpolette is pretty of face and petite of figure, and is not yet 20 years of age.
Mdlle. Serpolette made a successful trial with the Gladiator motor cycles at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday afternoon. Although Mdlle. Serpolette did not get the machine out it averaged 2 minutes 6 seconds to the mile.
Football, cycling, dancing and skating are fast coming in, and all the distaste the scorching summer brought with it for active exercise seems to be as fast going out. A glorious season is anticipated by sport lovers, but it is just possible that the rain predicted and expected to fall in quantities as phenomenal as the power of the sun so short a time ago, will damp it down, and make it probable that skating may regain some of its long-lost popularity here. In this country it must be pursued on prepared floors, which means also it must be under cover. So if the winter turns not to be all that is anticipated, there will be a revival of this almost dropped pastime on the part of a good many of the pleasure loving public, though not, perhaps, on that of those yclept "the best people" in a social sense. Footballers seem just as happy in the mud and rain as they are out of it, and evidently a great deal is needed to damp the public desire to see it, but cyclists will be in sad case if Boreas and Jupiter Pluvius decide to spoil their fun by spoiling tracks instead of making them. The aerial cycle has not yet made it easy for them to hover like Mahomet's coffin 'twixt earth and heaven, and what will the poor cyclists do if the weather fates are not propitious. Life without record breaking and century runs will not be worth living, and the prospect of the only certain scorching they could look forward to in such case is not o'er tempting to cyclists or any others. Writing of cycling reminds, that in Adelaide the cycling sensation of the hour is the appearance of Mddle. Serpolette, the French cycliste, who has many victories to her credit, and whose cycling costumes are to revolutionise ideas on this point. It is not a captivating idea, that of woman entering the cycle racing sphere, but there is comfort in feeling that it is not likely to be a popular one in the colonies. There was difficulty in getting permission to ride at all in Adelaide, there will more difficulty still in getting permission from the leagues, and it is to be hoped that the racing cycliste will never gain a footing here. Many of our girls seem to have already almost lost their heads over the bicycle, should the racing notion ever get into what is left of them, cycling may prove a curse, instead of what, in moderation, might be made a benefit.
Mademoiselle Serpolette, the champion French racing female, will make her first public appearance this afternoon on the Sydney Cricket Ground. The times advertised for her appearance are 2.30 p.m. and 3.45 p.m. She is to give an exhibition ride on a motor cycle, which is capable of doing 25 miles an hour without going at top speed. Mademoiselle Serpolette gave an exhibition in Western Australia on a motor cycle prior to coming to Sydney.
A Famous Lady Cyclist.
(See illustration on this page.)
Mlle. Serpolette is not a brawny, angular person of uncertain age and abnormal muscular development, who speaks learnedly of sprockets, gears, and the like. She is a bright little lady barely out of her teens; her graceful, girlish figure, and handsome, smiling face, rudely upset one's preconceived notions of the cycling woman who exults in pace and the excitement of track racing. "Serpolette," as her friends call her, knows no English beyond a few stock sentences, but in her own tongue is a charming conversationalist. In our illustration Serpolette is shown on her Gladiator motor tricycle, propelled by benzoline and electricity. The manning of this machine demands considerable skill and presence of mind; it is not merely a question of sitting up and holding the handles. This (Saturday) afternoon the first public exhibition of the tricycle in New South Wales will be given at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Of course it was on the bicycle that Serpolette courted and won fame. She has raced in England and many parts of Europe with unvarying success during the past three years. Her stay in Australia will extend over some eight months, during which time she will ride for records, and give exhibitions on both the Gladiator bicycle and tricycle. As a concession to the national sense of modesty, Serpolette will discard bloomers, and wear her patent divided skirt, already the despair of many Australian wheel-women.
NEW SOUTH WALES.
(By Telegraph from Our Correspondent.)
SYDNEY, JUNE 26.
LADY CYCLIST INJURED.
Mdlle. Serpolette, the French lady cyclist, was thrown from her motor cycle in the Centennial Park to-day and was badly cut about the face. The accident resulted from a bicyclist coming into collision with the motor.
NEW SOUTH WALES.
MDLLE. SERPOLETTE INJURED.
Sydney. June 26.
In the Centennial Park this afternoon Mdlle. Serpolette, the French lady cyclist, was riding a motor cycle, when a cyclist "scorcher" ran into the machine. The result was Mdlle. was thrown and was so badly cut about the face and head that she was removed to the hospital. The cyclist who caused the trouble was also badly damaged.
Mishap to Mdlle. Serpolette.
Mdlle. Serpolette, the French lady cyclist, was riding her motor cycle in the Centennial Park yesterday, when another cyclist, curious to observe the workings of the motor, collided. Mdlle. Serpolette was thrown, and was severely shaken. She sustained several abrasions, was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital.
MDLLE. SERPOLETTE AND HER MOTOR-CYCLE.
So much has been written and said of Mdlle. Serpolette and her motor-cycle that it was only natural that a large number of people would attend the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon to witness the first exhibition of the famous French rider and her Gladiator motor-cycle. The rapid progress and the popularity which the bicycle has gained for itself throughout the entire world seems to have paved the way for the advent of motor-cycles and motor-cars, Paris is undoubtedly the home of the motor-cycle.
In the famous city and its surroundings these engine-driven machines are very popular. In the recent Paris-Bordeaux race, particulars of which are just to hand, motor-cycles of various descriptions were used for pacing the men. Revierre, the winner, was paced by Funier on one of these machines, and an amusing incident is given where Funier, being so overjoyed at Revierre's success, jumped off his machine to congratulate the winner without first stopping the engine. The result was that the machine careered on its way without a rider. A great rush was made after it, and fortunately it was captured before any destruction took place. Mdlle. Serpolette on Saturday showed that she is well accustomed to handle her motor-cycle. She was dressed in the first part of the afternoon in a dress of her own design, more after the fashion of what is known as divided skirts, and it is undoubtedly a far better dress than that which our lady cyclists generally adopt, and quite as becoming. Later in the afternoon Mdlle. Serpolette appeared in bloomers with high-legged boots, the tops of which were under the bottom of the bloomers, and she by no means looked unbecoming. She appeared twice during the afternoon, and did about five miles each time at the rate of about 50 seconds to the lap, which is about 550 yards round. She preferred to use the high banking of the track, and rode on the extreme outside edge. Greater interest would have been given to the proceedings had a pursuit race or something of this sort been arranged. Mdlle. Serpolette was well applauded for her exhibition, and although she does not understand a word of English seemed pleased with her reception. The cars used were of French manufacture, and known as the Gladiator. Under the crossbar of the diamond frame is an electric chamber, and along the top bar are three small handles, one regulating the speed and the others the air and oil. Under the seat is the reservoir, which contain the oil, and which will hold about two quarts. This is sufficient to drive it 80 miles. The grip of the handle-bar revolves so far as to complete the electric circuit which provides the spark for combustion in the cylinders, from which the motive power is gained. When the circuit is disconnected there cannot possibly be a combustion, and consequently the machine cannot move. So that there is no fear of the machine at any time running away or getting beyond the control of the rider. It is simply a matter of the rider being able to steer a tricycle and nothing more. The machines which were used on Saturday weigh about 168lb., and will run on a good road 22 miles per hour, though some of them will run as high as 30.
"THE SCORCHER" AGAIN.
MADAME SERPOLETTE INJURED.
(From Our Own Correspondent.)
SYDNEY. June 26.
On the Centennial Park this afternoon Madame Serpolette was riding a motor cycle, when a "scorcher" ran into the machine. Madame Serpolette was thrown, receiving a cut face and head. She was removed to the hospital. The "scorcher" was also badly damaged.
Field Sports and Aquatics.
Mlle. Serpolette made her first public appearance at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon. Wearing a well-cut Parisian costume, with a divided skirt, she rode a motor tricycle around the enclosure for some miles, but did not bestride her bicycle. The exhibition soon grew monotonous and uninteresting, as the motor cycle did not attain a greater speed than 16 miles per hour. Each of these machines weighs 1681b, and the cost is £100. The driving power is generated by the combustion of naptha. On Sunday Mlle. Serpolette was riding her motor-cycle round Centennial Park, followed, and, indeed, surrounded by cyclists, when a clumsy rider bore in too far, and collided with the motor. Mlle. Serpolette was thrown heavily on the gravel path, and her face was badly bruised. She was driven away in a cab to St.Vincent's Hospital, where her wounds were dressed.
MOTOR CYCLE TRIAL.
An Exhibition in Sydney.
The motor cycle was on public view at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday last, and the trials of the machine that were made by Mdlle. Serpolette were watched with interest by those present, for people have made up their minds that, for better or worse, this new aid to locomotion is to stay. That it had advanced beyond the experimental stage was evident from the fact of the London Post Office authorities recently deciding to employ motor cars in connection with the parcels post service, and the passing of a special set of bylaws regulating the speed of such vehicles on English roads. Further, it will be remembered that in December last the London cabmen were sufficiently alarmed to make an outcry against their appearance in the streets. The latest we hear is that a cabman who is going to drive a motor cycle or motor car has to submit to a somewhat severe examination at Scotland Yard, and in Paris the amateur has to undergo the same test as a professional driver. The other day in Paris the Duchesse d'Uzes, presenting herself as a candidate for a license, did not gain a certificate until she had shown over a distance of about 25 miles of street and boulevard her complete mastery of the vehicle. At presont oil is the predominating motive-power; but carriages driven both by steam and electricity are in use. The electric cabs now to be seen in London streets are admitted to be a success, being clean, comfortable, and fast. The machine used on the Sydney Cricket Ground is said to be capable of travelling along good roads at the rate of over 20 miles an hour; and, if this is true, it is obvious that great care must be necessary in the driving.
At latest accounts Mdlle. Serpolette was still suffering severely from the injuries she sustained last Sunday week. In addition to the cuts on the face and head, she is suffering from shock, and it is feared that one of her eyes will be affected.
The cycling bodies of Australia appear to have combined in disapproval of the appearance on the racing track of the pretty little French cycliste, Madame Serpolette. The Secretary of the League of New Zealand Wheelmen has received the following interesting letter on the subject from Mr B. Garnet, secretary to the Federated Australian Leagues:- Dear Sir, - The various Leagues being under agreement not to countenance women's races (see clause 10 of reciprocity agreement), I beg to notify you that it will be considered a breach of the agreement should countenance be given to the appearance on the track of the French lady cyclist, Madame Serpolette, who is now visiting these colonies. There is no objection to her appearing in ordinary garb of a female on the track so long as it is not in the guise of a racing cycliste, but anything in the semblance of racing is prohibited. All the Australian Leagues are acting in consonance with each other in this matter, and no doubt your League will also act "similairly."
NEW SOUTH WALES.
SYDNEY, August 18.
As a warning to scorchers, Edward Harrison was fined £2 for riding in the Centennial-park at a pace dangerous to the public. It transpired during the evidence that accused was the "scorcher" who brought Mdlle. Serpolette to grief in the park some weeks back.
Serpolette has packed up her bloomers and left these shores, unwept, unhonored , and unsung.
By Nulla Nulla.
Wonder what has become of the French female scorcher Mdme. Serpolette? Nothing is now heard of her. Unless private meetings are run independent of the leagues by M. Ullmo, the young lady's manager, with the assistance of Lesna and the other probable French visitors, her trip will be a failure. The leagues have wisely prohibited women's races, and the fair French cycliste has not been able to arrange any private matches with riders of her own sex.
Ancêtres de l'Automobile ; première voiture construite par Gotlieb Daimler ; première tri à vapeur, Angleterre, 1881 ; tri à vapeur De Dion et Bouton, 1885 ; première bicyclette à pétrole, 1885;
On the part of the appellant, Mr. Bateman, an engineer and machinist, was called as a witness. He described the machine as being like an ordinary tricycle, and capable of propulsion in the ordinary way by the feet of the rider, but with auxiliary steam power to assist the rider, which steam power was, however, sufficiently powerful to move the vehicle if desired without the foot motion. In a metal case (size about two feet by two feet by nine inches) placed below the level of the seat and near the feet of the rider is a small copper tubular boiler and an engine.
THE LAW JOURNAL REPORTS
FOR The Year 1881.
CASES RELATING TO THE POOR LAW, THE CRIMINAL LAW, AND OTHER SUBJECTS CHIEFLY CONNECTED WITH The Duties and Office of Magistrates, PRINCIPALLY DECIDED IN THE QUEEN'S BENCH, COMMON PLEAS, AND EXCHEQUER DIVISIONS, AND IN THE COURT FOR CROWN CASES RESERVED, MICHAELMAS SITTINGS, 1880, TO TRINITY SITTINGS, 1881, BOTH INCLUSIVE.
REPORTED In The Court for Crown Cases Reserved,
By WALTER HENRY MACNAMARA, Esq.,
In the Queen'S Bench Division,
By J. H. ETHERINGTON SMITH, Esq., and RICHARD HOLMDEN AMPHLETT, Esq., Barristers-at-law.
in the Common Pleas Division,
By WILLIAM PATERSON, Esq., and GILBERT GEORGE KENNEDY, Esq.,
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SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE.
CASES RELATING TO THE POOR LAW, THE CRIMINAL LAW, AND OTHER SUBJECTS
CHIEFLY CONNECTED WITH The Duties and Office of Magistrates.
LAW JOURNAL REPORTS, VOL. L.
MICHAELMAS, 1880, To MICHAELMAS, 1881.
[IN THE QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION.]
1881 June 20. July 4. PARKYNS (appellant) v. PREIST (respondent).
Locomotive - Tricycle - Highway, Locomotive on - The Locomotive Act, 1861 (24 & 25 Vict. c. 70), s. 12 - The Locomotives Act, 1865 (28 & 29 Vict. c. 83), ss. 3, 4, 7 - The Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act, 1878 (41 & 42 Vict. c. 77), ss. 28, 29, 38.
A motor tricycle was capable of being propelled by steam alone at the rate of ten miles an hour, but when so propelled there was no noise or escape of steam, and nothing which could frighten horses or cause danger to the public using the highway beyond any ordinary tricycle. The weight teas 2 cwt., and the wheels having indiarubber tires would not injure the surface of the road.
The person riding on the tricycle could work it by his feet, either independently of, or in conjunction with the application of the steam power, and by an automatic brake the machine could be stopped in a very few yards.
On a summons against the rider for non-compliance with the rules and regulations for the use of locomotives on highways prescribed by the Locomotive Acts, 1861, 1865 and 1878, the magistrate convicted the appellant.
On appeal it was, -
Held, that the conviction was right, as the tricycle was a locomotive within the definition in section 38 of the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Act, 1878 (41 & 42 Vict. c. 77).
This was a Case stated by a Metropolitan police magistrate on his conviction of the appellant on summonses charging him with using a certain locomotive propelled by steam, without observing the conditions prescribed by section 3 of 28 & 29 Vict. c. 83, and section 29 of 41 & 42 Vict. c. 77.
The case and facts are fully stated in the judgment.
J. W. Mellor (Channell with him), for the appellant. - This tricycle is not within the mischief of the statutes, and clearly was not contemplated by them.
They were directed to traction engines, heavy machines, and it will be seen that the separate provisions are wholly inapplicable to such a case as this. The decisions in Taylor v. Goodwin (1) and Williams v. Ellis (2) show that regard will be had to the sort of vehicle contemplated by Acts of Parliament creating penalties or imposing tolls.
Leese, contra, was not called on to argue.
Cur. adv. vult.
The judgment of the Court (3), written by Pollock, B., was (on July 4) read by
Lord Coleridge, C.J. - This is an appeal against the conviction of the appellant by a Metropolitan police magistrate under five summonses, whereby the appellant was charged with using a certain locomotive propelled by steam, being a motor tricycle, upon a public highway, without observing the conditions prescribed by section 3 of the Locomotives Act, 1865 (28 & 29 Vict. c. 83), and section 29 of the Amending Act of 1878 (41 & 42 Vict. c. 77), and by other enactments.
It was admitted before the magistrate and before us, that those conditions had not been observed; and the only question raised for our opinion is, whether the machine in question was rightly held by the magistrates to be a locomotive within the meaning of these sections. The first of these provides that "every locomotive propelled by steam or any other than animal power, on any turnpike road or public highway, shall be worked" according to certain rules and regulations thereinafter contained. Section 29 of the second Act repeals a portion of section 3 of the first Act, and substitutes another regulation to be observed while the locomotive is in motion; but by section 38 the word "locomotive" is again defined as meaning "any locomotive propelled by steam or by other than animal power." The tricycle in question is described in paragraph 8 of the case before us, wherein the evidence of the respondent is set out. He says that he "saw propelled on the public highway, at the rate of about five miles a hour, a tricycle, on which was sitting a man working treadles with his feet, in the manner in which tricycles are usually propelled. He noticed some metal boxes under the seat of the vehicle, but when the vehicle passed him he saw no sign of steam and heard no noise. The metal cases contained a small steam-engine and boiler, and a condensing apparatus, and he saw that the steam was up for the occasion."
On the part of the appellant, Mr. Bateman, an engineer and machinist, was called as a witness. He described the machine as being like an ordinary tricycle, and capable of propulsion in the ordinary way by the feet of the rider, but with auxiliary steam power to assist the rider, which steam power was, however, sufficiently powerful to move the vehicle, if desired, without the foot motion. In a metal case (size about two feet by two feet by nine inches), placed below the level of the seat, and near the feet of the rider is a small copper tubular boiler and an engine. The fuel used is gas evolved from methylated spirit or mineral oil, in the same manner as in the contrivance known as the Whitechapel lamp. There is, therefore, no smoke, and the exhaust steam instead of being blown off into the atmosphere, producing the puffing noise common to locomotives, is discharged into a coiled pipe in another metal case behind the rider's seat, and is there condensed and returned by a small pump to the boiler as hot water, thus at once economising water and fuel, and preventing escape of steam into the atmosphere. The power of the engine was about one horse power indicated, and it was capable of driving the vehicle on a level road at a rate of nearly ten miles an hour, but not more. When the vehicle was so driven there was nothing to indicate that it was being worked by steam power, and nothing which could frighten horses or cause danger to the public using the highway beyond any ordinary tricycle. The weight of the machine was proved to be about 2 cwt., and the tires of the wheels about 1 1/2 inches in width, being similar to bicycle wheels, but somewhat stouter and stronger. The tires being of indiarubber, no injury could be done to the surface of the road by working the machine on it.
It was further proved that the machine was fitted with a brake, sufficiently powerful to stop the machine in a very few yards against the power of the steam even if it continued working. This was effected by the brake having a powerful leverage, so that a force far less than the force of the steam applied to the brake would nevertheless stop the machine. The brake is also fitted with an automatic action, by which when the weight of the rider is off the seat the seat rises, and thereby applies the brake, so that when there is no person sitting on the seat the brake is applied and prevents the machine moving. The machine is guided by a handle, and can be turned completely round in twice its own length. The boiler is tested to bear a pressure of 700 lbs., and it is habitually worked with a pressure of about 150 lbs. Even if the boiler did burst, being tubular and of copper, the only result would be a rent in one of the tubes, and there would be no explosion.
In answer to questions put to him on behalf of the appellant, Mr. Bateman explained that the principle of the invention was capable of extension to larger carriages, but that the use of indiarubber tires practically limited the weight to something not greatly exceeding the weight of this particular machine, and also that the fuel used could not be used economically to obtain very much greater power than was obtained.
It is scarcely necessary to do more than to read this description in order to shew that the tricycle in question comes within the words of the above statutes, as being "a locomotive propelled by steam, or any other than animal power." It cannot be less within this description because it is capable of propulsion in the ordinary way by the foot of the rider, it being expressly found in the case that the steam power was sufficiently powerful to move it, if desired, without the foot motion. It was argued, however, on behalf of the appellant, that such a machine could not have been within the contemplation of the framers of the statutes in question, which apparently were intended to be directed against the use of locomotives larger in size and heavier in weight, and therefore more dangerous to persons using the public highway, than the locomotive in question. It is probable that the statutes in question were not pointed against the specific form of locomotive which is described in this case. Indeed, such a locomotive was not known when they were passed, and probably not contemplated. As, however, it comes within the very words of the statute, it seems to us that we cannot, upon any true ground of construction, exclude it from their operation; and it may be observed that even if the fullest scope be given to this argument, Mr. Bateman's explanation that the principle of the invention was capable of extension to larger carriages would shew that a locomotive similar in construction and principle to that which is the subject-matter of this case might, by reason of its size and power, become much more dangerous; and if this be so, the question to be considered in each case would not be whether the locomotive in question properly came within the language of the statutes, but whether, by reason of the size or weight of the particular machine, it came within the mischief supposed to be contemplated, which shews that such an argument is vicious.
Two cases were cited by counsel for the appellant; but in truth they have no bearing upon the present case. The first was that of Taylor v. Goodwin (1), in which it was held by this Court that a person riding upon a bicycle on a highway at such a pace as to endanger the life or limb of passengers may be convicted of furiously driving a carriage under the provisions of the Highway Act (5 & 6 Will. 4. c. 50), s. 78. The argument in that case turned wholly upon the meaning of the word "carriage" in that Act, and it gives us no assistance. The second case was that of Williams v. Ellis (2). In this case, where a local turnpike Act imposed a toll upon any horse, mule or other beast drawing any coach, sociable, chariot, berlin, &c, it was held that a bicycle was not a carriage liable to toll under the Act. This case was decided upon the ground that the carriages referred to in the statute must be carriages ejusdem generis with the carriages previously specified. This does not appear to us to have any material bearing upon the question now before us. We think that the decision of the magistrate was correct, and that the conviction should stand, with costs.
Solicitors—Milne, Riddle & Mellor, for appellant Gregory, Rowcliffes & Co., for respondent.
(1) 48 Law J.Rep.M.C. 104; Law Rep. 4 Q.B. D.228.
(2) 49 Law J.Rep.M.C. 47; Law Rep. 5 Q.B. D.175.
(3) Lord Coleridge, C.J.; Pollock, B.; and Manisty, J.
If Napoleon Had Known The Bicycle
I do not speak of railways; if he could use it, Napoleon would be still on the throne ... But had he known only the bicycle or petrol tricycle!
Take the Russian campaign: following the passage of the Niemen, Davout could reach Kutusoff.
Or, arriving at Wilna, Napoleon was taking his bike or tricycle ...
He joined Alexander ... he spoke to him and very probably concluded an alliance with Russia.
In any case, the army arrived in Moscow in late July...
He could have left on August 15... no retreat, no Beresina...
In any case, the horses had served as food to the men, and we returned by sleigh cars, or cars, without difficulty.
And at Waterloo! ... Napoleon dispatched Marbot by bicycle and ordered: "Tell Grouchy to hurry up!"
Lastly, at Waterloo, the Emperor could slip into any port and had the time to embark for America!
Drawings by Henriot.
VELOCIPÉDIE AND AUTOMOTIVE
A cycling festival on ice. - A grand cyclists celebration will be given Saturday evening December 17th at the Palais de Glace. Not will change on the ice will be bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, after a short skate.
Here is the schedule for this gala evening at which many celebrities cyclists positions graciously lend their support.
At 10 am: Grand Carousel bicycle, set by A. Fossier.
Team A. - Jacquelin, A. Fossier, Dumester, Tournié, Gaston.
Team B. - Champion, H. Fossier, Balajat, Pelissier, Williams. Mr. Clergial, team manager, will lead the carousel.
And then for the first time on an ice track will be played in a polo tricycle, set by Jacquelin and Champion.
Team A. - Jacquelin, A. Fossier, Demester.
Team B. - Champion, H. Fossier, Balajat. Captain of the Game: Mr. Clergial.
After a polo match there will be a race between a motorcycle and Jacquelin Champion. Distance: 600 meters. - Starter: Bourrillon, Prize: A vase by Sevres.
The game will be followed by a parade of decorated voiturettes, driven by: Jacquelin, Champion, A. Fossier, Balajat, H. Fossier and Demester.
A prize will be awarded to the prettiest dress of the ladies who take part in the parade.
The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum is the largest privately-owned viewable collection of United States Patent Models in the world. Containing nearly 4,000 patent models and related documents, the collection spans America's Industrial Revolution.
The patent models journey began shortly after the birth of the United States. The Patent Act of 1790 required that anyone applying to the U.S. Patent Office for a patent, submit a model of the their invention. Over 200,000 models were submitted during the subsequent 90 years, but after two fires and a growing lack of space, the model requirement was abolished in 1880.
Congress permitted the Smithsonian Institution to select some models, but the bulk was sold at auction in 1925. The winning bidder was Sir Henry Wellcome, founder of Wellcome Pharmaceutical Company (now known as Glaxo Smith Kline). After Wellcome's death, the collection was broken up and thousands of models were sold off by a succession of private owners.
Alan Rothschild acquired the remainder of the original collection in the 1990s from aerospace engineer, Cliff Petersen, and established the Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum in 1998. Since then, Mr. Rothschild has added to the Museum with purchases of smaller patent model collections from around the United States, including the purchase of all 82 models in Carolyn Pollan's Patent Model Museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Charles J. B. Gaume, Davenport, Iowa
Improvement in Electro-magnetic Engines. Patent 63380 April 2, 1867.
Charles J. B. Gaume, New York, NY
Improvement in Electro-magnetic Engine. Patent 87835 March 16, 1869.
Electricity Utilised. - At the last exhibition of the American Institute, there was seen an elliptic lock-stitch sewing-machine, driven by a small electric engine, which might easily be put into a common hat-box. A series of eight magnets are set on the periphery of a circle, and around these revolves an armature of steel, which is continuously propelled by the magnetic action, and thus operates the machinery that moves the needle. The current may be cut off entirely, or the speed of the needle graduated as may be desired. The inventor is one Charles Gaume.
2618. F. A. Palmer, of New York. (A communication from C. Gaume, of New York, U. S. A.) An Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Engines. Dated August 2, 1873. - The feature of novelty of this invention consists chiefly of an improved construction of the armatures whereby "pull back" or retardation is obviated. The armatures consists of a central bar attached at its centre to the face of the wheel and having cross-heads formed upon them about midway between its centres and ends, the said crossheads having short bars formed upon their ends parallel with the central bar, and the ends of which project to equal distances upon the outer and inner sides of the said crossheads. The aforesaid wheel revolves in bearings in the frame of the engine, and the said armatures are operated in connection with horse-shoe magnets having coils connecting with a battery and with suitable appliances for successively closing and breaking the circuit.
Louis Bastet, of Tarrytown, and Charles J.B.Gaume, of Brooklyn, NY
Improvement in Electro-Magnet Engines. Patent 155062 September 15, 1874.
Charles J. B. Gaume, Brooklyn, NY
Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Motors. Patent 156920 November 17, 1874.
Charles J. B. Gaume, Williamsburg, NY
Improvement in Electric Motors. Patent 163924 June 1, 1875.
Charles J. B. Gaume, Brooklyn, NY
Improvement in Electro-Magnetic Engines. Patent 211985 February 4, 1879.
The Commissioners of Patents Journal.
May 20, 1881.
United States of America.
Titles of Patents Granted 3rd May, 1881.
240,994. Charles J. B. Gaume, of Brooklyn, N.Y., for "A gas-engine." - Application filed 19th January, 1881. - No model.
Recent American and Foreign Inventions.
An Improvement in Gas Engines has been patented by Mr. Charles J. B. Gaume, of Brooklyn, N. Y. The object of this invention is to simplify the construction of gas engines, and to utilise the power produced by the explosion of the mixture of gas and air to greater advantage.
Mr. C. J. B. Gaume, of Brooklyn, N. Y., has received letters patent on an improvement in fishing tackle, which consists of a rod with a bell on the tip, which rings when a fish by a nibble causes the slightest tension of the line. There is also a spring attachment so contrived that when the fish takes a firm hold a lever is pulled, which relieves the spring to which the line is attached, thus automatically jerking the hook into the fish's mouth.
Annual Report of The Commissioner of Patents
For the Year 1884
Alphabetical list of patentees
Gaume, Charles J.B., Brooklyn, assignor to Continental Gas Engine Company, New York, N.Y. Gas Engine
Patent 302,478 July 22, 1884.
Mr. C. J. B. Gaume, of Brooklyn, N. Y.
Motor for operating swinging devices. Patent 404613 June 4, 1889.
On April 2, 1867, Chas. J. B. Gaume, of Iowa, patented an electro-magnetic engine of which a side elevation in Fig. 34, and a plan view in Fig. 35 are shown. In the Gaume construction a series of electro-magnets were placed on the periphery of a wheel, and journaled to the same axis was another wheel revolving between the adjacent magnets, carrying a series of armature plates attracted successively. The battery wires were so connected through the motor that a reserve power might be attached or detached by the motion of a governor upon the engine, the speed of which determined the battery connection.
By an inspection of the figures it will be seen that the electro-magnets were mounted upon the horizontil shaft, the wheel carrying the armatures being mounted upon the same shaft, but revolving in an opposite direction. Each of these wheels carried a bevel pinion, and both meshed with a third bevel gear, mounted upon a vertical shaft, to which the governor was attached. The wires of the electro-magnets were led to the commutator in the usual manner.
Below the armature beams and between the magnets was a supplementary oscillating arm, having pivoted to its outer ends two upright rods, the upper ends of which were attached to the beam which carried the topmost pair of armatures. To the ends of the lower oscillating beam were also pivoted two crank arms or pitmen, the upper ends of which were coupled to the driving shaft by means of crank arms. As all of the series of bars which were operated upon came down as close as possible together within the magnetic field of each pole, the commutator broke the circuit of that series of magnets and closed the circuit of the other series, whereby the other ends of the series of bars were brought into action. In this way an oscillating motion of the beams was produced, and the upper beam served through its connections to produce a rotary motion of the driving shaft. When the circuit was first closed through the series of magnets the lowest of the corresponding series of armature bars was attracted directly to the magnets, and by its movement all the other armatures opposite, whose ends rested upon each other, were caused to move a corresponding distance, upon which the lowest bar became magnetic, attracted the second one and drew it down in contact with it, thus giving all the beams a further movement. The second bar, as it came in contact with the first, became magnetic and attracted the third, and so on through the series till all the bars were in contact, as shown in the figure.
The electric governor was of the usual pivoted ball construction, and revolved upon a sliding collar on a vertical shaft rotated by an arrangement of bevel wheels, as before indicated. When the balls rose under increase of speed, a central rod was depressed, raising by an arrangement of levers the horizontal pivoted circuit breaker shown at the bottom of the side-elevation.
This circuit breaker or switch had three keys, which, when the switch was in a horizontal position were in contact with three corresponding plates to which were attached wires from auxiliary batteries. When the governor reached a certain high speed it disconnected one of the keys and consequently one of the sources of electrical power. If the speed still increased, the electrical connection between the second or central key was broken, and so on. Thus it will be seen, the amount of electrical power was graduated to the speed, the successive connections being severed as the speed increased, and, conversely, being restored when the speed decreased.
As is usual with this type of machine, a determinate impulse in a given direction having been communicated to the wheels, their impetus carried them in the intervals of time when the electric circuit was broken, and the electric impulse being imparted at a certain period, the armatures were individually attracted toward the electro-magnet next in series, and an additional impulse was obtained, producing an increment of speed.
Continental Gas Engine Co. (and made by the Delamater Iron Works Co.) of New York, in 1883. Constructed under the " Gaume and other patents," it was a cheap edition of the typical small horizontal compression (Otto cycle) engine.
A proud horse! Never tired, and eating only 2 cents of oil per day.
Mlle. Serpolett will, it is understood, make one great concession to the Australian sense of decency by riding in skirt instead of bloomers, but a rider going for records in skirts has about the same chance of success a swimmer undertaking, in heavy boots and a long overcoat, to establish new figures for 100 yards. To judge from her photograph, the visiting cycliste is well-proportioned and athletic-looking - if such a term may be applied.
Philistine wrote:Some of those Aussie newspaper quotes are pure gold Lock. Are you searching those through the National Library of Australia?
In Italy five plane engineers once built the RONDINE. Now it’s called GILERA and is destined to win a lot of races for the GILERA brand. When technicians do something with love, something good will turn out.
Three years ago five technicians from Munich started to design another nonconformistic motorcycle, but they had another target: they created a modern bike with front-wheel-drive and and aerodynamic, rational shape. That means a bike for daily use. And now it’s ready for the show.
Our readers will remember the MEGOLA story. The magazine staff had restored an old MEGOLA to recollect the merits of this multiple-cylinder front-wheel-drive bike. We wrote: “Fantastic behaviour in curves . . . a child could ride it on sand . . .”
What the five technicians from Munich – the names of the designers/engineers are KILLINGER and FREUND – now completed is more than an improved MEGOLA. The engine displacement is again 600cc and it is also incredibly light: 135 Kilogr. (with fuel), but this bike has a three-cylinder two-stroke engine in the front wheel, it HAS a transmission and a clutch, it has a comfortable front and rear suspension and looks elegant and thrilling.
There’s always a crowd of people around the displayed bike indicating that there’s happening something great. If you join them and listen to them you will be astonished that most of them like the shape of this bike. That’s important because the technicians wanted to build a bike that can be sold in large numbers some day. The people are used to aorodynamic shapes of car bodies now and it seems that they already expected something like that. The shape was developed to meet all these requirements: all moving parts covered, dirt protection, multicylinder and front-wheel-drive. Another target was to reduce the numbers of different parts. This bike has less parts than a light 100cc-bike!
At first sight you realize the dirt-protective and aerodynamic covers of the front and rear wheel. Frame, fork and fuel tank are also aerodynamically improved. We were impressed by the nice details and good shaped transitions of the different body parts, as seen on race bikes.
And now the construction: the middle of the frame and the rear wheel cover are currently built as sheetmetal shells around a tube frame. For the mass-production version there are plans to build the middle frame as a boxed frame, welded together, using two pressed sheetmetal parts. Of course this supermachine has a rear suspension. It is linked to the lower end of the (inner) tube frame and fixed with flexible (rubber/metal???) elements which don’t need any service. A lid in the box frame allows access to the seat springs to regulate the hardness of the seat’s suspension.
The steering is like that of a normal bike, but the telescopic elements (80 mm lift) are more vertical than usual. That means that the wheelbase won’t change much when the front fork dives in.
The front-wheel-drive is much better than the Megola design. First, the weight of the engine (unsprung weight) is lower. The front wheel with engine has a weight of 50 Kilos. Second, a custom carb without a float needle doesn’t have problems that could be caused by vibrations. And third, the light-weight battery ignition allows to start the engine without problems and helps to keep the engine weight low. The distributor and the points are located in the hub. The technicians originally intended to build a dynastarter. These improvements (plus transmission and clutch) had been impossible to add to the MEGOLA design.
The three-cylinder two-stroke engine uses a Drehschieber (= turning disk with intake holes for more exact timing of the intake of the fuel-air mixture). The fresh fuel-air mixture is sucked in by the vacuum in the three crankshaft housings as usual. The "Drehschieber" does the intake timing for all three cylinders. The engine is not a radial engine as known from planes. And there is no need for a flywheel. All three cranks seem to work on one common gear. This arrangement and the recoil of the pistons in the turning direction should secure a perfect balance of the moving parts. The cylinders are made of KS (brand name) iron cylinder walls and are totally embedded in the Silumin (kind of alloy) engine housing. Alloy cylinderheads with lots of cooling fins and the exhaust pipes are the only things that can be identified as engine parts between the spokes of the cast alloy wheel. These flat spokes are designed to serve as a cooling fan. The two-speed transmission is built as a differential transmission and uses slope-meshed gears. The clutch is made of usual clutch disks. The clutch (with the springs at the outer circle) is located in front of the transmission. The transmission is actuated by steel cables (foot-operated). All parts of the engine allow easy access for service work. After the removal of the engine – only two bolts and some wiring have to be removed – all important parts are within reach. The tire can also be removed easily. You have to unlock a safety mechanism and can remove the tire completely with the split rim. The front brake is installed in the hub. The rear suspension also has telescopic oil-filled shock absorbers. The gasoline runs down through flexible hoses.
Five men worked for three years on this machine. The bike was test-driven already and the engine was tested on a test-stand. As there are so many progressive ideas built into this bike, we hope that the developers will have a chance to complete their work, because we would like to experience the preferences of this bike some day:
Better handling – more safety – less weight – simple construction – no chain or cardan shaft – no valves – tangential arrangement of the cylinders for smooth engine characteristics.
Lock wrote:Nice detail from the early days of power electronics...
One in action...
A 1916 experiment in creating a fuel-saving automobile in the United States. The vehicle weighed only 135 pounds (61.2 kg) and was an adaptation of a small gasoline engine originally designed to power a bicycle.[1
thewmatusmoloki wrote:The Mergomobile waz obviously WAY ahead of it's time ......
Just check out those low, low profile tyre's/tire's.
blueb0ttle2 wrote:And some info on other glowing vacuum tube rectifiers. Often used in Hi-Fi and early radio.
A 1916 experiment in creating a fuel-saving automobile
Red Bugs are small, two passenger, wooden buckboard cyclecars that were produced from 1914 to about 1930. Early Red Bugs where powered by a fifth wheel with an integral motor. The Smith Motor Wheel and the Smith Flyer were first manufactured by the A.O. Smith Co. of Milwaukee in 1914. Five years later, Briggs and Stratton bought the manufacturing rights and produced the little woodie for several years.
The rights were sold to Majestic Engineering & Manufacturing Co., later known as Automotive Electric Service Company of North Bergen, New Jersey in 1924. Now called Red Bug or Auto Red Bug, production of the car continued. For a while, the Red Bug was powered by either the Motor Wheel or a Dodge 12 volt electric starter motor. The Motor Wheel was ultimately replaced with a five horsepower Cushman engine with chain drive to the rear wheels. The company was renamed Automotive Standards and in 1928, and an amusement park version featuring a wrap-around bumper was announced.
In March 1930, a news report indicated that the Indian Motorcycle Company in Springfield, MA was to build the diminutive vehicle on a "cost plus" basis. Little is known of the Red Bug after this date. After all, it was the depression and a new Red Bug sold for more than a used Model T Ford.
RIDING ON A FENCE.
The Mount Holley and Smithville Bicycle Railroad.
Unique Invention of a Connecticut Genius
How He Proposes to Revolutionize Traveling Methods
Description of the New Road.
One of the most unique ideas in railroad construction is about being put into practice between two New Jersey towns - Mount Holley and Smithville - and if everything is true it will revolutionize short-distance travel. Every passenger runs his own train, doing away with the expense of engineers, conductors, brake men and firemen.
This new idea of locomotion, says the New York Herald, is a bicycle railroad, it will run in a direct line over fields, roads and creek, crossing the latter ten times in two miles, the distance between the towns, and the time will depend much on the record-breaking disposition of the individual who has the thing in hand.
When completed the railroad will look like a fence with a bicycle inverted running on top of it. There is a bicycle for the exclusive use of each individual, and it would be possible to travel at the rate of a mile in two minutes.
The road will start with about seventy-five or one hundred machines. There will be two depots - one on the ground of the H. B. Smith Company, Smithville, the other on Pine street, Mount Holley. Agents for the company will have charge of the bicycles, collecting fares and furnishing machines to passengers, and side tracking the bicycles when not in use.
The inventor of this wonderful railroad system comes from New Haven, Conn. His name is Arthur E. Hotchkiss. The famous walking doll was invented by this same genius eighteen years ago. He was the first to accomplish the manufacture of miniature clocks in this country - in fact, devoted ten years of his life exclusively to improvements on clocks and watches.
Mr. Hotchkiss had never mounted a bicycle and yet with keen perception and love of invention he saw a good field to work in, and four years ago commenced his railroad scheme. This track is built by bedding cross ties in the ground once in six feet and erecting upon them a post and rail structure about three and a half feet high. The post is secured to the cross ties by means of bolts and angle irons. Narrow wooden stringer pieces connect the posts, and the top stringer piece has a T shaped rail screwed to it, on which the bicycle runs.
This railroad requires for its use a special form of bicycle, although the ordinary saddle, handle bar and propelling mechanism are employed.
The upper part of the frame are two grooved wheels which run one in advance of the other on the single track rail. The position of the saddle is between the wheels, so that the rider is carried above the trackway and astride the track-supporting structure. This handle bar is located in front of the rider in the usual way, and, while not required for balancing or steering, serves to steady the rider and to assist when propelling rapidly. The frame is made double.
It extends downward below the track rail on opposite sides of the track structure about two and a half feet and has at the lower end small guide wheels running horizontally on opposite sides of the lower stringpiece of the trackway to keep the machine in an upright position.
The driving wheel in front of the rider is about twenty inches in diameter and is connected with a ratchet and chain to the propelling treadles, which are located at the lower part of the frame on either side of the fence. The machine is geared up by its ratchet mechanism to a higher speed than is practicable in an ordinary road bicycle.
Other forms of vehicles for use in connection with this system have been devised, so that ladies may ride them or several passengers may be carried at a time.
It is also proposed in most cases to construct two fences or tracks to admit of travel in either direction. This double track can also be used for a bicycle to run on both rails, as in case of any other railway system.
The road will be called the "Mount Holley and Smithville Bicycle railroad."
There is more or less danger attached to bicycle riding at night. This will be obviated by the elevated track, and, what is still more in its favor, it can be used in all seasons and, by arranging a parachute over it, can be used in all weathers. There will be head and rear lights for use at night. There can be no danger of the vehicle jumping the track, and no previous skill in managing a bicycle is necessary.
The land has been secured. In many cases right of way has been conceded by owners. All specifications are prepared and ground for depots secured. Inventor Hotchkiss says it will be the cheapest railroad in the world to maintain.
THE BICYCLE RAILROAD A SUCCESS
That the bicycle railroad is a success goes without saying. It is the biggest and most complete success Mount Holly has had for a long time, as the crowds that gather nightly will testify. Fully five thousand people have been carried since the road was opened last week, and the cash receipts have been sufficient to pay one year’s interest on the bonds. At this rate the road will be one of the best dividend earners in the country. Every night there is a crowd of people at the depot waiting their turn for a ride, and the machines are kept busy until eleven o’clock at night. In a short time the double track will be extended to Smithville. To say that Prof. Hotchkiss is delighted at the success of his invention does not half express it. The failure of the road was predicted by so many people, and it was ridiculed so on all sides that an ordinary man would have lost heart, and given up in despair, but Prof. Hotchkiss, in this respect is no ordinary man. Obstacles only urge him on to greater effort, and there was no happier man in town when he realized that the representations he had made to the stock and bondholders had been fully verified, and in fact had exceeded his expectations.
He received congratulations on all sides. About fifty machines will be built, and this will be about enough to accommodate the travel. The roadway is illuminated at night, and each machine carries a light to avoid collisions. Derailment of a machine is impossible and the road is absolutely safe.
Hotchkiss Bicycle Railway: On September 13, 1892, eccentric entrepreneur Hezekiah Smith opened his suspended bicycle commuter railway system built between his bicycle factory and nearby Mount Holly, NJ, home to most of his employees. Several resort towns in southern Jersey soon built their own, but to the best of my knowledge, none survive. A sole remaining rail bike can be seen at Smith’s factory compound, which is now a museum. (An additional note: Smith went on to become a bigamist, keep a small harem in his walled garden, and train a bull moose to pull his carriage. Just thought that might be of interest.)
The Switchback and Bicycle Railway Thompson's Gravity Switchback was opened on the beach opposite Norfolk Square in 1887. It moved onto the Parade in 1887 and moved again in 1892, this time to a site just north of Cemetery (now Sandown) Road. The Hotchkiss Bicycle Railway opened on the same site in 1895. Both ventures moved to a site between Beaconsfield and Salisbury Roads in 1900. They remained there until the end of the 1909 season when they were closed and moved to Honley in Yorkshire.
Smithville - Mount HollyIn 1892, Arthur Hotchkiss received a patent for a bicycle railroad and contracted with the H. B. Smith Machine Company to manufacture it. The initial track ran 1.8 miles from Smithville, in a nearly straight line, crossing the Rancocas Creek 10 times, and arrived at Pine Street, Mount Holly. It was completed in time for the Mount Holly Fair in September, 1892, and the purpose of the railway was supposed to have been enabling employees to commute quickly from Mount Holly to the factory at Smithville. Monthly commuter tickets cost $2.00. The record speed on the railway was 4.5 minutes, and the average trip took 6–7 minutes. The railway was exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. It only had one track so that it was impossible to pass another rider, and if riders travelling in opposite directions met, one had to pull off onto a siding. By 1897 ridership had declined, and the railway fell into disrepair.
The Railway was built to allow employees to commute quickly from Mount Holly to a bicycle factory at Smithville. The railway was not a success, the impossibility of overtaking being one reason; another was that a second track was never completed, so if riders travelling in opposite directions met, one had to pull off onto a siding. One might imagine this leading to disagreements about who had the right of way. The railway was in a severe state of disrepair by 1898 when the Mount Holly and Smithville Bicycle Railway Company (as it appears to have been known) declared bankruptcy. Presumably the system was repaired at some point, and opened for recreational use. The Bicycle Railroad gave Smithville its nickname for many years, "The Bicycle Town." This helped to distinguish it from the Smithville near my childhood home in Atlantic County, which was known mainly for its 'pig iron' ore deposits. Both are now popular historical sites.
The Star Bicycle was developed and built in Smithville by the H.B Smith Machine Company in 1881, and its proprietor, Hezekiah Bradley Smith, busied himself with its production and marketing. The Star differed from conventional bicycles of the time by having the larger wheel at the rear, where rider sat, and the smaller wheel up front. This allowed for greater control especially when traveling downhill. To illustrate this, Hezekiah hired a professional rider to successfully ride a Star bicycle down the steps of the United States Capital in front of dozens of photographers and reporters. Hezekiah also arranged for races all over the country that the Star would often win. Both the marketing and the design proved successful, and the Star was another moneymaker for the H.B Smith Machine Company.
In the 1880's, as Hezekiah was approaching 70, his behavior was becoming more eccentric. Although he still oversaw the village and dabbled in politics, he also began to collect wild animals for his private zoo in the mansion's courtyard. He became determined to harness one of his moose and train it to pull his coach, and he finally succeeded much to the terror of his neighbors. More and more he confined himself to the mansion and gardens. In 1885, a full sized statue in the likeness of his departed wife Agnes arrived from Italy that he had mounted as a shrine to her in one of the gardens. Around this time Hezekiah also invited six young ladies to stay at the mansion, and rumors circulated that they were servants, students or his harem. They would often join him in the garden, along with the violinist he kept on staff, for music and conversation. His health would continue to deteriorate, and on November 3, 1887, the great Hezekiah Bradley Smith died of pneumonia at the age of 71.
William Bean's original ride - The Hotchkiss Bicycle Railway - looking East. Printed by JM & Co London, this card was sent to Elland, Yorkshre from Blackpool on 8th October 1908. The young Lady on the ride appears to be having to make a considerable effort in order to make progress - perhaps this was why the ride was none too popular!
William George Bean was influential in the growth of the fairground enterprise around seaside resorts in England and during the town’s pioneer years leading to the launch of the Pleasure Beach. It is easily believed and imagined that Blackpool at the turning point of the twentieth century was up and coming, rough and ready, much like the old American West frontier towns, as it is a common descriptive term used by writers in authoring books about its early beginnings.
Bean was born on June 6th 1868 and on the birth certificate, written is his father a Thames River Pilot, stating he drove steamboats through the ancient lochs on the most famous of all rivers in England. Bean considered himself a Londoner foremost and at the point of his career when he had been living in Blackpool thirty years, still made the habit of managing his business from the offices he maintained in London, visiting them every five or six weeks. He was no academic but worldly read and was later to astound Blackpool councillors with his self-acquired knowledge and learning from books.
In 1887 aged nineteen Bean left London to seek fame and fortune in the United States, as did many others at that time. He worked in advertising for a while on Madison Avenue. He had the makings of a designer but when questioned by his daughter Lillian Doris as to why he turned his interests elsewhere, he replied, “Well I would have gone on with it but I wasn’t eating very well. So I decided I had to turn my attention to something else.”
Bean went to Philadelphia and was involved in manufacturing for the then growing amusement park industry. Coney Island was just starting out with the tram companies of the major cities developing their own interest in amusement parks finding the market profitable. His interested would have culminated with the enthusiasm of the day in the Chicago 1893 Columbian Exposition in White City.
There Bean would have seen Arthur Ethelbert Hotchkiss’s design, the man rumoured to be a relative of the inventor of the Hotchkiss machine gun, a ‘Bicycle Railroad’ on display in the Midway. A railroad with bicycles propelled mechanically along a track by way of an operator perched on a fence at the side of it with the patrons sitting astride the bikes as it amusingly removed all the legwork involved ordinarily for the rider.
The ride bombed in its first outing to the public at the Exposition, grossing $185.00, Hotchkiss having patented the device by December of 1892 in London stating he was a resident of Mount Holly, New Jersey. He had convinced H.B. Smith Manufacturing Company of Smithville to build single and tandem bicycles to run upon a fixed track. It had intended to be a serious design for the future with the Smithville Bicycle Railroad opened to travel citizens of Mount Holly to jobs and back home again. The improved safety of the bicycle soon made it an obsolete idea and worthless franchise. Six years on the bicycles and the line dismantled, Hotchkiss tried operating systems elsewhere usually in seaside resorts but all of his aims dwindled to nothing with its practice.
Amazingly, Bean returned to England bringing with him the sole U.K. rights to build and operate Hotchkiss’s idea believing there was a brighter future in British seaside resorts. Being a Londoner Great Yarmouth and Brighton were the first places he tried his apparatus on the unsuspecting public.
Bean’s elder brother, Alfred Charles Bean, was a stockbroker in the City. A Company was set-up in London called, using a more presentable sounding name, The Hotchkiss Patent Bicycle Railway Syndicate, Limited for the English market on the 25th April 1896.
Out of the 3,000 original £1 shares, Bean took 1,500, while his brother Charles’s accepted 400. The remaining six shareholders were members of the London Stock Exchange and believed to have been associates of Charles Bean. The responsibilities of the new company mainly consisted of the manufacturing and leasing of several designs of bicycles used in Hotchkiss’s railway system. There are special references in Company articles to tracts of land in Great Yarmouth and the Devil’s Dyke near Brighton, as Bean had a formal agreement to lease, opening and operating his Bicycle Railway in these towns.
Bean was already formulating where next to take his business entrepreneurial ideas as a Bicycle Railway was erected and running in Blackpool in July of that same year in 1896 at South Shore with a Mr T.W. Potts as its manager, as it appears Bean remained in London keeping his interest on his businesses from the hub of his enterprise.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
A Brief Introduction to Bicycling in Chicago
The metropolis of the Midwest has a long been a cycling Mecca. By the late 1800s it boasted 54 wheelman’s clubs with over 10,000 members. In 1897 Carter H. Harrison II rode the bicycle craze to the mayor’s office with the slogan “Not the Champion Cyclist; But the Cyclist’s Champion.”
By the next year about 2/3 of U.S. bikes were manufactured within a 150-mile radius of Chicago, making it the “bicycle-building capital of America.” Schwinn, founded here in 1895 by a German immigrant, dominated the domestic market for most of the 20th Century.
Chicago has a champion lady scorcher who rides in white duck bloomers, black golf stockings, astride of a tan-coloured bicycle, with a diamond frame. We have not heard that any other city is wildly ambitious to possess the phenomenon referred to. On behalf of Europe we beg to intimate that Chicago may keep her!
Max Tonk, born in Berlin in 1851, went with his family to Chicago in 1857. He learned to carve and worked in his uncle's piano and organ factory carving embellishments of the instruments. In 1873 he opened his own carving shop supplying the Chicago cabinet industry with fancy ornaments for cabinets and caskets. In the 1880s Tonk Manufacturing began to make swivel seat piano stools for the growing musical industry. Tonk became the largest maker of piano stools in the country, making the majority of swivel seat stools on the market, including the ubiquitous round oak stool with claw feet. Tonk Manufacturing was eventually headed by three generations of Tonks.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is as follows:
1. A bicycle-frame member of polygonal form having two mating parts adapted to fit the one within the other, and each composed of laminated strips of wood bent to form the polygonal frame member, the sides of which are continuous, and said parts being hollowed upon their proximate sides and providing when united, a longitudinal cavity, substantially as described.
2. A bicycle-frame member of polygonal form, consisting of two mating parts adapted to fit the one within the other and each composed of laminated strips of wood and said parts being hollowed on their proximate sides, strengthening pieces or blocks located in said hollow portions, and the parts when united forming a continuous polygonal frame member with longitudinal cavities, substantially as described.
3. A bicycle-frame member of polygonal form consisting of two mating parts adapted to fit the one within the other and each composed of wood veneers laminated and united to form a polygonal frame member, the sides whereof are continuous and integral, and an external veneer spirally wound around the frame members, substantially as described.
4. A bicycle-frame member composed of two mating parts, one of which is adapted to be fitted within the other, and each composed of laminated strips of wood or wood veneers hollowed on their proximate sides and the two when joined, constituting the steering-head post, top and bottom bars and a seat-post, which are continuous and integral, substantially as described.
5. In a bicycle-frame, a steering-head post, top bar, bottom bar and seat-post formed of strips of wood laminated and the laminations being continuous around the angles of the frame, substantially as described.
6. A bicycle-frame whereof the steering-head post, the top and bottom bars and the seat-post are constructed integrally with each other from strips of wood laminated and the laminations extending continuously around the angles, and the joints thereof being arranged between the angles, substantially as too described.
7. A bicycle-frame whereof the steering-head post, top and bottom bars and seat-post are constructed integrally with each other from strips of wood laminated and the laminations being continuous around the angles of the frame and provided with suitable bearings and with a longitudinal cavity, substantially as described.
8. A bicycle-frame whereof the steering-head post, the top and bottom bars and seat-post are constructed integrally with each other from wood veneers, the laminations whereof are continuous around the angles of the frame and said frame having at its lower rear apex a bushing embraced by the laminations, substantially as described.
9. A fork for bicycles composed of strips of wood laminated and the laminations being continuous or integral around the bends or angles of the fork, substantially as described.
10. In a bicycle-frame constructed of wood veneers, the combination of the main frame having a bushing to provide a bearing for the crank-axle and rear-fork members through which the bushing also extends and said bushing being threaded, and cups having a threaded engagement with the bushing and adapted to clamp the parts together, substantially as described.
PHINEAS H. YORK.
Hezekiah B. Smith.
Senator Smith was born at Bridgewater, Vermont, in the year 1816. He learned the trade of a worker in wood, and at the age of nineteen he went into business for himself at Woodstock. Three years later, he took a partner, who, he avers, involved him in bankruptcy. When he was thirty years of age he had paid off all the debts of the firm, and then left Woodstock. He went to Woodburn, near Boston, which was the center of the eastern blind-making trade, with a machine of his own invention that would cut and clean forty mortises a minute. In that town at that time there were five principal blind manufacturers, all of whom were obliged to give up the business within a year. The dealers in blinds in Boston gave him a certificate that his invention had saved over $30,000 annually to buyers, and the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics' Association gave him a large gold medal, which is yet in his possession. Since then he has taken out a number of patents.
About seventeen years ago Mr. Smith went to a little manufacturing village, two miles from Mount Holly, and bought the manufactory and the houses standing there, which he converted into residences for his workmen. It was then called Shreveville. He expended, it is stated, $300,000 in improvements. He has a natural liking for iron, and 1,200 tons of it have been used in the building of houses and in otherwise improving and ornamenting the real estate. He built a fine hall for the use of the operatives, and employed and paid a band-master, for a number of years, to teach the mechanics instrumental music. He altered the name of the village to Smithville, after himself. A weekly journal, called the Smithville Mechanic, devoted to mechanics, science and literature, he has published there for a long time. Altogether, Mr. Smith estimates that he has invested over half a million of dollars in Smithville. He gives steady employment to over one hundred men the year round, and his manufactory is one of the most thriving industries in that section of the State.
Mr. Smith served as a member of the Forty-Sixth Congress, from the Second New Jersey District. He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago in 1884.
In the session of 1884 he served on the Committees on Agriculture, Lunatic Asylums, Public Grounds and Buildings, and Reform School for Boys.
1879—Deacon, Rep., 5,967; Ridgeway, Dem., 4,888; Axtell, Gr'nb'k, 237.
1882—Smith, Dem., 6,358; Merritt, Rep., 5,370; Abbott, 131.
SMITH, Hezekiah Bradley, inventor, b. in Bridgewater, Vt., 24 July, 1816; d. in Smithville, Burlington co. N. J., 3 Nov., 1887. He learned the trade of a cabinet-maker, and became an inventor and manufacturer of wooden machinery. He settled in Woodbury, Mass., about 1860, engaged in the manufacture of window-blinds, and invented a machine that cut and cleansed forty mortises a minute, for which the Massachusetts mechanical association presented him with a gold medal. He subsequently took out more than forty patents for original inventions. He established a wood-manufactory in Smithville, N. J., in 1871, which settlement was named in his honor, and spent large sums in building model houses, halls, and places of amusement for his workmen. He was elected to congress as a Democrat in 1878, served one term, and in 1882 was elected state senator, declining renomination.
Apr. 17, 1849
Hezekiah B. Smith
This was the first patent granted to Hezekiah Bradley Smith, who later founded H. B. Smith Machine Co., which became one of the most important 19th century machinery makers. H. B. Smith was notable for being one of the first to make all-iron machines - others were making machine frames from wood, which is not nearly as stable and rigid. The image of the ad for this "Blind Machine" appeared in "Smithville, The Result of Enterprise". The provenance of the ad is not given, but it is noted that after Smith was granted the patent, "He soon moved to Boston to market his new invention." The machine manufacture was subcontracted to various foundries and machine shops, but he opened his first machine shop in 1851 in Lowell, MA, and he commenced manufacture of his own designs.
List of Premiums awarded by the Managers of the Fair:
(Machinery No.3 - Machines for Working Wood, and Models and Drawings for the same.)
H.B.Smith, Lowell, Mass., for the best power mortising machine. Large silver medal.
H.B.Smith, Lowell, Mass., for the best moulding machine. Diploma.
H.B.Smith, Lowell, Mass., for the best small wood planer. Diploma.
Illustrations and Descriptions of Machinery, &c. at the 29th Annual Fair, 1857.
(The descriptions are furnished by the inventors.)
Smith's Power Mortising Machine
H. B. Smith, Lowell, Mass.
These machines are compact, being built entirely of iron and steel, take up but little room, are simple and durable, and have acquired the enviable reputation of being the best machines in use, giving perfect satisfaction wherever used. They run without noise, with no jar on the foot, and the chisel is reversed by power, applied by friction, operating instantly, the chisel always taking care of itself, with no loss of time to the operator, and with no possibility of breaking the machine, they may be run any desired speed with perfect safety.
Size No. 2, is intended principally for door manufacturers, and is capable of mortising any size of stile, or rail, ever required. It is also sufficiently heavy and strong, and suitable for mortising hard wood, such as bedsteads, &c., weighs about 700 pounds, and should be run about 450 strokes per minute.
Size No. 3, is intended for mortising sash and blind stiles, or any light work, thereby taking the place of all foot machines, and does the work nicer, and at least three times as fast, with much less labor to the operator. It weighs about 350 pounds, and should be run about 500 strokes per minute.
[A large silver medal awarded.]
ONE WIFE TOO MANY.
A disheartening story comes from New-England, of which the hero is Mr. Hezekiah B. Smith, who has just been elected to Congress by the united efforts of the Democrats and Greenbackers of the IId New-Jersey District. The sum total of the tale is that Mr. Smith has one wife in Woodstock, Vt., and another in Smithville. N. J., where he now resides, and most of which town he owns. In 1866 - so runs the narrative - he ran away from Woodstock, Vt., with Miss Verona Eveline English, and married her in Boston. The pair lived happily together until 1865, and four children were born to them. They resided in Boston and Lowell. In 1850 Smith bought a house for his wife in Woodstock, and frequently visited her there. At last he told her that "he had found a woman who would be true to him and he was going to marry her, his first marriage being illegal." That was in 1865. He gave her a house in Woodstock, put some money in the bank for her and departed. He now turns up as the rich owner of Smithville, and as chief stockholder of the H. B. Smith Manufacturing Company, which makes wood-working machinery. He is also proprietor of The Smithville Mechanic, of which the New-Jersey Mrs. Smith is editor.
If the facts are as we find them stated, the House of Representatives may have some objection to permitting Mr. Smith to take his seat. He is a soft-money Democrat of the strongest sort, and the Republicans will doubtless be quite willing to see his seat empty or filled by a different kind of man. He may be pretty sure that his career will be closely investigated. Whether he legally married Mrs. Smith No. 1 or not, he cohabitated a long time with her in Vermont, and an agreement so to live, by the laws of that State, is a legal marriage without any ceremony. If there has been any divorce the Vermont Mrs. Smith knows nothing about it. She has, it is stated, the sympathy of the people of Woodstock, who consider the treatment which she has received as cruel in the extreme.
Mr. Smith was nominated by the National Labor Greenback party. They sent him a anti-National-bank and anti-capital letter, to which (though he is worth $200,000) he favorably responded. The Democrats kindly lent their assistance and Mr. Smith was elected. But there is many a slip'twixt the cup and the lip; and in these days it is not safe to call any member of Congress blessed until he is sworn in, and sometimes it is not safe even then. It is hinted by the Woodstock correspondent of The Springfield Republican that Mr. Smith may go to Europe rather than Washington, or resign his seat rather than face a prosecution for bigomy. This melancholy catastrophy which has overtaken the Democratic-Greenbackers of the IId New Jersey District will show the danger of nominating candidates worth $200,000, and will be likely to confirm the anti-capital, anti-bloated-bondholder men in their peculiar views. They should go to the alms-house or the insolvent court for their next candidate.
George W. Pressey.
Mr. Pressey is a native of the State of Maine, and was born in Waterville, in 1825. His father was a carriage manufacturer, and by the time the young man was eighteen, he had learned carriage building in all its branches. He early gave signs of an inventive genius, many useful tools having been invented by him. He invented the first apple paring machine, and a carriage spring, known as "Pressey and Farnum's lever spring," a wagon attachment which in its day was deservedly popular. Mr. Pressey came to Hammonton in 1860. In 1867 he invented the "Pioneer Stump Puller," which had a wide use all over the United States. Other inventions which followed were the "Pressey Folding Umbrella," a ventilating stove, and a snath fastener for scythes. But the inventions which have made him best known are the American Star Bicycle, and his incubators and brooders for the artificial hatching and raisins: of chickens. The Hammonton Incubator and the Pressey Brooder have extensive sale and use among poultry men. Mr. Pressey, and his daughters Misses Emma and Anna, are extensively engaged in raising chickens, and have reduced the business to a science. They raised and marketed last year about five thousand.
The American Star Bicycle.
THIS new candidate for popular favor is the invention of Mr. G. W. Pressey, of Hammonton, N. J., and, as may be seen from the accompanying illustration, is radically different in construction from the old and "accepted" style of bicycle. Mr. Pressey has based his new departure upon the principles of health, safety and convenience and an examination and test of his new plan bicycle, as compared with the older styles, will be convincing as to the soundness of these principles and the advantages of the new system. Among these advantages may be summed up the following: The carrying wheel is held firmly in line by the frame, so the push of the rider does not throw it out of its course. The small steering wheel being in front, serves as a brace to prevent the momentum of the rider throwing him forward when the wheels are stopped or partly stopped by any obstruction, so it can be ridden safely even over logs six or eight inches in thickness. It steers and can be turned quickly, as the push of the rider does not affect the steering wheel, while in turning, a brace is formed on the outside of the circle. It is easily mounted or dismounted. The step being at the side near the saddle, the rider steps easily to and from his seat, instead of climbing up from behind as he must do with the crank machine. There is no bone shaking, both wheels being furnished with fine elastic springs, which add much to the comfort of the rider. It is easy to handle and control, and can be used by ladies in ordinary costume, while the machine is adjustable to the size of the rider, and the latter does not have to fit the machine as in the case of the old styled bicycle. All other bicycles are propelled by cranks turned by the foot, a method of propulsion now out of use in all kinds of machinery; the hand is fitted to turn a crank, the foot is not. If one tries to turn a grindstone by putting his foot on the crank, he will find the experiment a failure. On a six inch crank, a bicycler must make a muscular motion of 37 1/2 inches in order to bear down on his crank an average of less than 4 inches, full power. This is a waste of motion no bicycler can afford. The "American Star," by the use of levers and clutches, has a continuous power, which turns the wheel entirely around with the same motion and exertion required to move the crank one-half around the old machine, enabling the rider to go faster and easier with the same amount of labor, at the same time giving independent action of the levers, the ridier pushing with one foot or both, at pleasure, or setting with foot resting on pedals, which do not move unless he moves them. The name of "Star " is given this bicycle on account of the peculiar arrangement of the wire spokes, which form a double star at the center. By this arrangement the twist of the hub, caused by the pressure of the foot on the crank or lever, is held by the tensional strength of the spoke, which is about 1,000 pounds; while, in the old wheel, the hub is mostly held in place by the bending strength or stiffness of the wire, which is only five or six pounds; the new wheel gaining by this arrangement a strength more than thirty times as great.
The claims are neither fictitious or imaginary. At the recent Boston Bicycle Parade and Meet, in which some half dozen of "American Star" bicycles were exhibited, the great efficiency and practical merits of the new machines were plainly demonstrated to the thousands of bicyclists and visitors who were present, amply proving that the claims made for them are substantiated in actual service.
At this exhibition the new machines came into actual competition with their many rivals, and the result so clearly evinced the superiority of the "American Star," even over the best of its predecessors, as to disarm criticism ard to banish prejudice. The world moves on and the new invention of Mr. Pressey only proves that in mechanical science and genius America leads the van. The "Star" needs but to be introduced to give it the popularity it deserves, and the manufacturers, the H. B. Smith Machine Co.. warerooms 925 Market street, Phila., will be glad to give all needed information and to receive orders for the new season now opening.
Letters to the Editor
AMERICAN STAR BICYCLE.
 - I presume you will easily recall to mind the lecture you gave when in the United States [My third visit thereto. R. P.] before a small but delighted audience in Matawan, N.J., of your subsequent games of chess [King's Knight's gambit - regular form - pretty pawn finish. R. P.], and your early departure the following morning (Sunday) for New Brunswick, to reach a town in Maine for Monday evening's lecture. The memory of every item, of course, lingers with me rather than with you. [Nay, but I have the clearest recollection of that pleasant evening. R. P.] I remember my receiving "Our Place Among the Infinities," as a sort of partial kindly return for a Testament with parallel columns of English and German text, to which I saw you took a liking. Your paper interests me much, from whist and chess, to logic, mathematics, and astronomy. The articles on bicycles and tricyles have also interested me, especially since I have become an owner of one of the "American Star" kind.
I had given up the idea, at my time of life, of ever riding a bicycle. I feared the "headers." But when in Washington, D.C., I saw one of the "American Star" pattern, and immediately ordered one (you will see by the enclosed sketch its peculiarities). I received mine in due time, and must say I am delighted with it. It has the little wheel in front, and one cannot take a "header." In going down steep hills, I can apply the brake, as hard as I choose, with perfect safety and no fear of a "header." It is easy to mount and to dismount, the backward dismount (so called) being especially easy. It can be propelled with one foot, or both at the same time, like a treadle, or at different times. In coasting (i.e., running by gravity down hill), the legs rest at full length on the pedals, and this is especially pleasing. The wheel is stronger than ordinary bicycles, as the spokes are put in bracing, not like radii. You may feel like printing some items from the enclosed. From actual practice over rough roads, I can fully endorse its different points. I will say, however, that it is not as graceful in motion as the ordinary bicycle; but this I regard as a minor point. I have known expert riders of the "Columbia" to sell their machines and purchase the "Star," especially after severe "headers."
I had intended giving a little item about spiders in my schoolroom, but the length of this forbids. Charles Jacobus.
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