Social Forces, University of North Carolina Press

The Sociology of the Bicycle Author(s): Sidney H. Aronson Source: Social Forces, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Mar., 1952), pp. 305-312 Published by: University of North Carolina Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 19/01/2011 10:54
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551. the father of the American bicycle. "Bicycles and Tricycles. was brought to this country from England. 1890). the rider's foot power was used somewhat more subtly."' Perhaps the primary reason for this phenomenon was a mechanical one: the 1879 "bike" was the best made. 1895). 359. But it was awkward to mount because the seat was perched on top of the front wheel. Going downhill. Balance. the ball bearing.6 This machine. the cyclist did not have to do anything but coast and hope that he would not run into anything-for the machine had no brakes. too.9 In 1890 the invention of the pneumatic tire assured its success by greatly increasing its speed. and soon afterward. the operator straddled this bar and propelled the machine by walking or running along the ground. made good speed.SOCIOLOGY OF THE BICYCLE 305 THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE BICYCLE SIDNEY H. G. Merriam. and did not ride smoothly. 407. 3Axel Josephsson. "The Story of the Bicycle."4By 1871 it. pp.8 It lingers on today as a favorite prop of clowns and vaudevillians. Porter.3 With the 1869 model. known first as the "dandy-horse" and later as the velocipede.. became known as a "header. p. 7 Albert A. brought here in 1879.). XL (April 11.10 It was in fact substantially the same bicycle that we use today.. part IV. 2Luther H. Twelfth Census of the United States. times. the "bone crusher. and the coaster brake were all introduced in this period. "The Bicycle Industry. Bicycles and Tricycles (London. in 1885 the safety bicycle. another factor which made smooth braking a rarity. the first group of cyclists in the eighties was an eager and athletic one. 1896). and its solid rubber tires gave a smoother ride. Batchelder. p.." William R. 1896). too. was very difficult and a quick stop or the slightest roughness on the road would throw the driver in a fall which. The two wheels were each about two feet in diameter and hence the vehicle was easier to mount. 159-160. op."7The vehicle was propelled by pedals on the front wheel. I Archibald Sharp. was the real thing." Chauncey M. This bicycle became only moderately popular and mostly among young and athletic males. indeed. especially over the roads of the seventies. Manufactures (Washington. 331. 8 Ibid. a saddle rested on an iron frame between the wheels. ARONSON Brooklyn College T HE BICYCLE came to America three began to manufacture it in Boston. 1902). One Hundred Years of American Commerce (New York. 1896). p. New York. were duds. it was heavy and cumbersome. pp.2There was a brief flutter of excitement over this vehicle. Pope. and brought an explosion which can only be-and. but the third. passed from the American scene. in the popular jargon. was developed in England. was-called a "bicycle boom. 23. It consisted of two wheels of equal size connected by a long wooden bar. II. centering in Boston and Philadelphia where riding schools opened. For these reasons the machine was called. As has been shown above. The machine was driven by a sprocket and chain attached to the rear wheel and moved by pedals below the saddle. 332. Finally.5 But in 1879 came the first successful wheel. Colonel Albert A. Several factors made this machine simpler and safer to ride. of 1819 and 1869. The first two models. 10Ibid. which was four to five feet in diameter. Once the rider built up some speed he would lift up his legs and glide until the force petered out." Scientific American. 5 Ibid." This is not to say that the adoption of the bicycle came spontaneously and without the opposition that so often accompanies social innovation. cit. Depew (ed. which 6 A. 153-159. The 1819 model. and Bombay. weldless steel tubing. Cyclingfor Health andfor Pleasure (Boston. comfort. 11The suspension wheel. 331. Axel Josephsson." Harper's Weekly. . director. known as the ordinary or high bicycle. which made cycling possible for young and old of both sexes. not too affectionately. 1900. 4 Ibid. but soon the novelty wore off and the machine disappeared from sight. and ease of propulsion. This machine had wooden wheels with iron tires. 1 "Effect of the Bicycle Boom on Trade. again from England. Pope. cranks were placed on the front wheel. LXXIV (June 27.

18 fortunate in having the aggressive and influential League to protect their interests. the League of American Wheelmen was American cyclists were formed on May 31. accustomed to having the roads to themselves. XI (September 7."25And by 1896 the BostonDaily Advertiser could write. 26 The Boston Daily Advertiser. though tamer. 16 Ibid. answered." Scientific American.. 15. which meant a ten percent reduction in the tariff. Pratt. 1879). Often the horsemen and teamsters deliberately turned on the cyclists and ran them down.. Bishop. when asked about the coming man and how he would come. On the contrary. Ibid. 13 Charles E. "W. XVII (August 13." The Literary Digest. 267." Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. 17 Ibid. 14 The New York Daily Tribune. 45-48. and protect the rights of wheelmen.W. Luther H. kept its pledge "to promote the general interests of bicycling. LXXVII (August 29. Throughout its history. Pratt. Collins."'6 A few years later the Treasury Department classified bicycles as carriages rather than as steel products. 1869). 10. 15 Charles E.20 Another group was not so much opposed to cycling as it was to using the "bike" on Sundays. 193. p. a result of the wheelmen's continuous worrying about keeping his equilibrium while he rode. p. 22 23 Ibid."'"I and one writer cleverly noted that "one curious effect which should afford some consolation to Sabbatarians is that theatres in certain cities which were formerly open on Sundays have been closed permanently. 20 Ibid.. who were irked by the cyclists. 1895).29The Christian Intelligence added 21Joseph B. 683. "Social and Economic Influence of the Bicycle. or bicycle stoop. I9Ibid. teamed up with the horsemen and passed laws prohibiting the riding of bicycles in public parks and drives. which was acquired by pedalling in a bent-over position. inherited the antagonism of horsemen and teamsters. 29 "The Bicycle Face. "to see in a short time a thousand velocipedists wheeling their machines to Plymouth Church.. pp. 1893). cit. 1880.27 Cyclist's sore throat was found to occur after a long ride on a dusty road."23Clergymen themselves started to take up the exercise-Beecher was among the first24and the editor of the Spectatorwrote that it was proper for a bishop to cycle provided.A. temperature. I shall not be at all surprised. as early as 1869. 1884). 154.'5 Sometimes pedestrians. Appendix 25 "Dignity and Indignity. 15. F. In this debate both sides made extravagant claims. Henry Ward Beecher. LXIX (July 1. p. They discovered all sorts of new ailments which the cyclist was heir to. "It seems to be settled that the majority of the clergymen are in favor of Sunday cycling."'9 It was through the League's efforts in several test cases that the laws which were applied to carriages came to be applied to bicycles as well.306 SOCIAL FORCES gave little regard to the rights of others as they "scorched" over the highways training for recordbreaking attempts. defend. p.17 To further this legal struggle as well as for other reasons."he continued. 1896. including kyphosis bicyclistarum. 56. W.. the L.'3The hostility between the two groups took various forms. But in 1879 wheelmen won an important victory when a Massachusetts court ruled that "bicycles cannot be deemed as nuisances but are entitled to the reasonable use of the highways. especially because the newcomers frightened horses and caused runaways."26 The bicycle was the subject not only of religious but also of medical dispute." The Literary Digest.'4 Fist-fighting between wheelmen and draymen was frequent and fierce. of course. 27 'Kyphosis Bicyclistarumn. 884. 28 "Cyclist's Sore Throat." The Spectator.May 13. B. CLIX (June 1896). 45. resented the intrusion. The Velocipede(London. . The antibicyclists said that the cycle path led straight to the hospital or the grave. 1888).28Perhaps worst of all was bicycle face. p. he didn't "coast downhill on his bicycle with his legs up. July 1. Quoted by J. the road of the cyclists led "to a place where there is no mud on the streets because of its high Such admonitions were of no avail. however.. op. 99. Porter. 24 Columbia Bicycle Catalogue (Boston. 1895. The latter. "I think he is coming on a velocipede." Forum. 548-549. What and Why (Boston. Perhaps it would not have been so terrible to break the Sabbath if the offense had consisted in carrying the riders to church instead of to the country. p. 1896).p. "My Friends Who Cycle. XXI (August 1896). 1898). 197. 18 man. according to a New Haven clergyE."22 Not all men of religion opposed the bicycle. The American Bicycler (Boston. to ascertain.'2 Later cyclists.

"38 Having thus reviewed the mechanical. indigestion. The bicycle face denotes strength of mind in the personswho possessit. July 14. Among the more important illnesses that it could cure were rheumatism. p. on the other hand. cyclist put it. Benedict. An editorial in the Literary Digest expressed-the common feeling when it said. "Dangers and Benefits of the Bicycle. while they have not hindered women from lows who makefun of bicyclingcan never be mistaken climbing to the topmost branches of higher edufor the bicycle face. 683. 34Luther H. "A Medical View of Cycling for Ladies. liver trouble. cit. "The Bicycle in Relation these doctors warned. op.their dress to cycling by shortening their skirts. 378. if carried to excess.skirts. It was especially good because. women seized upon the vehicle as a new means of defying tradition." Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine.OF SOCIOLOGY THE BICYCLE that another cause of bicycle face was the habitual violation of the law of the Sabbath by cyclists. anaemia." The Literary Digest. Bishop.34 An article in the New York Daily Tribune maintained that bicycle face was not an illness to be avoided but to be sought after and that 307 like any physical activity. XIII (July 18. XXXIX (May 1896). B.courage of some yet more daring women gave cise. Fenton. 36 "In Praise of the Wheel.and is a For the sake of both comfort and safety. of the suffragettes. H. the cyclist did not have to be one advocate of dress reform was quoted in the phenomenally muscular or robust. Luther H. L.3" cation. pp. I (April 1890). Thus for example. that wheeling is a panacea for all ailing folks and for all ailments. Garrigues." Scientific American.36 Of course. W. 1896). 32Luther H. 33John G. XXXII (July 1897). Porter. it was not until women adopted the garment for cycling that it became socially acceptable. Hammond. doctors advised the average American cyclist that he would not be troubled by bicyclist's stoop if he sat erect. anybodywho rides every day on a wheel and does for a chaperone?) not acquirethe bicycle face lacks character. At a meeting of the Academy of Medicine in 1895. for The idiotic grin of some of the cigarettesmokingfel. 31A. 11-19." as forms of athletics.33 Indeed. p. 378.. "How Cycling Injures Health. 471-473. It meansalertness. 1896). and most of these agreed that cycling shockingly exposing their ankles to view. cycling. 800. . legal. "The Bicycling Era. 41 Henry J. cit. cit. could be harmful. 1895). op.3" The proponents of the bicycle. This was the period. gout. XL (April 11. pp. . Richardson. "Woman and the Bicycle. to Health. Speed." loc. As one female or on the track... probably because of the reluctance of elderly ladies to learn to ride. religious. "On the [bicycle] excursion a special quick perceptionand prompt action in emergencies. cit. Dr. it became socially proper for a boy and girl to go cycling without a third party.37 Most people came to accept this view. it must be remembered. Porter. As soon as the safety and the drop frame made it easier for the fair sex to mount and ride. cit. op.41 The for the normal person was a healthful form of exer.. 287-288. 30Ibid. women's menaceto himselfand everybodyelse whenon the road clothing was drastically changed. thorities.30 Many more "normal" diseases were also laid to the exercise. 38 "In Praise of the Wheel." loc.39 (Or was it because the bicycle built-for-two had no room . pp. when the genteel female was on her way out and women were demanding every form of equality with men. and "nerves. LXXIV (August 24. 583. 37Henry Smith Williams." Forutm. ." Harper's Weekly. Ibid. 124. "Social and Economic Influence of the Bicycle." The Review of Reviews. and medical skirmishes which preceded the full acceptance of the bicycle. likened its effects to that of a wonder drug. reported that detailed physical examinations of cyclists revealed them to be unusually healthy."32At the same time. 1895. adaptation of dress is absolutely necessary.42 "Skirts. 40 W. may prove fatal in down-hill coasting. "The notion has been exploded. what were the consequences of this acceptance in certain areas of social life? Perhaps the bicycle's greatest impact was upon the American woman. 39 Joseph B. 35The New York Daily Tribune.. Porter. in a paper before the same academy. 370. unlike many America the famous bloomer girl."40 Some of the bolder among the sex easily adapted There were saner elements among medical au. 179-188. 187-190. Graeme M. alcoholism. though not altogether denying the existence of such ills as bicycle face or bicycle stoop. the advocates of the wheel minimized their danger or told how to avoid them. 42Although the bloomer had been introduced many years earlier.XX (January 1896)." The Nineteenth Century. happily.

47 "The Etiquette of the Road. "has passed. 361. "The time for a woman to faint if a man caught sight of her ankle. however. op. Tribune. cit. will be the universal garb for women. that the new dress was shocking and indecent. "Bicycling by young women.308 SOCIAL FORCES problem. The dissent was led by the Woman's Rescue League of Washington."49 Yet." wrote Mrs. p. One difficulty which appeared for the first time-and which still plagues us today-was whether it was a man's duty to fix a flat tire for a woman. Henry J."50 But this was definitely a minority opinion. 783.47 But this friendliness and familiarity of the road should not be carried too far. "The Cycle Market." The Contemporary Review. "Many a woman. 55 The Boston Daily Advertiser.." The Literary Digest.48The rule of the right of way at an intersection was a The New York Daily Tribune. if they desire to wear bloomers why let them bloom. It is merely a question of time when an unadulterated man's suit ." loc. who finally drift into the army of outcast women of the United States." a spokesman for the League wrote. "they can work out their own salvation. XIII (July 18. in those days as in ours. "should always have the right of way. XIX (June 1896). 1896)."44 Public opinion was not entirely unfavorable to this new turn in women's fashion.. himself. 5 Lacy Hillier. 1895). "Let the women alone.and it is not considered improper a servicesfor the womanto accept his politely proffered mendingof a wheel. June 4. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 50"Crusade against the Wheel for Women. An editorial in Harper's Weekly tried to resolve this problem: It is recognized befittinga gentlemento offerhis as a servicesin repairing puncturedtire. 46 Scribner's Magazine. Appendix. Garrigues." wrote Harper's. In 1889 the volume of orders received by wheel manufacturers and jobbers in Boston. July 7. "has helped more than any other medium to swell the ranks of reckless girls. there continued to be opposition to these newly won freedoms for women. p.. C. or arrangingsomethingthat has gone astray with a for woman'swheel. cit. 53Axel Josephsson." Harper's Weekly. LXXII (August 1897)." loc. allowed the use of factory methods in bicycle production... 334. "Crusade against the Wheel for Women. In 1880 the manufacture of bicycles and tricycles52was not even listed as a separate industry in the census reports on manufacturing. was unprecedented.. Despite the censure and ridicule directed at them. adjustinga nut. p. 325. 1896). This organization claimed that cycling prevented married women from having children. which was then the center of the industry. 51 "The Revolutionary Bicycle. 335. as late as 1896.46 Because women rode bicycles."45 The effect of the bicycle on women's clothing was truly revolutionary-within a period of two or three years the bicycle gave the American woman the liberty of dress which reformers had been seeking for generations. and all this talk and agitation of the question will be forgotten. "is riding to the suffrage on a bicycle.though they were wider and more flowing. 974." said the new woman. the women stuck doggedly to the new fashion. cit. appeared on the streets of Buffalo riding a tricycle-for in these days tricycles were not just toys for children but were expensive gigantic vehicles with the sole advantage of being easier to ride and to dismount than two-wheelers. 578. "Woman and the Bicycle.. XII (July 20. the bicycle was an innovation of considerable importance for the American economy. and that the new familiarity and companionship with men led to immorality." it began.53 We may adduce here another reason for the failure of the old ordinary. 52President Cleveland. 1889. "long or short .54 The invention of the safety. p." loc. with its pedals in a position which could be reached by any cyclist."43And bloomers did resemble men's knickerbockers. Columbia Bicycle Catalogue."'5' As would be expected. D. cit.. 361. the same editorial frowned on the practice of a male cyclist tipping his hat to a woman rider he did not know.55And in 1890 the census re41 Ibid. XL (October 3. 43 44 48 Ibid. so that this vehicle was not easily adaptable to mass-production techniques. are bound to go." The Literary Digest. 1895. "A woman. many more of the fair sex considered cycling a step toward even greater freedom. 184. But this magazine's solution was simple and gallant. Every cyclist required a different size of driving wheel. which he can do better than herself. new problems of etiquette presented themselves. 45 "The Revolutionary Bicycle. . An editorial in the Philadelphia Item was perhaps typical of some of the more tolerant comments.

XL (April 11.May 2.56 A few statistics will show the phenomenal expansion of the cycling industry after the introduction of the safety bicycle. tires. bicycle caps. 1896). cit. "Bicycles and the Book Trade. The Colt Automatic Rifle was mounted on the handle bars of a wheel. 78-79. 1902).072." wrote one officer.058.. 309 At the same time the price of the safety dropped to about $60 comparedto the $150 for the ordinary. XIII (July 11. bicycle stockings. part I. part I.525 and the wage bill had risen to $9. 243. "It is in rapidly moving considerablebodies of infantry.72 The bicycle had its effect on the United States Army.. 1949). 1896.63 Cycle repairing underwent a similar growth. part I. The Boston Daily Advertiser. XIII (June 13.57 By 1900 this number had risen to 312. The New York Daily Tribune. May 16. p. "that the bicycle will find its highest function in time of war. The Boston Daily Advertiser. Giddings. 1896). p. shoe. pp. 58 Report 61 Ibid. 407.358. cit.105. Porter. p. 126-127.65 All sorts of bicycle clothing were manufactured: bloomers. rear-view mirrors are typical of the extras of the nineties. March 31.61 In 1900 they hired 17. 783." loc. 82.76 The six-day bicycle 61 Columbia Bicycle Catalogue (Boston. tools. cit. XIX (June 1896). 61 Axel Josephsson. 685.68 56 Report of Manufacturing Industries in the United States at Eleventh Census. gun. 126-127." The Literary Digest.ts enabled amateurs and professionals to vie for honor and reward. 70 "Cheaper Wheels. part I. 6 The New York Daily Tribune. Bishop.70 Some industries actually suffered adverse effects from the bicycle boom.58 The total capital investment in 1890 was $2. many retailers were able to bolster their sagging sales by taking in a stock of roadsters (another name for bicycles). 82. trouser-clips." The Literary Digest. 6f?Report of Manufacturing at Twelfth Census. 364. 6-44. In 1890 there were 27 establishments making bicycles and tricycles. 1896. April 26. part I. Race tracks cropped up throughout the country and thousands of tournamen. "Effect of the Bicycle Boom on Trade. 200 wheels were shipped to Cuba and were probably used in the fighting there. 71 Joseph B. The Boston Daily Advertiser. 74 Ibid. 72 Scribner's Magazine. 1896. p. Bicycle lamps..783. too. Report of Manufacturing at Twelfth Census. as well as the repair of bicycles and tricycles. as separate industries.904.659. bells. 75 76 57 Ibid. 325. many companies began to turn out bicycle accessories and found a lucrative market for them. Soon jewelry. "The Bicycle in the Army. June 15.67Jordan Marsh and Company of Boston converted one of its floors into a riding academy and offered free lessons to anyone who purchased a wheel there. part I. Not So Long Ago (New York.May 25. Some military men predicted bicyclized warfare.OF SOCIOLOGY THE BICYCLE ports listed the manufacture. 82. 66 The Boston Daily Advertiser.59 in 1900 it was $29. and by 1900 new bicycles could be purchased for as little as $18. the fashion of trading the machine in every year or two had already been established. July 14. The New York Daily Tribune. cit. 1896.797 people and paid them a total of $1. 197.69 In addition. saddles. bicycle shoes. op. 1890 (Washington.74 And in 1896. The Medical Corps received training in evacuating men on the bicycle.71Fortunately. and department stores were all selling wheels. 1888). 1900 (Washington. May 1. 64 Reportof Manufacturing at Eleventh Census. hardware.75 It was to be expected that bicycling would make its mark in the world of sports.64 Furthermore. 63 Lloyd Morris. 1896. op. 1895. of Manufacturing Industries in the United States at Twelfth Census.66 Employment opportunities were offered in riding schools to which thousands flocked. 68 The Boston Daily Advertiser."73 Military maneuvers were held in which the bicycle was used. 1902). 73 Major Howard A." loc. 1896. so that a second-hand "bike" was within the reach of all. Because of limited space only the slightest summary will be made here of the bicycle's impact on the American sporting scene.60 In 1890 establishments manufacturing bicycles employed 1. 1896). . 1899.62Reliable estimates put the total number of bicycles in use during the nineties at ten million in a population approaching seventy-six million. 1889. 118-176. 59 Report of Manufacturing at Eleventh Census. "Social and Economic Influence of the Bicycle. April 4. Many colleges had bicycle teams which engaged in school meets. April 4. June 11. even bicycle corsets were sold.728.. 1889. 347. pp." Harper's Weekly. bicycle pants-with reinforced seats. 65 Luther H. 1896.

part I. July 13.manner.83Not only did these become the logical repair places for the auto. pp. 362. muddy in the spring. Standardization had been ton the League lobbied unsuccessfully for a federal perfected to such a degree that the manufacturing highway. The census report even classified the auto under all the members of the State Highway Commission belonged to the L. 93 Ibid.92 In Iowa and Kenthe general heading of bicycle. pamphlets and books successor in a variety of ways. 328.86Furthermore. p. have succeeded: the earliest autos had had to be 86 Nathaniel S.. Massachusetts." loc. Cycle Paths (Boston. Report of Manufacturing at Twelfth Census. of the credit for road reform in the eighties and The bicycle did the dirty work for its mechanized nineties.328 of them in 1900-was another of the bicycle's to building and repairing roads. op. L. 87 Ibid. 84 Lloyd Morris. Potter. pp.94This remarkable organization even built Frank Duryea owned such a bicycle repair shop in signs on the road marking the danger spots.89In Washingsembly-line techniques.81 central highway commission. 81 Ibid. 89-90. 85 A. 77 race attracted thousands to Madison Square Garden each year. the custom was begun of putting convicts 6.95 In like they built the first American automobile. with all the The New York Daily Tribune. Under its direction. 79 The New York Daily Tribune. the League of American Wheelmen took charge of professional racing in to improve their roads. By 1896.90 Other returns for this effort parts which smaller companies had contracted to began to roll in.... 1897. but did succeed in 1893 in getting the company no longer constructed the entire bicycle national government to create the Office of Public under its own roof.79 Ibid. 6-23. 94 Isaac B. Without good roads the automobile could never Brace and Company. The League they were the training schools for a group of backed legislation for lighted streets and for erectmechanics who could easily turn from the bicycle ing guideposts at intersections with the names of when the new vehicle became popular. 1896).form were written and distributed. hence they became locomotives. "The Bicycle's Relation to Good Roads.W. the roads were rough and rutted.84 By carrying on effective agitation for road re. run effectively on the English highways of their 88 Lloyd Morris. 90Lloyd Morris. op.88 To the League of AmericanWheelmen goes most But easily the greatest significance of the bicycle was the interference it ran for the automobile. 78 The Bicycling World (April 20.85 Privately built and operated turnpikes.000 annually. 1894). cit. p.77 Arthur A. sandy and dusty all summer. p. Potter. day. 1898). such as direction and another inestimable service to future autoists.91Several statesmobile manufacture is obvious.. which had once given the United States good roads. Shaler. cit.93 In still other ways the League of American gifts to the automobile. 358-359. In Massachusetts. had become unprofitable because of the railroads.82 The abundance of repair shops-there were tucky. cit. pp.87As a result. Anthropology(New York: Harcourt. pp. 16 states appropriated make. p. 93-95. cit. 82 83 89Isaac B. these Springfield. op. 95 Ibid.78 To help keep the sport honest.-including the Good Roads magazine-urging retion the adoption in cycle manufacturing of as. We may first men. 1896). 665. 78. "The Bicycle's Relation to Good Roads. 80 Axel Josephsson. Kroeber. . 362.80 The importance of this method for auto. op. 1895. 241. XL (April 11.. Charles and streets. road construction and maintenance were the responsibilities of the cities and towns and not of the federal or state governments. 92 Ibid. p. 91Isaac B. Potter. but had merely to assemble the Roads Inquiries. 1948).310 SOCIAL FORCES limitations that tracks entailed. 242. and it was here that signs would be sent free to any place in the country by the Committee on Danger Signs. 80ff. cit. As a matter of Massachusetts and New Jersey were the firstfact. the League constructed signposts with pairs and construction. December 10. p. Zimmerman was the Di Maggio of bicycle racing and the idol of a considerable segment of American youth. the cyclists rendered still important travel information.A.. His speed on the wheel earned him $40. American Highways (New put on tracks because they could not be made to York. p. but Wheelmen sought to improve roads. 229. the census of 1900 noted that 56 automobiles also established state control of roads through a had in that year been made in bicycle factories." Harper's Weekly.

973." loc. cit.." The Living Age. 578. so familiar to the modern American scene. 108 The New York Daily Tribune. rarely left their place of residence. Henry J. p. the system of enforcement was part of the legacy which the bicycle bequeathed to the automobile when the latter began its reign in the twentieth century. The pressure of millions of wheels on the road during the nineties compelled the passage of a new series of laws regulating their use. was rescued from oblivion by the bicycle.110 Despite the inadequacy of the roads. until hordes of hungry and thirsty wheelmen in the nineties thronged the country roads. "The Etiquette of the Road. Porter. So many accidents occurred that a new obituary column entitled "Death by the Wheel. cit. Porter.111 Often the whole family participated in these outings. 362. and New Hampshire were obliged to keep to the right side of the road except when passing. ClevelandCady."The Outlook. LVI (June 5. U1I Henry J. Ibid. 471. so much a part of the American scene today. "Woman and the Bicycle. XL (October 3.May 14.. cit. cit.101Wheelmen in Massachusetts." loc. CCXV (November 13. 362. the children all had bicycles of their own.105Cyclists boasted about the close shaves 96 Ibid.97 These services were important not only to cyclists but also to riders of the new horseless carriages." loc. 578. 304-305." loc. But the wheel made it possible for Americans to visit the country-side and neighboring towns.. Potter." Scientific American. 292. 99Ibid. 105 "Cyclomania. more often than not. they didn't Ibid. 100 101 102 103 Since the scorchers they experiencedon the road. 72.. p.99 Riding on sidewalks was prohibited in virtually all states.113 In the summer time many people went on bicycle journeys in much the same way as we today go on automobile trips. 163-164.. pp. p.108 Not only was the wheel effective in combating scorchers. 1896). In the earlier part of the century. cheered the speedsterespecially a female one-and hissed the officer. Michigan. p.. May 14.. cit. p. 98 Isaac B. 578.98 New Jersey was the first state to require bicycles to be lighted at night and also be equipped with a bell to give a warning signal. 1896. p. 1897). Cycle Paths.114Of course. 1896. 109 The Boston Daily Advertiser. 110"The Charm of the Bicycle. 1899). 1897). "The VacationAwheel.104 Along with these laws and practices and their infractions. 104 The Boston Daily Advertiser. 470. 1896. but these laws were apparently frequently violated and the phrase "fined for scorching" became a familiar one. Many cities coped with this problem by equipping squadrons of bicycle cops. p. p. Potter." appeared in newspapers. . Isaac B. The hostelry. cit.103 Speed limits were set at ten miles per hour on the highways and eight miles in the public parks. in some cases the money derived from this source was used to keep roads in repair. Luther H.96 League members were asked to record their mileage on cycling trips. 113 Henry J. 158.. had been on the point of extinction.107Daring races between bicycle policemen and scorchers became common.. op.102 Though not yet a matter of law many cyclists voluntarily began the practice of passing on the left and giving hand signals when turning. op. LXXX (May 13. 112 Luther H. p.100 Successful lobbying on the part of the League of American Wheelmen brought about statutes requiring that names and addresses be exchanged in case of accidents.May 16. except for an occasional railroad trip. and the parents might have had a convertible-a tandem bicycle which could also be used as a single safety. horses and carriages were only for the more well-to-do." Harper's Weekly. op. 77.112The wayside inn. May 2. because of the railroads.106 could outdistance police on horseback. 97 Isaac B. Potter. 80ff. The average city worker and his family. the cyclist thought little of covering twenty-five to fifty miles in the course of a Sunday. police methods had to be modernized. "Woman and the Bicycle. The Boston Daily Advertiser. p. "The Bicycle's Relation to Good Roads. but policemen also found it an efficient instrument when covering their beats-a foreshadowing of the patrol car. 106 107 114 Ibid. 1896. Many states required cyclists to purchase licenses for their wheels. cit.SOCIOLOGY OF THE BICYCLE 311 distances of neighboring cities. Garrigues.109 It was the bicycle which gave rise in the nineties to that new type of mobility which became so characteristic of the twentieth century. "The Bicycle's Relation to Good Roads. dates back to the coming of the bicycle and jeopardized the lives of pedestrians and other wheelmen. Garrigues. so that this information would be available. Garrigues. J. For the speed demon.. the public enjoyed these free contests and.

312 SOCIAL FORCES to live on the outskirts of the city and cycle into and home from work.. "Walking is now on its last legs. Benedict. and a comparative analysis of the impact of foreign propaganda on post-war Germany. and the German government. and private sources. with the bicycle in mind. F."''20 118 Joseph B. but many also found it possible '5 Ibid. pp. In these projects a newly developed method of recorded panel discussions with selected samples of the German population is being applied."9 Thus it can be concluded that the bicycle provided a preview on a miniature scale of much of the social phenomena which the automobile enlarged upon. The international aspect was stressed at the dedication ceremony."l5 The League of American Wheelmen provided its two hundred thousand members with maps which marked out the best roads and listed hotels at which members received discounts. Funds for the new building were made available by the American High Commission. cit. The Velocipede. Its director is Max Horkheimer. 304-305."16"Unlike the steam car.. "the bicycle takes one to the out-of-the-way places and scenes. Bishop.. p. p. A. L." wrote one cycling vacationist. and even took the trouble of advising members not to disclose their League affiliation until their stay was over lest they be put in poorer accommodations because of the rebate. the automobile. cit. 472. 120 J. or liable to serious ills on the way. op. the government of Hesse. it is not a source of care and anxiety. 116Luther H. Cleveland Cady. but made full use of the institutions which accompanied the two-wheeled vehicle. At any rate. after an absence of nearly nineteen years enforced-by the Nazi regime.""l17 But not only were many Americans enabled to visit the country. INSTITUT FUER SOCIALFORSCHUNG The Institut fuer Sozialforschungwas formally reopened at the University of Frankfurt on November 14. 179. 689." loc. cit.. Professor Rene Konig of the University of Zurich spoke for the International Sociological Association. unlike the horse. economics. but these hardy Americans did cover several hundred miles. and psychology. respectively.'18 Many could afford to make this change because suburban rents were still as low as tenement rents. "The Vacation Awheel. was made possible through the international cooperation of many scholars and public figures. displaced the bicycle as a means of transportation. Porter. as an autonomous body affiliated with the University. 472.. "Dangers and Benefits of the Bicycle. Major research projects at present center on the intellectual and emotional effects of the Nazi period on Germany. 117 J. The Institut's program. L. German attitudes toward America. and Professors Leopold von Wiese and Milton Mayer for German and American scholarship. participants included representatives of the Institut. Of course. p." loc. who has held the post of director of the Institut continuously since 1939. cover as much mileage as we do. will continue to be built on the integration of philosophy with sociology. the city of Frankfurt. p. and on combining the emphasis on theory that characterizes the German tradition with the rigorous empirical methods that have been the specific American contribution to sociology. an early cyclist hardly realized how right he was when he said. Benedict. op. "Social and Economic Influence of the Bicycle.ii. the American High Commission. the University. Professor of Philosophy and Sociology (and currently Rector) at the University. Reestablishment of the Institut in Frankfurt. for the most part.. from 1934 to 1949 in the United States." loc. cit. B. 1951. cit. . Professor Horkheimer reported. "I A.

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