Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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1869 International Velocipede and Loco-machine Exhibition

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The 1869 International Velocipede and Loco-machine Exhibition was held at Crystal Palace in September of that year and had more than 200 machines from Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and the USA.[1]

1869 September 6th. 'Yesterday an international velocipede and loco-machine exhibition took place at the Crystal Palace. Several English and foreign manufacturers exhibited velocipedes, and had agents in attendance to point out the advantages claimed for their respective inventions and improvements, and also velocipedists to show the "paces" and capabilities of the machines, in a space railed off for the purpose in the tropical department. A velocipede circus was formed under the great transept, and for nearly two hours the performances of M. Moret and M. Michaux, of Paris, and of "Mons." J. Johnson, the champion rider of Belgium; also of Mr. J. Slassen and Mr. J. C. Gee, as the "jockey velocipedists," elicited much interest and elicited frequent applause. The fancy riding of Mr. Hook, the velocipede champion, was the principal feature of the entertainment, excepting, perhaps, the feats performed by Miss Nelly Smith and Master Barber, aged respectively 10 and 8 years, who seemed to be quite at home on the bicycle, which they propelled skilfully and gracefully. The exhibition will be continued during the week, and the performances in the circus repeated on days to be announced. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was amongst the spectators, and watched the operations in the circus with evident interest. Should the displays in question create a rage for the velocipede, the new machine may be honoured by finding a place in some future budget. The number of visitors wa3 5,509.'[2]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Bicycle, The History by David V. Herlihy. Pub. 2004
  2. Morning Post - Tuesday 07 September 1869