Bicycling in Brooklyn!

Perhaps others have also noticed that Spring is brewing in Brooklyn.  With last weekend’s record highs, bicycles and their cyclists came out in force all over the borough.  I was one of these people churning over the Williamsburg Bridge on my folding bike on Saturday, parked by the grocery store on Sunday, and commuting via bike path to work on Tuesday.  All of which gave me some time to think about bikes!  Not only are they a great way to get around New York City, but they have seen some interesting leaps in terms of technology and design. Here are a few of my favorite examples from the photography collection:

The Brooklyn Historical Society Photography Collection (v1972.1.905)

No title, ca. 1890. The Brooklyn Historical Society Photography Collection (v1972.1.905)

Eddie Tepper, 1887 by Adrian Vanderveer Martense. The Brooklyn Historical Society Photography Collection (V1986.243.1.22)

Eddie Tepper, 1887 by Adrian Vanderveer Martense. The Brooklyn Historical Society Photography Collection (V1986.243.1.22)

No title, ca. 1910.  The Brooklyn Historical Society Shellens Collection (V1988.468.28)

No title, ca. 1910. The Brooklyn Historical Society Shellens Collection (V1988.468.28)

No title, ca. 1950 by Harry Kalmus. The Brooklyn Historical Society Photography Collection (V1991.11.10.3)

No title, ca. 1950 by Harry Kalmus. The Brooklyn Historical Society Photography Collection (V1991.11.10.3)

A book from our collection called A sporting time : New York City and the rise of modern athletics, 1820-70 mentions pedestrianism as a sport that lived and died between 1835 and 1860.  Bicycles and cycling, on the other hand, were the craze by the 1890s and I think they remain so.  An article titled “Bike-riders had heyday circa 1890-1900,” found in our “Brooklyn and Long Island Scrapbooks,” talks about bike rides from here to Philadelphia and along Ocean Parkway to Coney Island (Brooklyn Daily Eagle July 13, 1952).  Today being May 1, the beginning of National Bike Month, I must shout out to all the cyclists in Brooklyn who share my delight in this awesome machine.  Let the bicycle craze continue well into the 21st century!

About Julie May

I am the Head of Collection Management at Brooklyn Historical Society.
This entry was posted in Brooklyn Past & Present, Library & Archives and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>