1894/1895 GOOD ROADS CAMPAIGN

 

 

1894/1895 GOOD ROADS CAMPAIGN

A PERMIT TO WALK: It has been suggested that in view of the growing popularity of the wheel, people who are so far out of date as to walk should be obliged to submit to some of the regulations which have been made for wheelmen. An exchange, the name of which we have lost, makes some interesting suggestions for our own authorities. A few of the more important may be referred to. The present tax on bicycles is to be abolished. Every pedestrian will be required to procure a permit to walk. These permits must be renewed annually, and a fee will be charged for them. With each permit will be issued a numbered metal plate, which the pedestrian, while in the stret, must wear on the front of his headband. Every pedestrian shall supply himself with a bell and a whistle, which he must sound when meeting or passing a bicyclist on the sidewalk, and while crossing a street, whether or not a bicyclist is in sight at the time. At night he must also carry lighted lanterns on his breast and back. No pedestrian within the limits of a city or village shall walk more rapidly than at a rate of two miles an hour. 

– L.A.W Bulletin & Good Roads, 21st June 1895

Bicyclists had a difficult time in the early days of cycling. It was bad enough having to dodge horses, carts and wagons. But the roads were atrocious, and the cycle manufacturers had to create ‘lobbies’ to force the government to improve and build proper highways.

Some American towns and cities also introduced licenses for bicycles: bicycles had to display a ‘sidepath license’ which made it easier to identify the owner in case of infringement of local laws. These bicycle license plates are a charming accessory over a century later, but at the time were an added imposition for the casual rider. An example is the 1899 license below, attached to the nearside fork of my 1893 Elliott Hickory Safety Bicycle.

 

An interesting consequence of this tax on cycle ownership is that, on an original bicycle of the era, in lieu of any other personal history, it’s possible to know where the owner lived in a given year. Remarkably, this particular bicycle’s sidepath license is from Tuscarawas County, only 30 miles from where I purchased the bike, in southern Ohio’s Amish country, suggesting that the bike has remained in the same general area since the end of the nineteenth century.

 

 

1894 GOOD ROADS CAMPAIGN

 

 

 

1894: NIAGARA COUNTY SIDE PATH LEAGUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST 1894 GOOD ROADS MAGAZINE:

SOME ROAD PROBLEMS

 

AUGUST 1894 GOOD ROADS MAGAZINE:

ASBURY PARK BABY SHOW

 

 

 

AUGUST 1894 GOOD ROADS MAGAZINE:

THE AUSTIN ROCK CRUSHER

 

 

 

DECEMBER 1894 GOOD ROADS MAGAZINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 1895 GOOD ROADS MAGAZINE



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the picture I use when I’m in the middle of building one of the pages on this website. This seems like an appropriate place to park it.