Teaching Cleveland

Lesson 13

FACT SHEET

The Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1897 devoted a full section to the popularity of the bicycle and proclaimed that "The Bicycle is All the Rage!" There were columns devoted to debate the morality of riding bicycles on Sundays. There were also advertisements for bicycles produced by a variety of local companies. It is clear that by the mid 1890s Cleveland was in the midst of a bicycle boom that was also reflected across the nation. For the first time, man had his own personal and independent source of transportation. A person could now go faster than a mere walk, travel on a narrow pathway and could maintain this means of transportation easier and cheaper than others.

This new means of transportation also affected the fashion industry. Special knee length pants (knickers) and hose were worn by the men, and women had to change to split skirts and bloomers in order to make riding bicycles more comfortable and safer.

As the popularity of the bicycle increased, so did the demand for better roads and better constructed, smoother riding bicycles.

The popularity of the bicycle continued until the turn of the century when changes occurred with the invention of motorcycles, automobiles and the eventual development of mass transportation.


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