English-built boneshaker bicycle, c. 1865-1870. The 'velocipede', or 'boneshaker' as it became popularly known, was the first bicycle with pedals (and an uncomfortable ride). It was first developed in France by Pierre Michaux, Pierre Lallement and the Olivier brothers in the 1860's, first commercially produced by the Michaux Company, and eventually mass-produced in the UK from 1869. However it is highly likely that some of the earlier French bicycles found their way into England and served as models for local craftsmen to replicate. This bicycle in probably an example of this. The design closely follows the Michaux blueprint, but its crude construction (of the iron frame and wooden wheels) would suggest the work of a local blacksmith and wheelwright. This bicycle was donated to the Science Museum by the granddaughter of John Boyd Dunlop, inventor of the pneumatic tyre.
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.