Built late in the 18th century, this is one of the first celeriferes (from the Latin meaning "I carry fast") just a rosewood bar carved into the shape of a crocodile, with two iron-rimmed carriage wheels. There is no steering mechanism; to propel it, you push with your feet.
A French model built in 1867 in the workshops of Ernest Michaux. The frame is solid iron, and the front wheel offers early examples of cranks and pedals. The rear wheel's iron brake pad is activated by turning the handlebar grip.
In 1869 the craftsman Rousseau of Marseilles built this monocycle, which perches the cyclist on the inside of a 2 1/5 yards-high wheel. As there is no steering mechanism, it makes uncommon demands on the rider's sense of balance.
A Cripper model, built in Great Britain in 1885 and used primarity in competition. It has a gearbox with a differential gear on the left. The two rear drive wheels are 41 inches in diameter, while the front wheel, used for steering, is 20 inches in diameter. A lever brake acts on the front tire.
Built in Great Britain, the Invicible model has three wheels of almost identical diameters : 30 1/2 inches for the rear wheels, and 28 1/2 inches for the front wheel, which is used to steer. The gearbox is centrally mounted and has a fixed trip mechanism. The tricycle was used primarily by ladies of high society - their ample skirts prevented them from using the bicycle
Bicycle with Carden Shaft
Built in 1899 in the F.N. workshop, this model has a unique innovation : a carden shaft in place of the chain. The bike was not a success, however, because the shaft's gears were too fragile. The brakes were applied by backpedaling.
Detail : A) The carden shaft which replaces the chain.
B) The acetylene headlamp.
A hand-crafted model built in 1900 at the workshop of Ciclo Veronese in Milan. Is has a frame outfitted with leaf springs, spring shock absorbers on the front wheel, and solid rubber tires with weight-reducing cutouts on the sidewalls.
Detail : The special shock absorbers on the front wheel
Model built in 1901 by the craftsman Edoardo Bianchi. It has a very tall frame, no mudguards, a rim brake on the front wheel, and a variable-speed gear and fixed sprocket on the rear wheel. The wheels are 28x1 3/8 inches in diameter.
Built in 1905 at the workshops of Birmingham Small Arms in Great Britain, this model was designed for firemen on duty in petrochemical plants. It has a hose coiled inside the frame, a nozzle, and a pulley block.
Detail : A) The siren, activated by clicking the brake lever into its first position.
B) The fireman's helmet
Light Infantry Bicycle with Machine Gun Carrier
This model built by Bianchi in 1914 was equipped to carry the Fiat 14/35 machine gun. A clamp on the top tube and a hinged ring under the saddle served to fasten the weapon in place. The wheels have reinforced tangential spokes and an additional Bowden-type brake.
Detail : The 3 1/5-inch hinged collar that holds the machine-gun barrel.
A model built in england in the 1930s. Little more than a folding stand with a pedal-driven dynamo, it served as a generator to charge batteries for telephone communications and tent lighting in the field. It saw extensive service in World War II.
The Gran Turismo model built in 1924 by Officine Sintesi of Turin. Three leaf springs support the saddle for riding comfort. Of course, a system so full of springs has its dangers : in a collision it can turn the bike into a catapult.