Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Cutting Edge Technology Unleashed In New York City

Cutting edge technology in '97. 1897, that is. And a women is first to buy in.
I was over at my Mom and step-Dad's place the other day. My step-dad gave me some newspaper clippings from the "The New York Sunday Telegraph" dated 31 October 1897.

Inside a manila envelope were some tattered remnants of a news paper which seemed to feature a lot of theatrical news. On one page there were several images devoted to "the first chainless bicycle sold in New York".

I think it is fascinating myself, but obviously, with the world the way that it is now, the context of this story has been lost on us. You see, a chainless bicycle with same sized wheels was a technological marvel in 1897. The import of such a bicycle in a city would not be unlike someone buying a driverless car today. It would be something unheard of previously, and don't you know, bicycles were cutting edge technology in 1897.

The woman in the image, whose name was Anna Held, was said to be "the first" person to purchase such a bicycle in New York City. Was that correct? I have no way of knowing, but isn't it interesting that the first person claimed to have purchased such a contraption was a woman? In 1897? I think that is remarkable given the times.

Well, my step-Dad found these floating around in the bottom of a safe he opened recently. He thought I should have the clippings since they have a bicycle related story. The images are crisp, clean, and not like any black and white images I've ever seen in a newspaper. Remarkable, really. If I didn't know any better, I'd say they were fake, they are that nice looking. I am going to find the correct place for these to end up at. It certainly isn't with me.


tony vails said...


Aaron R. said...

Anna Held was a famous opera singer.

Great pic.


Robert Hingtgen said...

She looks too trim to be the "Wait Until the Fat Lady Sings" opera gal! Must be all of that biking!