How bicycles helped liberate women in the 1890s | Ephemeral New York

Source: How bicycles helped liberate women in the 1890s | Ephemeral New York

When the cycling fad hit New York in the 1870s and 1880s, it was danger-courting men who mostly took up the wheel—scorching down city streets and joining cycling clubs for group jaunts to the far reaches of New York and Brooklyn.

But with the invention of what was called the “safety bicycle,” which had wheels closer to the ground and pedals that powered the back wheel rather than the front wheel, became less a risky activity and more of an exhilarating way to get around.

That’s when women began cycling in large numbers.

The sense of freedom these “steel steers” offered is credited with paving the way for…

Source: How bicycles helped liberate women in the 1890s | Ephemeral New York

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