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Wednesday 23 May 2012

Have Bike, Will Type

As "Type RiderMaya Stein makes her way across America, celebrating her 40th on a 40-day odyssey, by cycling with typewriter 1300 miles from Amherst, Massachusetts, to the home of the typewriter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (last heard from overnight in Johnstown, Pennsylvania)  she may be amused to know that in 1897, typewriters on bicycles were considered a handy military device.
On January 9, 1897, Sporting Life ran this little item in its cycling news:
Maya, by the way, is stopping along the way, setting up a mobile typing booth, and inviting people to contribute their words to a growing poem.
This lady tried it back in the late 19th century, but found her choice of typewriter a little too heavy, so decided to put her feet up and write her own long poem at home:


notagain said...

How timely! I'm taking a Corsair on my bike this week!
Great post as always.

Richard P said...

Great stuff! (But the flash of ankle and thigh is very improper and should be marked "not safe for work.")

Interesting to see that bicycles were nicknamed "wheels," I didn't know that. The article, published just before the automobile explosion, suggests an alternate history where the internal combustion engine was never perfected and the bicycle remained the vehicle of choice for billions. The planet would have been better off.

notagain said...

LOL Richard. I chuckled too at the fact that the subhead "odd uses" came AFTER the the type-cycle.

Alex said...

I don't know about the bicycle typewriter, but there have been several very successful military bicycles that I know of. In the beginning, I believe they were a sort of substitute for horses. Now they're useful because they are a comparatively quiet vehicle that does not require refueling.