Emperor Napoleon III and the Prince Imperial cycling at the Tuilleries, 1869.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate taken from the Illustrated London News showing the Emperor Napoleon III (1808-1873), who had asumed the title of Emperor of France in 1852, and his son, Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph (1856-1879), the Prince Imperial. His empire ended in defeat in the Franco-Prusian war of 1871. The subsequent revolt in Paris forced the family to flee to England, where Napoleon died in 1873. The Prince Imperial, died in the Zulu war of 1879. The bicycles are early examples of the 'ordinary bicycle' type which was popular from the early 1870s to the late 1880s, later developing into the penny farthing as the front wheels were progresively enlarged.