Water velocipede, 1870s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
During the period 1870 to 1891 a number of mechanically-propelled pleasure craft were built. This model represents one of these pleasure craft constructed for the use of Queen Victoria on Virginia Water. The scene depicts the Royal Family in the 1870s; the lifelike figures represent Queen Victoria, her daughter-in-law Princes Alexandra and her son (later Edward VII), as well as another man. The two men turn the paddle wheels by means of pedals fitted to cranks in the axle.