Lady's 'boneshaker' bicycle, 1870.
3 5 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 27cm

Lady's 'boneshaker' bicycle, 1870.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


The boneshaker bicycle got its name from the obvious consequences arising from its seat having no springs under it, coupled with solid metal tyres and the preponderance of cobbled roads at the time. This is the original Patent Office model relating to Samuel Webb Thomas' Patent Specification No 361 for the ladies version of the boneshaker. This bicycle is meant to be ridden side saddle, and to allow for this, the two pedals are formed on an extension of the left hand side. The front wheel track is offset to the right of the rear track, to counteract the out of balance effect due to the side saddle position of the rider, and the handlebar is longer on the left hand side. Skirt guards are fitted to the left hand of the wheels.

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