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'A Pilentum', c 1820.

'A Pilentum', c 1820.
3 5 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 27cm


A promotional aquatint published by S & J Fuller, showing a fashionably dresed woman riding an early type of tricycle, described as 'a Lady's Accelerator', in a park. The machine, produced by Hancock & Co of James's Street, London, is reported as being on display at 97 Pall Mall, London. An accompanying inscription states; 'This elegant little vehicle is peculiarly adapted for the use of Ladies, as well as Gentlemen. It is impelled by the slightest touch of either the hands or feet, at a rate truly astonishing; and is so completely secured from upsetting, that the most timid person might use it with the greatest confidence'. Pilentum was originally the name given to a type of horse-drawn carriage used by women of the upper clases in Roman times.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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