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Donor: Fred Kilpatrick

Wouldn’t you get attention driving this down Main Street, Sussex?

The penny-farthing bicycle was popular in the 1870s and 1880s. Its name comes from the British penny and farthing coins: the much larger penny being the front wheel, and the small farthing, the rear wheel.

Research says the large front wheel provided high speeds, since it travelled a large distance for every rotation of the legs, and comfort, because the large wheel apparently provided greater shock absorption.

Our penny-farthing bicycle does not look comfortable to ride. The wood is from a hornbeam tree and the iron was shaped by a blacksmith. A carriage wheel was used for the front and the back wheel was taken from a baby buggy. The seat is made of wood, covered by a thin layer of wool and then leather. The pedals are also of wood.

Artifact #:99112

Donor:Fred Kilpatrick


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