By Ian Jones
(Shire, Paperback, 9780852638040, 32pp.)
Publication Date: November 23, 2010
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The safety bicycle, with front-wheel steering and pedal-driven rear wheel, has existed in some form since the experiments of Kirkpatrick Macmillan in 1839, but his ideas were almost forgotten when the front-wheel driven boneshakers and penny farthings reigned supreme. Then, in the 1870s, experimental safeties appeared, culminating in Henry Lawson's Bicyclette of 1879. Within ten years the modern bicycle had developed, to remain basically unchanged for over seventy years. Ian Jones looks into the intriguing history of this niche subject, accompanied by numerous images and photos.
After teaching history for ten years, Ian Jones joined the staff of Harlow Museum as Education Assistant in 1974. After becoming Museum Officer in 1980, he became responsible for setting up the Mark Hall Cycle Museum to house the John Collins Collection of veteran cycles, which received a Civic Trust award in 1982. Aided by the detailed knowledge of John Collins, the curator at Mark Hall, Ian Jones developed his own considerable interest in the subject.