Bicycle racers at a fair in White River Junction, Vermont, August 1895.
Exhibit. The current exhibit in the Bailey/Howe Library lobby looks at the rise of bicycling in America from 1870 to 1920. Newspapers contributed to the nation’s bicycle mania with articles, advertisements, and announcements for cycling events. Stories about health effects (good and bad), adventurous cyclists, cycling etiquette, bicycles and the modern woman, and the need for better roads were common. Advertisements promoted bicycle sales and repair shops, touring opportunities, and sporting events.
“Cycling through the News” was curated by librarians Erenst Anip, Jeffrey Marshall, and Karyn Norwood, who staff the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project. They searched Chronicling America, the national newspaper database of the Library of Congress, to find an amazing collection of materials on all aspects of the bicycling phenomenon that swept the country. The exhibit includes period photographs, advertising and brochures, as well as artifacts. Glenn Eames and Burlington’s Old Spokes Home generously loaned lamps, bells, a flask, a brass horn and other items.
The exhibit is free and open to the public.