The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project was delighted that the University of Vermont’s Special Collections hosted Robert McCullough, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation, last Wednesday, the 21st, at 5:30 pm, for a special talk entitled, Good Roads & Good Sidepaths: Tracing Bicycle History on the Land. This talk was in conjunction with the newspaper project’s summer/fall exhibit at the Bailey/Howe Library, Cycling Through the News: The Rise of Bicycling in Vermont and the Nation.
McCullough’s talk explored the rise of bicycling in the late 19th century in the United States and how pioneering wheelmen and wheelwomen shaped the landscape. In particular, he addressed the creation of sidepaths and the push for good roads, starting in the late 1880s. Sidepaths were created, particularly in New York state, alongside roads as special paths for bicyclists only. Many of these paths required bicyclists to purchase special bicycle tags in order to ride on them! Unfortunately, few of these original sidepaths remain extant today in the country–and none are known extant (or known ever to have been created) in Vermont.
McCullough’s new book, Old Wheelways: Traces of Bicycle History on the Land, is out now. You can find it on the MIT Press’s website and on Amazon.
If you haven’t seen it, there’s a few more days yet to view the exhibit! We’ll be taking it down on Friday, October 30.
It was a lovely day for a bicycle history tour last Saturday, June 13th, with warm temperatures and blue skies! Luis Vivanco, University of Vermont professor of anthropology and author of Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing, led thirteen adventurous wheelmen and wheelwomen on a cycling tour of Burlington’s rich bicycling past, with stops all over the city.
The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit at the Bailey/Howe Library lobby on the University of Vermont campus (where VTDNP is headquartered): Cycling Through the News: The Rise of Bicycling in Vermont & the Nation.
The UVM Libraries summer exhibit 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 the staff of the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project. Karyn Norwood, digital support specialist, 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, which is free and open to the public, runs until August 26, 2015.
Stay tuned for additional news on upcoming related events and exhibits!