Van Cleve Bicycle, Made by the Wright Brothers circa 1896

Summary

Wilbur and Orville Wright opened their first bicycle shop in 1892 and started building their own cycles -- under the "Van Cleve" and "St. Clair" brands -- in 1896. "Safety" bicycles like this, with both wheels the same size, replaced high-wheeler bikes in the early 1890s. Easier to ride, the popular chain-driven safeties launched a bicycling craze in the United States.

Wilbur and Orville Wright opened their first bicycle shop in 1892 and started building their own cycles -- under the "Van Cleve" and "St. Clair" brands -- in 1896. "Safety" bicycles like this, with both wheels the same size, replaced high-wheeler bikes in the early 1890s. Easier to ride, the popular chain-driven safeties launched a bicycling craze in the United States.

Artifact

Bicycle

Date Made

circa 1896

Creators

Wright, Orville, 1871-1948 

Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912 

Place of Creation

United States, Ohio, Dayton 

Creator Notes

Made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in Dayton, Ohio.

Keywords

Bicycles 

Firsts 

Greenfield Village
 On Exhibit

at Greenfield Village in Wright Cycle Shop

Object ID

37.316.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Leather
Metal
Nickel (Metal)
Plate (Material)

Color

Black (Color)

Dimensions

Height: 42 in

Width: 19 in

Length: 70.5 in

Inscriptions

Plaque on head column: VAN CLEVE / WRIGHT CYCLE CO. / DAYTON, O.

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