1869 Miniature Bicycle Used by Tom Thumb

Summary

Topliff and Ely, an Ohio company, presented this reduced-size velocipede to General Tom Thumb, the stage name of Charles Sherwood Stratton. This diminutive performer, who only reached a height of 40 inches, got his start with P. T. Barnum. Stratton turned his small stature into a profitable career entertaining both royalty and the common man.

Topliff and Ely, an Ohio company, presented this reduced-size velocipede to General Tom Thumb, the stage name of Charles Sherwood Stratton. This diminutive performer, who only reached a height of 40 inches, got his start with P. T. Barnum. Stratton turned his small stature into a profitable career entertaining both royalty and the common man.

Artifact

Bicycle

Date Made

1869

Creators

Topliff & Ely 

Place of Creation

United States, Ohio, Elyria 

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

30.120.27

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Steel (Alloy)
Wood (Plant material)
Leather

Dimensions

Height: 19.5 in

Width: 12.25 in

Length: 30 in

Wheelbase: 15.75 in

Inscriptions

At prong of seat is metal shield: PRESENTED / TO / GENL. TOM THUMB / BY / TOPLIFF & ELY / MAKERS / ELYRIA, O / 1869

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