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Boneshaker or Velocipede Bicycle

circa 1869

This is a boneshaker or velocipede bicycle made by John Fletcher and Sons, Eagle Foundry, Salford in 1869.

This type of bicycle was originally manufactured and sold in France. It first appeared in Britain when the French manufacturers contracted a Coventry firm to produce 400 bicycles for export to France. The French were forced to renege on this order due to France declaring war on Germany. The Coventry firm then released the finished bicycles onto the British market. Many of these were brought by companies who were eager to copy the bicycle and get a foothold in this new market.

This was Britain’s earliest bicycle and was responsible for widespread interest in cycling.