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Accessories for Every Occasion

Accessories aren’t just for looks.

Cycles and cycling supported a large accessory industry. As early as 1870, English law required that all vehicles, including cycles, use lights between sunset and sunrise. Riders of the ordinary found that an oil lamp slung around the front axle, called a hub lamp, worked best. Among the many bicycle lamps in the Museum’s collection are examples of such popular acetylene models as the “Solar” (760644) and “Panther” (760638) lamps, both dating from around 1900.

Bicycle lamps and fuel, 1895-1920

The collection also includes a wide variety of electric models.

Cyclists used many different noise-making devices to alert pedestrians to their presence (810289) like this bell designed for an ordinary bicycle dating from the 1880s. By the 1890s, manually operated bells such as the New Departure “C” (810291) were in general use. The collection also includes mileage logs or cyclometers, designed for use on ordinaries as well as safety bicycles.