First Bike in Washington, 135 years ago

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Shelley 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #75858

    Shelley
    Moderator

    According to History Link, the first bike arrived in (then) Washington Terr. 135 years ago today.

    http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?displaypage=output.cfm&file_id=250

    On November 14, 1879, the first bicycle ever seen in Washington Territory arrives in Seattle aboard a steamer from San Francisco via Portland.

    Seattle merchant William H. Pumphrey displayed the boy’s size two-wheeler in front of his store at 617 Front Street (later 1st Avenue). On November 18, 1879, Jules Lipsky bought the bicycle for his son.

    Books and Bicycles

    The Weekly Intelligencer predicted, “Another season will find many bicycles here in active use.” The newspaper also noted that William H. Pumphrey & Co. featured “a stock of books not equaled elsewhere in the territory.”

    #75864

    great idea
    Participant

    very cool Shelley– thanks for sharing.

    much better than other anniversaries celebrated recently:
    November 10th– 39 years that the Edmund Fitzgerald sank

    November 7th– 74 years that the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapses

    I like the idea of the Seattle merchant putting a kid’s bike in front of his store to attract business. it reminds me of one of my favorite books, “Cold Sassy Tree” where a store owner in the deep south in the early 1900’s buys a car for the same reason.

    #75868

    SunsetHillGuy
    Participant

    just hope it wasn’t that one on Vashon:

    and I missed the Galloping Getrie anniversary? bummer!! I remember my next neighbor showed me and my friend that footage as a kid!!

    and i love that Gordon Lightfoot song about the Fitz, RIP to her crew

    #75915

    VeganBiker
    Participant

    Shelly – great article, thanks. It got me searching and I found this:
    http://crosscut.com/2013/09/25/roots-of-tomorrow/116396/4-culture-wheelmen-have-rights-bikes-p-2/
    In less than 20 years they seem to have had the same problems, maybe more, as we have!

    #75975

    Shelley
    Moderator

    Thanks VeganBiker. That was quite a fun read after an aggravating day of accounting.

    I’ve been looking for the one about the introduction of pedalers to our nation’s capitol. Tales of spooked horses, upset apple carts, and soiled ladies dresses, accompanied with a cyclist on a penny farthing with an evil grin.

    #75977

    Mondoman
    Participant

    We got to see that GG footage in high school math class — definitely made for a memorable day, as I had never heard of a bridge collapsing on its own like that!

    #75980

    Ernie
    Participant

    Here’s the real story of the Vashon Tree Bike:

    http://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/lifestyle/80272877.html?mobile=true

    Not as dramatic as the Facebook meme, but more interesting.

    #75981

    phoo
    Participant

    I’m just gonna give the guy on the bridge the benefit of the doubt and say the dog was too spooked to get out of the car and that’s why he was left while the fellow crawled to safety. I’d rather not think about the alternative and I see no other reason to not let the dog out.

    #75984

    SunsetHillGuy
    Participant

    according to this the owner tried to go back for the dog but couldn’t due to the swaying of the bridge:

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/TNBhistory/tubby.htm

    #75985

    phoo
    Participant

    Ah, bummer. I figured he must have been terrified, but if he was paralyzed, that would explain why the owner couldn’t’ve just left the door open for him in case he decided to make a break for it.

    #75987

    Shelley
    Moderator

    Given the way trees grow, that bike must have been stashed on top of a branch next to the trunk. The branch rotted away after the tree cambium engulfed the bike. Thanks Sunset Hill Guy for the post and Ernie for the rejoinder.

    The GG footage is pretty terrifying.

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