Innovation and bicycles go together like strawberries and cream, right? Well feast your eyes on this. I had to re-read the article twice before I understood what was going on here. You're going to want to alert your cyclist friends.
Broxup's new patent handlebars are designed to keep you, the Victorian cyclist, from accidentally cultivating a crop of face plants along the roadside. As you might imagine, it's more than easy to come a cropper perched on a penny farthing. The bars and pedals trap your legs and you wind up meeting the ground loaf-first.
Not so with these wacky bars. To the best of my understanding, here's how it works: you mount the high-wheeler in the ordinary way, leaping onto the moving saddle after a push. No problem. After you're up and pedaling, you deploy the rear handles, simultaneously folding away the front bars with the aid of some fancy mechanism.
That's right, now you can ply the cobbles and country lanes with your arms behind your back. There are even foot rests for when you'd like to coast, because you know these things are direct drive.
With Broxup's new patent handlebars, the humble rider needn't fear the odd pothole, brick, or feral cat. Should the front tyre of his beloved ordinary come to an abrupt halt, momentum will carry him, smug with forethought and panache, forward as seated, poised to gently and deftly "alight upon his feet." Seriously. -TIM
Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.