Pastimes of Yesteryear, 1867-1896

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I-81800.1 M2000.38.11 VIEW-579.B II-95581.1 MP-0000.25.189 M2001.43.1 II-172609 VIEW-13478 M979.87.5000
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Photograph, glass lantern slide
Victoria College, Toronto, ON, about 1890
James Ricalton
About 1890, 19th century
Silver salts and transparent ink on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8 x 10 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , educational (709) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Shortly after the introduction of the velocipede in the late 1860s, came the bicycle, which was easier to handle, faster, lighter and less expensive. By the late 1870s, the price for a velocipede was about $100, but a used bicycle could be bought for $5. Bicycling quickly became very popular, not only among those who took part in the new sport of bicycle racing, but also among those who used bicycles for pleasure outings and transportation. It is estimated that some 8,000 Montrealers had licensed bicycles at the end of the 19th century, although few of those bicycles would have been used for racing.

  • What

    This model of bicycle, with its two equal-sized wheels, was much safer to ride than a tippy velocipede.

  • Where

    Bicycles were ridden on streets that were often rutted and strewn with piles of garbage, horse manure and broken glass.

  • When

    The Montreal Bicycle Club was founded in 1878. It was the first bicycle club in Canada.

  • Who

    On July 1, 1874, A.T. Lane of Montreal became the first person to ride a bicycle on the streets of a city.