History of the High Wheel Bike – Sturbridge through the Years


Do you know the story behind high wheeled bikes, such as the one presented on our new High Wheel Bike Clock? Shown here to the left, this desk clock is made of painted black metal with a bronzed, sponge-like texture. It offers a real conversation amongst your other home decor, and looks great on a mantle or shelf space. The cream clock face features black Roman numerals and black metal clock hands. Now during the Annual Spring Sale at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, customers can save $25 off their High Wheel Bike Clock purchase.

History of the High Wheel Bicycle

This style of bicycle was popular during the late 1880’s, up until the early 20th century. Known primarily as a penny-farthing, implying a reference to the British ‘Penny and Farthings’ coins; one coin being much larger than the other. The late English inventor James Farley is credited with being the ‘father of the bicycle industry,’ as he successfully created interest and grand popularity over the penny-farthing and other similar “safety bikes.” The larger, high wheel in front allowed for faster speeds and better steering control. Those living in both urban and rural countryside environments across America and England, were all enjoying the convenience of this new form of transportation. However, this style of bike quickly grew out of fashion as smaller, more durable bicycle parts were produced. Yet still today, the High Wheel Bike remains a well-known symbol of the Victorian era.

Vintage Bicycles at SYW

Pictured here to the right is our Bike Lamp; an adorable table lamp once sold in a 1993 Sturbridge catalog. Over the years, SYW has long recognized High Wheel Bikes for their ability to complement our other early American and vintage home decor. Similar to the construction of the High Wheel Bike Clock, this lamp is made of both hand forged iron and pine wood. Iron craftsmanship like this, further lends to the nostalgia and antique appeal of a High Wheel Bike when showcased in your home.

~ Looking to display a High Wheel Bicycle on your walls? Resembling the 1993 lamp, customers might consider our Metal Bike Wall Art; now on sale for $10 off during the Annual Spring Sale.


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