Rushton Velocipede bicycle at the Radisson SAS Hotel

3 October 2006 to 23 January 2007 (please note that this object is no longer on display)

Old fashioned bicycle on display in a grand hotel reception

Museum of Liverpool on the road

Part of the 'on the road' programme, which toured objects to different locations while the Museum of Liverpool was constructed.

Former location: Radisson SAS Hotel

Old Hall Street, Liverpool

The Rushton Velocipede bicycle went on display in the reception of the Radisson SAS Hotel, Liverpool. Geir Tonnessen, general manager of the hotel, said:

"Radisson SAS Hotel Liverpool are delighted to be partnering National Museums Liverpool by displaying the Rushton Velocipede. We see National Museums Liverpool as a central focus for Liverpool and the 2008 celebrations and look forward to working together in the future."

Object: Rushton Velocipede bicycle

Accession number 26.7.19.80 (1926.80)

This Velocipede was made in about 1870 by Liverpool carriage builder John Rushton of Allerton Road, Woolton, for a Mr Gladstone who lived in Court Hey House, Broadgreen.

Velocipedes were first produced in France in the 1860s. They were one of the earliest bicycles developed with cranks and pedals on their front wheels. At the time horse drawn carriages were the norm and many saw cycling as a passing fad for those wealthy or daring enough to try it. This new technology soon grew in popularity though.

These bicycles were commonly named boneshakers in Britain at the time, because their wooden-spoked, iron-tyred wheels gave a bumpy ride over the cobbled streets of Victorian England. This particular model may have provided a smoother ride as it has larger wheels than usual.

It was kindly donated to the collections of National Museums Liverpool in 1919 by Mr A S Gladstone, the nephew of the bicycle’s original owner.

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