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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 

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Speedway Racers: 1925
... every bike is single-speed and none had brakes. Track Bikes Track bikes are pretty much the same today. No brakes, one gear, and no freewheel so ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:26pm -

Speedway Racers: 1925

Tykes n Bikes: 1910
... one of "The Little Rascals" (Our Gang) comedies. Two Bikes, Three Kids Enough to guarantee a major disagreement if my personal ... the Rascals would despise, until they got to ride their bikes. Spanish Moss The plant dripping from the live oak (Quercus ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:27pm -

Tykes n Bikes: 1910

Bike Shop: 1912
... River Avenue. A hipster's dream What beautiful bikes. As a cyclist, I would love to have one of them. Just like today's hipster bikes No brakes - no coaster brakes, no hand brakes. All the with-it ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 6:13pm -

Bike Shop: 1912

Municipal Castle: 1906
... Detroit Publishing Company. View full size. Free Bikes I love how they could just leave their bikes by the side of the street without a second thought about the possibility ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/30/2012 - 6:33pm -

Municipal Castle: 1906

Rockaway Bungalows: 1910
... memories. We played board games and cards and rode our bikes. The guys played baseball in the parking lot adjacent to the Palace ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/04/2012 - 5:56am -

Rockaway Bungalows: 1910

Syracuse Panorama: 1901
... is a fantastic way to see the countryside. A world of bikes at the end of the golden age of biking In the lower right hand corner, ... sidewalk. Of course the 1890s had been the golden age of bikes, and the Model T was still 8 years away from sale to the public. The ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/28/2012 - 6:16pm -

Syracuse Panorama: 1901

Century Road Club: 1913
... View full size. Fixies? It appears that the bikes they were planning to ride were fixed-gear bikes with no brakes. I shudder to think what these guys went through crossing ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:25pm -

Century Road Club: 1913

Rambler Biclorama: 1902
... allows it to be steered from the rear seat. Rambler bikes and cars These Rambler bikes came from the Gormully and Jeffery Mfg. Co. of Chicago. By the time the ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:31pm -

Rambler Biclorama: 1902

Our Lady of Lourdes School
... Avenue, and the bicycle store there where we rented bikes on Saturday afternoons. Going to confession every Saturday down in the ... He needed someone to identify the kids who rented there (bikes rented for 20 cents an hour -- and that's the truth). We started a Junior ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 09/08/2011 - 9:17pm -

Our Lady of Lourdes School

Daytona Beach: 1904
... Publishing Company. View full size. Fenderless bikes I notice that the lady with the stylish sunglasses appears to have the ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:27pm -

Daytona Beach: 1904

Boys on Bikes, Cont'd.
Dallas, October 1913. "Messenger boy in the heart of the Reservation (Red Light). Prostitutes run back and forth. Business beginning at mid-day. I saw messenger boys and delivery boys for drug stores from 15 years upward. Some still younger told m ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:31pm -

Boys on Bikes, Cont'd.

Childs Restaurant: 1918
... I love the two policemen riding bicycles: police on bikes vanished for many decades only to be recently revived as an effective ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/21/2014 - 11:09pm -

Childs Restaurant: 1918

George and Don Cormany on Bikes: 1954
George and Donald Cormany on bikes; my mother photographed us at our house on 87th Street in Los Angeles way ... 
 
Posted by gcormany - 04/20/2013 - 4:05pm -

George and Don Cormany on Bikes: 1954

Ninth Street: 1915
... back the horse could be problematic. Fixed gear bikes Notice that none of the bikes left leaning against the curb have locks. Imagine trying that today. ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/18/2012 - 12:18am -

Ninth Street: 1915

Merrimack Street: 1908
... the sign was for the Adam Good Company. Propped bikes today I've seen bikes propped up against the curb like that in Tulum, Mexico, but never in the ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/21/2012 - 8:58pm -

Merrimack Street: 1908

Motorcycle Cop: 1922
... stalls. [Psst. It's a PEDAL. - Dave] Old Bikes Yes, that is "The" brake pedal on the left. There is no front brake. I ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2013 - 1:54pm -

Motorcycle Cop: 1922

Commuter Parking: 1937
... another local community like Bladensburg or Laurel. bikes I agree with Sugapea. My husband and I both graduated from the ... is just down the street from Greenbelt). He had 3 locked bikes stolen before he just gave up. Greenbelt I lived in Greenbelt from ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:38pm -

Commuter Parking: 1937

Neumann Grocery: 1910
... trees in our yard. In spring it was pure joy riding our bikes in the street with all the blossoms. Next subdivision over were in a ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/26/2012 - 2:30pm -

Neumann Grocery: 1910

Law and Order: 1918
... 1990's, but the company went under after making just a few bikes... based on much later models than this one, of course. Potato Digger ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 03/24/2014 - 10:57pm -

Law and Order: 1918

Motorcycle Mama: 1937
... time or two. What about it? Go Biker Chick!! Most bikes are too tall for the shorter-than-average woman and man even today. I'm ... I think apart from Harley, there are better starter bikes, but if you must have a Harley and you're a newbie, a Sporty is hard to ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2013 - 1:51pm -

Motorcycle Mama: 1937

Tyres & Fittings: 1910
... other words, almost nothing standard in the US fit Limey bikes! The Brits eventually sold out to a metric way of life, thankfully! ... idea frame pumps were around so early. I like the two bikes in the foreground that have the skirt nets. I'm happy that in the Twin ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:30pm -

Tyres & Fittings: 1910

Bike Raffle: 1954
... Looks like they all went to the same barber. Kids and Bikes Our small town required the bicycles to have small metal license ... 
 
Posted by ZebraMan - 07/21/2013 - 10:08pm -

Bike Raffle: 1954

Teeth Without Plates: 1905
... last a thousand beers! Little has changed Brakeless bikes, like the one in this great picture, are the 'modern' thing again now. ... new assignment I want to try to determine exactly when bikes started appearing with fenders attached. Goebel's -- the ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:35pm -

Teeth Without Plates: 1905

The Busy Corner: 1906
... to see how casual bike owners were in this instance. Bikes are parked all over the place with no worry about locking them up. Love ... first filed an application in district court" Upright bikes Bikes back then were "fixies." They had no braking other than ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/21/2012 - 6:50pm -

The Busy Corner: 1906

Scooter Sk8rs: 1922
... big-time bruises on the lower backside. No helmets, bikes you could "grow into" Not to mention being able to spend the ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/24/2012 - 9:16pm -

Scooter Sk8rs: 1922

Biking in Suburbia: 1968
... for kids to explore the nearby hills. We learned to ride bikes, spend weekend mornings hiking the hills, and staying away from our ... 
 
Posted by Mvsman - 06/28/2014 - 12:55pm -

Biking in Suburbia: 1968

Parting Glances: 1920
... from his ghost position to where he is now. Boys and bikes You can tell by his blurry foot that the driver is kickstarting his ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 04/06/2013 - 1:54pm -

Parting Glances: 1920

Grand Central: 1903
... up to Central Park for a lively canter. Broncs to Bikes Urban horseback riders at the turn of the last century were regarded ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 07/18/2012 - 12:29am -

Grand Central: 1903

The Nasby: 1905
... did a number on that place. Geez. A safer time for bikes Not a bike lock in sight. Nooks and Crannies What I wouldn't ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/13/2013 - 5:39pm -

The Nasby: 1905

Rutland: 1904
... the curb. These days it seems, most kids just drop their bikes right outside the front door of whatever store or custard stand they ... They look better than baseball caps. Water Truck and bikes Many of Shorpy's urban scenes show wet streets. I wondered if they ... 
 
Posted by Dave - 08/14/2012 - 10:23pm -

Rutland: 1904
 
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