Bicycle Design and Manufacture
visiting the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Albert Pope, the owner
of Pope Manufacturing Company, saw the first modern bicycle ever to be displayed
in the United States. The excitement over the two-wheeled contraption inspired
him to travel to England, where he visited the factories that produced them. Back
home again, he converted his business selling shoes and small mechanical parts
into an import house for bicycles.
By 1878 Pope wanted to become more
than just an importer, so he commissioned a mechanic named Atwell to create a
version of the bicycle for Pope to manufacture. Pope introduced the chain-less
bicycle which ran on a drive shaft and bevel gear, preparing the way for the automobile.
He has been referred to as the "father of good roads" because his popular bicycle
created a demand for better roads.The Columbia cost $313, a small fortune. Pope
opened a large salesroom and a Bicycle Riding School at 87 Summer Street. Pope's
bicycle was the first modern bicycle built in the United States, and the successors
of his Columbia-brand bicycle can still be purchased.
Albert Pope and His American Dream Machines by
Stephen B. Goddard, 2000 |
Bicycle by Jay and Jim Hurd, 2001