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B1258 Bicycle, Velocipede, boneshaker, Michaux-type, metal, maker unknown, c. 1869. Click to enlarge.

Michaux-type Velocipede boneshaker bicycle

This bicycle is a good example of a Velocipede or Boneshaker and was one of a collection of nine early machines acquired by the Museum in 1954 from an English collector based at Brooklands in Surrey, to show the technological development of the bicycle. It was made in about 1869 and is known as a Michaux type after Pierre Michaux who made the first commercial crank operated bicycles in Paris in 1864. The Velocipede was a step forward from the Hobby Horse or "running machine" of 1817 which was …


Object No.


Object Statement

Bicycle, Velocipede, boneshaker, Michaux-type, metal, maker unknown, c. 1869

Physical Description

Bicycle, Velocipede, boneshaker, Michaux-type, metal, maker unknown, c. 1869

The bicycle comprises a wrought iron frame, with iron-tyred wheels and wooden non-dished radial spokes in two rows. The cranks and pedals, are attached directly to the front wheel spindle. The pedals have a narrow flat profile with small hanging "acorn"-shaped plumb bob on the underside which always presented a flat face to the rider's foot. The Michaux-type Velocipede, of which this bicycle is an example, combines the straight backbone and rear forks in the one forging, running diagonally from the front socket to the rear axle. The saddle, comprising a padded leather seat, is mounted on a long, single, leaf spring which is secured to the backbone of the bicycle by a pair of curved stays from the rear axle. A lever shoe brake acts on the rear wheel and is operated by rotating the handlebars and tightening a length of metal wire. The handle bars are fitted with wooden hand grips. There are curved leg rests projecting over the front wheel for raising the feet from the fast revolving pedals while coasting downhill. These do not appear to be original. The bicycle finished is in black.



1380 mm


625 mm


21 kg


Credit Line

Purchased 1954

Acquisition Date

15 August 1954

Cite this Object


Michaux-type Velocipede boneshaker bicycle 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 March 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Michaux-type Velocipede boneshaker bicycle |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 March 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}