Object StatementBicycle, 'Kangaroo', dwarf safety type, No. 26838, rubber / nickel / steel, made by Hillman, Herbert & Cooper, Premier Bicycle Works, Coventry, England, 1884-1887
Physical DescriptionBicycle, 'Kangaroo', dwarf safety type, No. 26838, rubber / nickel / steel, made by Hillman, Herbert & Cooper, Premier Bicycle Works, Coventry, England, 1884-1887
A bicycle featuring a front wheel of thirty-six inches in diameter with a white solid rubber tyre, nickel-plated steel rim with spokes threaded and screwed into the hub, which is cast with sprockets. It has a rear wheel of twenty inches in diameter which also has a black solid rubber tyre and a steel rim with a cast nickel-plated hub on ball bearings with a centre axle. The frame is steel tubing with forks for the rear wheel with nickel-plated steel rim with spokes and pedals of white rubber.
Thirteen missing spokes were replaced by the Museum in 1980. Some of the existing spokes appear to have been replaced earlier and are not the original ones. The bicycle is driven from the front wheel. The hub is connected by two chains, one each side of the front wheel, to a lower set of cogged wheels to which the pedals are attached. There are two small holes above the front wheel bearings, these are for foot supports so that riders could lift their feet off the pedals when travelling downhill.
In many respects the bicycle resembles an ordinary or penny farthing bicycle, with the same type of tubular frame, solid rubber white-coloured tyres and a rear mounting step.
The bicycle was originally painted black with nickel-plated hubs, bearings, cranks and various fastenings. There is evidence of green paint on the pedals but on no other parts.
Missing parts include the seat, chain guards, foot rests, handle bars, brake assembly and front wheel bearing race and balls.
MarksInside the left crank is the number: '26838', and the frame itself is also numbered '26838'. The wording "Hillman's / Patent / A25[?]27" is on the right bearing. The tyre has the name "Palmer" stamped into it.