Monday, July 4, 2022

4th of July Bike Parade in 1892 Shows Women Biking

The Mill posted a very nice detail of a cyanotype this morning. They didn't say much about it, however.

A child followed by two ladies

It has people bicycling! And not just men, but what looks like a child under a parasol and several women on bike also.

The full detail WHC (1892)

The day after the evening paper published a story about the celebration in 1892.

July 5th, 1892

Included in the long order of parade was the Bicycle Club.

With the Bicycle club

They had sent out a call for others, so the mass of people on bike in the photo is from a larger area than just Salem.

June 30th, 1892

C. M. Lockwood, the organizer, had started a bike messenger service, and it's not surprising he was leading the bike club project. The ads are amusing!

Aug. 1st, 1892 and June 22nd, 1892

It had been a side hustle, and in 1893 he made it full time.

January 26th, 1893

A couple months earlier in 1892, the paper had identified three women who biked enough to "constitute the ladies bicycle club." These are good candidates to be people in the photo.

May 6th, 1892

Two of them have left some traces in the paper. Lottie Hellenbrand got a new bicycle in 1892 and "knows how to handle" it.

June 3rd, 1892

Jessie Dalrymple biked in an ongoing way, and when Salem held a rose festival three years later in 1895, she was a candidate for queen and identified as a "bicyclist."

May 25th, 1895

Both Hellenbrand and Dalrymple were daughters of prosperous downtown business owners. The bikes were expensive and often functioned as status symbols.

There is more research to do here. But this is terrific, as solid evidence identified by name for women biking in the 1890s here in Salem has been elusive. Most discussions draw on national evidence, and lack specifics about the way women biked here and who they were. Even when the evidence is filtered through men, as it is here in the newspaper accounts, it is helpful.

That's a wonderful grace note for this Independence Day.

Table of Contents, page 1 for
On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder

More soberly, however, I am also thinking about Timothy Snyder's book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Though the book was first published in 2017, last year a gorgeous and moving graphic novel version was published.

Precept 1: Do not obey in advance