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Cycling mss., ca. 1879-1978

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lilly Library
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Cycling mss.,ca. 1879-1978

Collection No.
LMC 2804

230 items

Materials are in English.

The Cycling mss., ca. 1879-1978, consist of materials pertaining to the growth of bicycling and the bicycling industry in the late-19th and early-20th century.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Historical Note

The modern bicycle made its first appearance in the United States around 1880, becoming very popular in the state of Indiana. Indianapolis was home to several bicycle manufacturers. What could have been a fad became instead an integral part of American life. Women became as passionate about cycling as men, recognizing that the bicycle was a liberating force that would help them on their journey down the road to equal rights. Since 1951, Bloomington and Indiana University have hosted the annual Little 500 bicycle race. Modeled on the Indianapolis 500 and described as the "World's Greatest College Weekend," the race was the inspiration for the 1979 film Breaking Away.

Scope and Content Note

Collection consists of photographs, one tintype, glass slides, a diary recording a cycling tour of Germany, a bound volume of newspaper clippings detailing cycling accidents, a glass negative, correspondence, bill headings, postcards, cycling club ephemera, bicycling catalogs, broadsides, sheet music, news clippings and business records all related to and documenting the sport of cycling in in the U.S. in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The collection also contains one small contemporary artist's print depicting a cyclist dated 1978.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Acquired: 2013
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Cycling mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Processing Information
Processed by Craig Simpson.

Completed in 2013

Cycling, mss., ca. 1879-1978

Box 1 Correspondence, 1868-1913 [image]View item(s)

Overman Wheel Company, correspondence, cost estimates, agreements, 1883-1886 [image]View item(s)

Overman Wheel Company, price list, 1886 [image]View item(s)

Bicycle Clubs materials, 1881-1900 [image]View item(s)

Postcards [image]View item(s)

Miscellaneous [image]View item(s)

Box 2 Photos, miscellaneous [image]View item(s)

Photos, women, ca. 1910 [image]View item(s)

Photos, children, ca. 1891 [image]View item(s)

Photos, men, ca. late-19th/early-20th century [image]View item(s)

Box 3 Journal, bicycling across Germany, 1879 [image]View item(s)

Scrapbook, newspaper clippings of bicycle accidents, 1896 [image]View item(s)

Glass negatives of bicycling scenes


Box 4 Sprocket Man, comic book on bicycle safety

Trade catalogs

(3 folders)

Box 5 Trade catalogs

(4 folders)

Box 6 Trade catalogs

(4 folders)

Box 7 Trade catalogs

(4 folders)