Standard Cycle Works Bicycle Pin

This metal stickpin is topped by a blue celluloid button bearing the Standard Cycle Works’ logo in white with the text “Standard Cycle Works/The Standard/Chicago” in white. The Standard Cycle Works of Chicago, Illinois likely produced this pin as a souvenir between 1894-1897 at the Chicago Cycle Show. Standard Cycle Works produced bicycles from 1895-1898, issuing four different models of “The Standard” cycle including a women’s version with a drop frame as well as a tandem bicycle.
Bicycling boomed in popularity in the United States during the 1890s when the invention of the “safety” bicycle replaced the dangerous high-wheeler. The National Cycle Board of Trade held the largest annual exhibitions in New York and Chicago between 1893 and 1897. At these cycle shows manufacturers attempted to capitalize on the bicycle boom with exhibitions of their products to both the public and bicycle agents from other cities. At shows like these, manufacturers advertised their wares with pins and buttons made of tin and celluloid—cheap materials easily mass manufactured into trinkets and souvenirs. The Chicago Tribune’s account of the 1896 Chicago show speaks to the ubiquity of these kind of souvenirs. “Every visitor seems to have a desire to cherish its memory through some kind of a souvenir . . . anyone who does not look like a walking sign board is a rarity and every exhibiter goes after him and every available buttonhole has some kind of button in it, and stick pins are thrust at him from all sides.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
pin, lapel
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
celluloid (overall material)
overall: 3/4 in; 1.905 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Bicycle Pins
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Bicycle Pins
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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