Henry W. Higham’s Bicycle Trophy Belt, 1880

When Henry W. Higham of Nottingham, England came to the United States in the early 1880s, he had an impressive bicycle racing record under his belt – or rather on top of it. This velvet trophy belt, measuring three inches wide by 34 inches long, has a silver plate with the inscription “6 Days Bicycle Champion Belt of Scotland – Won by H. W. Higham – Nottingham – 19th June 1880. Contested at Glasgow” Smaller silver plates mounted on the blue velvet have engravings of a man riding a high-wheel bicycle, a man standing beside a high-wheel bicycle, and a coat of arms. In 1883, Higham challenged champion racer John S. Prince to a series of three races in the United States. Prince won two out of three races to take the match. Higham then challenged Prince and three other racers to a single 20-mile rematch, and Higham won. His son, Harry Higham, donated the 1880 belt and 1883 gold medal to the Smithsonian Institution in 1944.
Currently not on view
Object Name
trophy, belt
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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