Crescent Bicycles Pin

Description:

The Western Wheel Works of Chicago, Illinois produced this souvenir pin for its Crescent brand bicycle around 1896. First producing wheels for carriages, prams, and wheelchairs, Western Wheel Works turned its production towards bicycle manufacturing around 1890. In 1891 it introduced its Crescent model cycle, which was produced in a variety of models for men, women, boys, girls, and tandem riders until around 1897. A white celluloid button tops the stickpin that reads “Crescent Bicycles.” To the right is Crescent’s logo of, a waxing red crescent moon.

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.”

Depicted: Crescent Bicycles

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Transportation, Road, Bicycle Pins, Transportation

Exhibition:

Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1990.0294.10Catalog Number: 1990.0294.10Accession Number: 1990.0294

Object Name: pin, lapel

Physical Description: metal (overall material)celluloid (overall material)

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a9-cb18-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1138150

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.