Columbia Tandem Bicycle, 1896

Columbia Tandem Bicycle, 1896

Usage conditions apply
This Model 43 Columbia tandem bicycle was manufactured by the Pope Mfg. Co. of Hartford, Connecticut in 1896. Mr. and Mrs. Goldwin Goldsmith purchased this bicycle in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 1896 for $150. They used it for a honeymoon tour through Europe. The invention of the step-through or drop frame made the bicycle very popular with women, and the combination bicycle soon
followed as a bike ideal for couples.
This tandem bicycle is formed by the combination of a diamond frame in the rear and a drop frame in the front. The frame is made of high-carbon steel and nickel-steel tubing, the handlebars are tubular with vulcanite- tipped cork handles, and the wheel rims are of laminated wood. The diameter of each wheel with tire is the same, 28 inches, the front wheel containing 36 tangentially laced steel spokes and the rear, 44. The rear- wheel sprocket, on the right side of the hub, is driven by a block chain from the larger of the two-center sprockets. Another block chain connects the smaller sprocket of the center pair to the front sprocket. Tension of the rear chain is adjusted by moving the rear axle backward or forward in slots at the rear ends of the rear fork and that of the front chain by turning the eccentrically mounted front-crank bearing bushing in the frame, thus moving the front sprocket backward or forward.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Bicycle, Tandem, 1896
Other Terms
Bicycle, Tandem, 1896; Road
date made
Pope Manufacturing Company
overall: 47 in x 20 in x 97 in; 119.38 cm x 50.8 cm x 246.38 cm
ID Number
TR.309506 [dup1]
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Goldwin Goldsmith
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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