Van Anden Dexter Velocipede, 1869

Van Anden Dexter Velocipede, 1869

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William Van Anden of Poughkeepsie, New York was granted patent no. 88238 on March 23, 1869, covering "improvement in velocipedes." This improvement consisted of a "ratchet device" or free-wheeling unit in the hub of the front wheel. This improvement, well ahead of its time, enables the rider's feet to remain motionless while the velocipede continues to move by momentum, as will a bicycle equipped with a coaster brake. Use of the device is optional, however, for the movement of a small plunger in the hub joins the pedal cranks fast to the axle, as in the conventional velocipede.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Bicycle, Van Andan
Other Terms
Bicycle, Van Andan; Road
date made
Associated Place
United States: New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. William M. Van Anden
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
America on the Move
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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