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The Metropolitan Machinists’ Co, 1905

March 10, 2015
by the gentle author

A few weeks ago – courtesy of Bishopsgate Institute – I published the 1896 cycling accessories catalogue of the Metropolitan Machinists’ Co of Bishopsgate Without and today I publish their catalogue from 1906 as an illustration of how rapidly cycling advanced into the new century, especially – as you will see – in the applied science of the ‘Anatomical Saddle’ which offered extra support to the ischial tuberosities.

Images courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

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7 Responses leave one →
  1. March 10, 2015

    I’ll be thinking of these wonderful products when I’m cycling tomorrow. Again, I love the language”prevents it from perishing” and “a long felt want supplied”.

  2. March 10, 2015

    I thought the preponderance of bicycle gadgetry was a new phenomenon, how wrong I was.

    Skirt holders! How fussy and annoying to have to wear long skirts when you’re cycling. And dangerous!

    Very glad to know of the ischial tuberosities.

  3. March 10, 2015

    Fantastic, the same range of accessories you have nowadays for cars …!

    Love & Peace

  4. March 10, 2015

    I would love one of those anatomical saddles! Valerie

  5. Neville Turner permalink
    March 10, 2015

    Expanding saddle where can you purchase one today?

  6. Pauline Taylor permalink
    March 10, 2015

    Wonderful! In the illustrations for the ladies jacket and cape you can see the guards that used to fit over the back wheel to prevent long skirts from becoming entangled in the spokes. Some bicycles still had these when I was learning to ride but, if you didn’t have one, you had to be very cautious not to let your skirt blow about when it was windy, the skirts that we wore in the 1950s were quite dangerous in this respect! Happy days though when we went everywhere on a bicycle.


  7. Gary Gillman permalink
    March 10, 2015

    Very good. What strikes me is how little the bicycle has changed, not just in its essentials but the basic design and features of the two-wheeler. These, and the accouterments, seem to have sprouted almost fully-formed in the late Victorian era and remained in toto ever since.

    There aren’t too many products like this. Keith Richards made a similar observation about the Les Paul guitar, which I will second. Cadbury chocolate, maybe. Indian tea (i.e., the type still most popular in Britain). Crown-cap closures for glass bottles.

    Imperial stout.

    Gary Gillman, Toronto.

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