The year 2017 marks 200 years since the invention of the bicycle, a mode of transport that revolutionised personal travel. The Museum has an eclectic collection…
In 1996 production began in Australia on a bicycle which has taken the bike racing fraternity by storm. Nicknamed the 'Superbike', it features a special lightweight carbon fibre frame designed by a collaborative project team from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). It is an excellent example of the application of scientific research and aerodynamic design to sport.
'Dunlop Cycle Tyres and Tubes' poster
This Dunlop advertising poster exemplifies the increased popularity of automobile imagery throughout the 1920's and highlights Dunlop's pre-eminent position in the Australian automobile accessory industry at this time. Dunlop entered manufacturing in Australia during the 1920s, bringing with it tyre making expertise not available to local makers.
Negatives of Lynnette Murray photographed by David Mist
Lynette Murray is photographed cycling topless in the sun on Rottnest Island, Western Australia. A similar image appears on pages 46-47 of the book, but the image used in the book is not included. Neg 11, not used in the book, shows Lynette Murray cycling along a roadway barefoot and topless on Rottnest Island, Western Australia, a bag lies in the carry basket at the front of the bicycle, the handle bars of the bicycle disguise the bottom of her bikini, three trees line the side of the road.
Bicycle by Acrow Pty Limited
This Acrow bicycle is a prototype of a revolutionary Australian bicycle. The concept of a simple low-cost bicycle had been submitted to the Australian company, Acrow, in 1980 by John Sanders and Keith Bloodsworth. The company contracted Paul Cockburn of Design Field in the Sydney suburb of Paddington to design a bicycle which was rethought from scratch and patented. A tricycle version was also developed, for less confident riders, and also to carry shopping or light loads.
Model of a tank cycle used in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
This design model represents the 'Tank Cycle' that appeared in 'Tin Symphony', a theatrical segment in the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games. Designed by Dan Potra, the custom-built tricycle supported a corrugated steel watertank, a driver's seat and a special peddling device on its right side. Crossing the arena, it reiterated the segment's abstract, industrial theme. Both the model and the full-scale structure were made at the Ceremonies Workshop at Eveleigh.
Reproduction Draisine or hobby horse bicycle
This bicycle is thought to be a well-made reproduction of the first type of rudimentary bicycle, known as the hobby horse. The most startling feature of this bicycle is that it has no pedals or cranks and the rider gained propulsion by merely pushing his feet along the ground. It was invented by the German-born Baron von Drais (1785-1851) and was patented in France in 1817. He called his invention the 'running machine' but to the French public it became known as a Draisine or Draisienne.
Drinks trolley by George Freedman
The trolley is an example of the work of George Freedman, one of the most influential interior designers to work in Sydney. It is also an artefact of the 'designer' restaurant boom of the 1980s. George Freedman and Tony Bilson were leaders in Sydney design and hospitality. Bilson's Berowra Waters Inn, designed by Glenn Murcutt during the late 1970s, set the mould for the marriage of creative food in carefully designed settings.
'Moorgate Roadster' dwarf safety bicycle
The bicycle is known as a Kangaroo type. It features an early bicycle gear system comprising independent right and left chain wheels driven by their own chains from the front driving wheel. The idea was first put into commercial production by Hillman, Herbert & Cooper of Coventry in 1884 with their "Kangaroo" model and this name gave rise to the type, though the reason for the choice is unknown it is believed to have nothing to do with Australia.
Route map of Donald Mackay's bicycle ride around Australia in 1900
In 1900 Donald Mackay, became the third person to cycle around the Australian continent after Arthur Richardson and Alex White. Mackay set a new 'Around Australia Cycling Record' of 240 days 7 hours and 30 minutes. He pedaled a Dux bicycle, 11 000 miles (17 700 km) through scarcely known areas north through Queensland, across the Northern Territory, down the west coast of the continent, across the Nullarbor Plain, then up the eastern coast. Mackay broke Richardson's record by three days.
First day cover for the Israeli Olympic team from the Sydney Olympics
This first day cover has significance as an example of items brought to Australia by foreign teams competing at the Sydney Olympic Games, which were held from 15 September to 1 October 2000. It comes from a small group of objects presented to the Powerhouse Museum by the Israeli team at the Sydney Olympic Games. Each incorporates graphic elements of the Sydney 2000 Games logo or other symbols of Australia.
American Star bicycle made by H.P. Smith Machine Co., New Jersey, USA, 1885-1890
This unusual bicycle features the reverse arrangement of the well-known penny farthing design in that the small wheel is at the front and the large one at the back. It is propelled by a usual system of treadles and is called the American Star. It was an attempt to make the penny farthing a safer and steadier machine and was achieved by the rider sitting further back over the rear wheel which meant that falling forwards over the handle bars, called a header, was prevented.
Glass plate negative, 'A Modern Shearer' by Kerry & Co,
This image shows a shearer posing on a bicycle with open paddocks in the background. Compared to horses, bikes were cheap to operate and they were widely favoured by shearers in the early 20th century. They began to be replaced by motor cars from the1920s.
Photograph of J C Carter in costume as circus performer 'Diavolo'
J. C. Carter, billed as Diavolo, brought to Wirths' his daredevil stunt bicycle-riding act. He specialised in looping the loop on a bicycle, using a substantial apparatus. He was one of the first stunt bicycle riders to loop the loop. Carter patented his act and toured the world with it. As Diavolo, he wore a bizarre devil's costume with horns, tights and cape. He also performed with Harmston's Circus. It was reported in January 1908 that Carter had failed the loop in Singapore and was killed.