Thomas Stevens

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T. Stevens, an English bicyclist will cross the Oakland ferry at 8 a. m. next Tuesday to ride his bicycle through to New York, and if he goes through all right will undertake the circuit of the world by overland route through Europe and Asia. He has a considerable wager on the time to be made between here and New York, but thinks it pure speculation, depending more on the weather, the roads and luck in general than a man's capacity for speed. He has an understanding with one or the leading publishing houses in London to write up the trip, with a view to bringing out a book for the English market, should the journey prove a success.

A Bicycle Feat. - T. Stevens wager - San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Apr 1884

T. Stevens, an English bicyclist, has advertised that he will cross the Oakland ferry to-morrow morning at 8 o'clock, to ride his bicycle through to New York. He says that if he gets through all right he will undertake the circuit of the world by overland route through Europe and Asia. It is no doubt sufficient to say that this proposed trip around the world will never take place, providing he does not consider "going through all right" riding on the cars or pushing his machine before him half of the distance. Morgan and Woodside leave New York on the 1st of May to attempt a similar expedition this way.

The Wheelmen. - The San Francisco Examiner, 21 Apr 1884

Thomas Stevens, a native of England and a resident of Missouri, has undertaken to ride a bicycle from San Francisco to New York in 70 day’s time. He started from San Francisco on Tuesday, April 22d and arrived here on the 28th, a little behind time. This is a feat that has been several times tried but never accomplished.

The Placer Times, Dutch Flat, California 03 May 1884, Sat • Page 3

T. Stevens, an English bicyclist, crossed over on the Oakland ferry at 8 A. M. Tuesday to ride his bicycle through to New York.

Marysville Daily Appeal, Marysville, California · Wednesday, April 23, 1884

Thomas Stevens, who started from this city last spring for a "cycling" tour around the world, had passed through Constantinople at the last accounts.

THE SILENT STEED. - Oakland Tribune, 14 Jul 1885

From letters received by the Secretary of the San Francisco Bicycle Club, it is definitely stated that Thomas Stevens, the rider who has encircled the world on a bicycle, will reach San Francisco on or about Christmas. The arrival of Mr. Stevens will probably be one of great moment and be a chance for wheelinen to see and know the world-famed rider. The San Francisco Bicycle Club has been delegated by his Eastern friends to receive him on his arrival, and in accordance with these wishes a committee of three members of the club has been appointed to properly receive and entertain him.

The Wheel. - San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Nov 1886

Thomas Stevens has abandoned the idea of riding through China, so he will be here about the end of the year, earlier than he expected. The company whose wheel he is advertising have arranged to give him a big reception on his arrival here.

BICYCLING. - Oakland Tribune, 22 Nov 1886

Thomas Stevens has abandoned the idea of riding through China, so he will be here about the end of the year, earlier than he expected. The company whose wheel he is advertising have arranged to give him a big reception on his arrival here.

The Bicycle Sports. - The San Francisco Examiner, 22 Nov 1886

At their clubrooms, No. 202 McAllister street, the Bay City Wheelmen tendered Thomas Stevens, the celebrated bicycle tourist, an informal reception. The apartment was profusely decorated with the calla lilies, evergreens and flowers, while the tables were supplied with material calculated to make the heart of man glad.

Mr. Stevens sat sedately in his chair with a bouquet of violets in his hand, which he frequently applied to his olfactory organ with apparent relish. He confessed in a guilty manner that it had been transmitted to him from fair hands, which fact detracted nothing from its perfume.

The evening was spent in songs, toasts and other diversions.

The programme of the bicyclists to-day is for the city clubs to leave for Oakland on the 9:15 A. M. boat. They will be met by the Oakland clubs at the foot of Broadway. Then the route will be along Broadway to Fifth street, and along Fifth to Jackson, where a photograph of the body will be taken. After that a run will be made to Eighth, and thence along the county road to Haywards, where a banquet will be served. At least 150 wheelmen are expected to be in line.

STEVENS' ENTERTAINMENT. The Bay City Wheelman's "Smoker" - To-Day's Big Meeting. - The San Francisco Examiner, 16 Jan 1887

The creek boat which left the ferry at 9:15 o'clock yesterday morning carried about 120 Bay City wheelmen and members of the San Francisco Bicycle Club to take part in the run to Haywards. The hero of the hour, Thomas Stevens, was one of the party and had with him the identical wheel with which he made his circuit of the globe.

At the foot of Broadway, on the Oakland side, some thirty cyclists and a large number of spectators were awaiting the arrival of the San Francisco contingent, and Stevens became the center of an admiring group on landing. At 10 o'clock precisely the bicyclists to the number of 150 formed in line and started on their trip in the following order, riding two and two: Chief Consul R. M. Welch and Thomas Stevens; Representatives of Divisions Beiderman and Booth; Representative Harrison and Secretary of League Haslett: Vice-Consul Mohrig and Consul Bowman of Oakland, Captain Meeker, B. C. W. and Captain Houseworth. S. F. B. C.; Captain Tisdall, Oakland Ramblers, and Captain Donnelly, San Mateo Wheelmen; members of the Senior League Club, Bay City Wheelmen, in command of Lieutenant James; San Francisco Bicycle Club, in command of Lieutenant McDonald; Oakland Ramblers, in command of Lieutenant Havens; San Mateo Wheelmen, in command of Lieutenant Knapp: Highland Park Wheelmen, in command of Captain Rosborough. The rear was brought up by a number of wheelmen who are not attached to any of the local clubs.

A more suitable morning could hardly have been chosen for the ride. The sky was perfectly clear and the air just sharp enough to make exercise enjoyable. Admirable order was maintained by bicyclists as they glided silently up Broadway and turned into Third street, and hundreds watched them until they passed out of sight.

At Jackson and Fifth streets the procession halted while Messrs. Louden and Gibbs, two well-known amateur photographers, trained their camera on the party. An hour was then spent in parading through the streets of Oakland, and everywhere along the line of ride the inhabitants paid homage to the wheelmen and their distinguished guest. The road to Haywards was then taken, and after a smart run San Leandro was reached. At this place the resident ladies were watching for the coming of the bicyclists, and Stevens was the recipient of a pretty tribute in the shape of a bouquet of violets adorned with knots of blue and white ribbon.

Haywards was reached shortly after the usual dinner hour, but the host of the hotel spared no pains in catering to the wants of the wheelmen.

At 3 o'clock the first detachment started on the homeward journey. There was no order observed on the return trip, the bicyclists returning in groups at different hours throughout the afternoon. Mr. Stevens returned in company with Chief Consul Welch and Messrs. McDonald, Gibson and Letcher.

The run was a most enjoyable one and great interest was evinced in the wheelmen by people along the route. At Haywards the populace turned out en masse and gave the party an enthusiastic reception. Although there were so many bicyclists of all grades in the saddle not an accident occurred to mar the pleasures of the run.

STEVENS IN THE SADDLE. - San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 17, 1887

The photographs below are from a search for "Thomas Stevens" in "Finding Aid to the Oliver Family Photograph Collections circa 1880-circa 1920s", at the Online Archives of California.

Elsewhere in the collection is this quote:

Photographs are attributed to William Letts Oliver, his son Roland Letts Oliver, and occasionally other members of the Oliver family. Other notable photographers represented in the collection include W. H. Lowden next hit and Gabriel Moulin.

They are likely the photos taking by William H. Lowden and W. C. Gibbs.


"Cyclist Thomas Stevens and Oakland cyclists. [1887?]
Marks and Inscriptions:: Written on back of mount: Run given to Thos Stevens / at Oakland / on his return from a / tour around the / world on a bicycle."

Stevens is in foreground, right.

San Jose Bicycle Club in 1886.
[The figure holding up the small boy on the left of the group is Thomas Stevens, then on his tour around the world on a wheel.]
From: FIRST BIKE ON THE COAST. - The San Francisco Examiner, 04 Aug 1895


"Title: Cyclist Thomas Stevens and Oakland cyclists. [photographic print]Contributing Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library"


"Title: Cyclist Thomas Stevens and Oakland cyclists. [photographic print]Contributing Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library"



"Title: Cyclist Thomas Stevens and Oakland cyclists. [negative]Contributing Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library"


"Title: Cyclist Thomas Stevens and Oakland cyclists. [photographic print]Contributing Institution: UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library"

The San Francisco Bicycle Club held its annual dinner Tuesday evening. The following members were present: George J. Hobe, Harrison Houseworth, Charles A. McDonald, Chas. B. Wheaton, John W. Gibson, H. A. Greene, F. F. Osborn, Thomas Stevens, B. C. Austin Jr., Charles L. Davis, E. R. Dimond, M. Feintuch, C. P. Fonda, H. T. Gibbs, O. C. Haslett, A. F. Lawton, James A. White, A. M. Brown, Thomas S. Cobden, W. G. Davis, N. A. Givovich, B. Letcher, J. F. McCarthy, B. H. Patrick, George H. Strong, and H. M. Whitely. After dinner several songs were rendered by the San Francisco Bycicle quartet, consisting of B. C. Austin Jr., Charles B. Wheaton, A. M. Brown and Charles P. Fonda. The toast "Old Riders of '78 and '79” was responded to by H. C. Eggers: "Our Honored Guest" responded to by Thomas Stevens. Morris Feintuch read an original poem composed for the occasion. A. M. Brown addressed the party on the subject of the Alameda contingent, better known as the Alameda Scorchers, and created considerable merriment. Charles A. McDonald gave a selected reading and the party adjourned after singing "Auld Lang Syne."

THE BICYCLE CLUB DINNER. - The San Francisco Examiner, 20 Jan 1887

The San Francisco Bicycle Club gave Thomas Stevens, the world-famous bicyclist, a farewell reception at their cosy clubrooms last evening. The apartments were prettily decorated for the occasion with evergreens and bunting. Two immense American flags were draped from the front windows, and formed the background for the sentiment, "Welcome, Our Hero Wheelman, Thomas Stevens." At 9 o'clock Columbus Waterhouse, President of the club called the meeting to order, and in a few appropriate remarks stated its object. Thereafter the following programme was rendered:

Song, club quartet, consisting of B. C. Austin, A. M. Brown, Charles Wheaton and Charles Fonda; reading, Charles A. McDonald; violin solo, Beverly Letcher; card tricks, Thomas S. Cobden; Vocal solo, B. C. Austin Jr.; poem, Morris Feintuch, club poet; song, club quartet; remarks, Benjamin H. Patrick: vocal duet C. P. Fonda, B. C. Austin Jr.; remarks, Thomas Stevens; song, club quartet; piano solo, Henry S. Fonda.

Addresses were also delivered by Captain Harrison Houseworth and R. M. Welch, Chief Consul of the L. A. W., Pacific Division. Mr. Stevens was spoken of in the kindliest manner, and ultimately was presented with an autograph album containing the names of the members of the club, with appropriate sentiments, and a special copy of the "California Road Book" by its compiler, John W. Gibson. Refreshments were then served, and at a late hour good nights were reluctantly spoken.

Among those present were the following: George J. Hobe, J. Sanderson, Thomas Stevens, R. de Clairmont, T. S. Cobden, A. F. Lawton, H. Houseworth, Charles L. Davis, D. O'Callaghan, Alex Caven, Beverly Letcher, Harry Fonda, Charles P. Fonda, Charles B. Wheaton, A. M. Brown, B. C. Austin Jr., C. Waterhouse, M. Feintuch, H. A. Greene, O. C. Haslett, H. M. Whitely, R. M. Welch, N. A. Givovich, J. W. Gibson, B. H. Patrick, H. C. Finkler, W. Davis, J. F. McCarthy and Martin Gibson.

FAREWELL TO STEVENS. - The San Francisco Examiner, 22 Jan 1887

Thomas Stevens, after making his wonderful and heroic trip around the world on a bicycle, has settled down to hard work as editor of the wheel department of Outing. Mr. Stevens is a terse and graceful writer, and his fund of information in regard to bicycling in both hemispheres must be inexhaustible.

The Wheel. - San Francisco Examiner, 21 Mar 1887

A wheelman received a letter from Thomas Stevens during the week and the world-renowned cyclist sends greeting to all California wheelmen, and says as yet he has had no reception that equals the one given him by the California wheelmen.

The first volume of Thomas Stevens' book will appear in May. It will consist of the trip from Teheran to San Francisco, and be composed of 400 pages.

The Bicycle. - The San Francisco Examiner, 11 Apr 1887

There's a movement on foot for a "reunion dinner" New Year's day by the remaining members of the Old Alameda County Wheelmen's club, which 80 years ago was the banner sporting fraternity on this side of the bay. Those were the days before the "safety" came into vogue and when it was necessary for the novice to employ a stepladder in getting started on his "wheel." The Alameda County Wheelmen boasted some daring riders among their membership. They were the ones who surrounded Stevens when he left Oakland on his historic bicycle trip around the world, and they welcomed him when he arrived here on the completion of the Journey. Among the members were Jimmy Arkinson, Geo. H. Strong, Bob Magill, Charles Havens, Louis Sears, Al Reichling, "Bill" Bowman, Willie Sharp, Bill Haroldson, Ed Hinckley, Alec Ireland and Alec Roseborough.

Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, 18 Dec 1912, Wed • Page 16

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