THE BICYCLE IN 1993. - Akron Daily Democrat, Akron, Ohio 26 May 1893

From Wooljersey


How the Wheel May Look One Hundred Years From Now.

The bicycle of 1993 will be built on very much the same lines as the safety of 1893 i. e., with two small wheels very nearly of a size. This was the plan of the first machine built in 1817, and now after a lapse of 76 years we have come back to the original design. A machine on this plan can be built stronger and lighter than on any other model. With the weight between two wheels there is less vibration than when it is over either one of them, as in passing over an obstruction the weight is lifted only half the distance in the former case that it is in the latter.

Then by the use of some alloy of greater tensile strength, weight for weight, than steel, and by filling the tires and the tubes in the framing with hydrogen instead of air, the weight of a road machine will be reduced to 10 pounds or less, while racing machines will not weigh half that much. The machine will also be made so that it can be folded up and carried about or stowed away in some corner. By improvements in the construction of the bearings of moving parts friction will be almost wholly eliminated, and the method of applying power will be so perfected that there will be absolutely no such thing as lost power.

The roads will be prepared especially for bicycles, the grades being very slight and in fact only sufficient to provide proper drainage. The surface will be hard and smooth, the outer edge of all curves being raised as on a race track. The roads will be kept clean, as by that time the horse will be found only in zoological gardens. The improvement in the rider will be equally marked. From the continued and increasing use of the wheel a race of people will be evolved that will take to cycling as readily as a foreign immigrant does to politics. Taking all these things into consideration, we may expect an average speed of 30 miles an hour on the road and 60 miles an hour on the track. The use of the machine will be universal. Children will be taught to ride as they are now taught to walk. The suburbs of our great cities will extend from 60 to 100 miles in every direction. All patents will have expired and such large quantities of bicycles will be manufactured that the cost will be nominal and within the reach of all. There will be no more crowded tenement houses. The artisan, who will work only four hours a day, will live with his family in a cozy little home in the suburbs where he can see the sun shine and breathe the fresh air. The use of the wheel will have so improved the stamina and physique of the race that the only causes of death will be old age and accidents.

Railroads will be used for the transportation of freight only. Every individual will own a bicycle. Those intended for long distance travel will be run by small but powerful storage batteries, which may be charged at automatic electric stations by connecting the battery to a dynamo and dropping a coin of small value in a slot. With machines of this character it will be possible to attain a speed of 150 miles an hour, and to overcome the wind pressure they will be fitted with wedge shaped wind shields made of some tough yet transparent substance. The bicycle will not be used in war for the simple reason that as dyspepsia will be unknown everybody will feel so well and be so good humored and disinclined to quarrel that there will be no one to go to war.