PICTURE HISTORY of BICYCLES in consumer media



  • edited February 2018

    Bikes in the first two photos are likely Kosmos. Just look at the build quality! Note especially the chain guards on the women's bikes - super ornate and beautiful!

  • Do you have the poster of the aristocrats cycling in the North African desert on Kosmos?

  • Its actually very hard to find pictures of these old chain guards - most rusted away many years ago. Any pictures that you guys can find would be appreciated!

  • edited March 2018

    I think we can date the first two photos to the 1890's. Last one may be older. What do you think?

    Actually if you look at the last photo it was taken in San Francisco (1227 Market Street) of all places! I guess the bike is a Richardsen? Interesting point is that the gearing looks super light - I guess SF is very hilly?

  • Sexual implication #heavy

    The lady in the background is holding the tail feathers
    of which the colonial gentleman is trying to collect more.

    "In Christianity feathers represented virtues. In fact, an image of three feathers were made into signet rings - each feather symbolizing Charity, hope, and faith. These rings were worn as a symbol of a virtuous soul - they were also used as wax seals. The ring would be dipped in warm wax then pressed against documents to seal the closure. The recipient would know the documents came from a virtuous man by the indication of the three-feather symbol in the wax." - quora.com

  • Subliminal stimuli

    Subliminal stimuli (/sʌbˈlɪmɪnəl/) (the prefix sup- literally "below, or less than", while the prefix sub- literally "up to"),[1] contrary to supraliminal stimuli or "above threshold", are any sensory stimuli below an individual's threshold for conscious perception.[2] A recent review of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies shows that subliminal stimuli activate specific regions of the brain despite participants being unaware.[3] Visual stimuli may be quickly flashed before an individual can process them, or flashed and then masked, thereby interrupting the processing. Audio stimuli may be played below audible volumes or masked by other stimuli.

    From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subliminal_stimuli

  • Ladies related to bicycles are recurring in the mid XX. century (relateable to II. World War) in an evergrowing independent role. Many articles published nowadays are stating that bicycles indeed were the symbols of independent women long before even the I. World War. Mobility and the chance to relocate were important aspects.

    In a factory environment or living in close proximity with a military base / hospital this can be easily understood.

  • Similar psychology being used as that of the "desert poster" above:

  • edited August 2018

    Not to mention this one:

  • edited August 2018

    Very subliminal are these two as well:



    All but one pair o tires are defeated and the knight is ready to claim his future posession,
    the castle itself (or the female aspect waiting within, who knows).

    Flying through the sky among stars with a naked redhead who enjoys being taken on a ride - almost in a submissive manner - by winged pedals

  • edited August 2018

    Same concept as Cycles Gladiator (above) is shown by Cycles Sirius (1899?)

    Note: it's interesting how - in a subliminal way - the female anatomy is presented through the compostition of the inner section of the saddle positioned perfectly under the fictitious lady depicted...

  • edited August 2018

    The following two examples are very interesting! In fact they are showing off the proud approach to even go cocky on the subject! In both pictures we can see how the modern invention, the state of the art vehicle, the representation of "the modern and civilized individual" is beating tradition and the symbols of the old world order... namely horese power, the means of infrastructure, mobility and warfare. A symbol of civlization dating back thousands of years. Egypt, Megas Alexandros, Roman Hippodroms, Boudicca the queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe, and all te way till the 19. century.


    Domestication History Of Horses

    The domestication of the horse dates back to around 6000-5500 BC and has had a significant impact of many aspects of human history and culture. Check out our information relating to the domestication history of the horse.

    Although there is much debate about the history of domestic horses, research indicates that horses were first domesticated by the Botai Culture of Kazakhstan around 6000-5500 BC and suggests that domestic horses may have been kept for food and milk as analysis of organic residues found in broken pots found traces of horse milk.

    Domestic horses bred with local wild horses and spread throughout Europe and Asia and throughout their history, horses have been interbred, traded between populations of people, and moved across continents. The earliest evidence that horses may have been used under harness or for riding dates to around 3500-3000 BC concluded from bit wear seen on the teeth of horses found in Kazakhstan. Drawings of horses pulling chariots were found in Mesopotamia, dated about 2000 BC and the earliest records of horses being ridden were found on a terracotta mould from Mesopotamia dating to around 2000-1800 BC, and in paintings in a tomb in Egypt dated to 1600-1400 BC.

    The first written text about the horse was produced in 1400 BC and concerned the training of chariot horses and around 360 BC Xenophon wrote "The Art of Horsemanship", which is still relevant for today and covers riding the horse as well as its care and the psychology of the horse.

    Source: http://www.equineworld.co.uk/about-horses/domestication-history-of-horses

    1. text

    A number of hypotheses exist on many of the key issues regarding the domestication of the horse. Although horses appeared in Paleolithic cave art as early as 30,000 BCE, these were wild horses and were probably hunted for meat.

    _How and when horses became domesticated is disputed. The clearest evidence of early use of the horse as a means of transport is from chariot burials dated c. 2000 BCE. However, an increasing amount of evidence supports the hypothesis that horses were domesticated in the Eurasian Steppes approximately 3500 BCE;[1][2][3] recent discoveries in the context of the Botai culture suggest that Botai settlements in the Akmola Province of Kazakhstan are the location of the earliest domestication of the horse.

    Use of horses spread across Eurasia for transportation, agricultural work and warfare. _

    Source: Wikipédia

  • There's also a masculin aspect here!

    1. example: DUNLOP
      Even if all partos of the bicycle itslef have been evaporated, the tires as still in perfect condition - they would probably melt in the Sahara or in other deserts -.

    This communication is exactly the same as used in the 1990s by Schwarzkopf, when the blonde sex idol business woman is hopping from one metropolis to the other by plane - mobility and sexepil building on each other - and her hair is still in shape (after wind, rain, sunshine -each condition perfomed at another airport).

    I remember the product's name as well - good job boys in the commercials ddepartment -: Drei Wetter Taft.

    Drei Wetter Taft Werbung 1994

  • edited August 2018
    1. example:
      Godish powers, raw power, fire and metal!

      The Hephaistos depiction in this example is unmissable. Especially knowing the fact that riding a donkey was part of his myth, which translates easiyl to the bicycle theme.

    Greek Name:


    Latin Spelling.

    Vulcanos, Vulcan

    HEPHAISTOS (Hephaestus) was the Olympian god of fire, smiths, craftsmen, metalworking, stonemasonry and sculpture. He was depicted as a bearded man holding a hammer and tongs--the tools of a smith--and sometimes riding a donkey.

    Hephaistos description source: http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Hephaistos.html

  • We can see the divine motif staying popular in the next century as well.

    Already in the early 20. century - when photography is becoming a more acceptable yet not fully independent form of art - the theme woman with bike in the posture discussed above can be found:

  • edited August 2018

    The erotic aspect - early pornographic hints - are already forming as well...

    • the cleavage
    • the legs visible
    • untied hair
      were major indicators at the time!

    This then further develpoes into nudity... and (soft) pornography!

  • Slowlsy little stories are forming around the static pictures...

    In this case the failure of getting off the bicycle ending in exposing the pubic hair parts

  • edited August 2018

    Later in the 1920s and 1930s we already have the basic storyline of nowadays porn.
    Something unexpected happens, the sexual get-together is set on course...

    There you go....

  • Same story approx. 4 decades later in the 1960s:

  • edited August 2018

    It's safe to say that we are fairtly far from the classic period of bicycle culture advancing and overlapping with early emanicpation, the suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel Harriette or even the work of Sylvia Pankhurst... and the work of Gregory Goodwin Pincus.





  • edited August 2018

    The photography of nude bodies in close proximity to bicycles - in this case erotic photos, which at the time were considered pornography - evolves with the industry of voyeurism (the practice of gaining sexual pleasure from watching others when they are naked or engaged in sexual activity).

    Whether this means the late 1800s, 1920s (as seen above), early 1940s or drastically getting out of controll in the second half of the XX. century and becoming a schematic mass product of hundreds of millions of pictures overstepping the emotional treshold. Interestingly the topic of couple with bicycle changes towards women alone presenting herself to the rest of the world without the man - as in all other popular pornographic subgenres --

  • Resulting the movement of emancipation pushing it's luck (of unconditional acceptance) by creating for example gatherings such as Nude in Public, which highly differs let's say from a nude cyclist lady at Burning Man (festival) in the US. Let's admit, the nude in public movement is accesable for both sexes.

  • edited August 2018

    Burning Man:

    Burning Man is an annual event in the western United States at Black Rock City – a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada, approximately 100 miles north-northeast of Reno.


  • edited August 2018

    Back from direct marketing and humanoid naked singularities to the usage of foreground and background - dumping information in the subconcious while informing about the product in a simple fashion:

    1 - The somewhat I. World War (German or Prussian looking) characters are chasing the little boy - the innocence and future of the nation -. The horseman in the background is wearing a Pickelhaube, while the name LIBERATOR suggests a World in Conflict context. All this in the countryside, in a peaceful environment, where - on the home front - the child, thus the nation is safe!
    2 - Raleigh sending out the obvious message that the quality it's delivering matches that of a jet produced at the time. Inplications of speed are projected through both the plane in the background and the enthusiastic boy - who yound audiences and potential buyers will idenitify with -. This was also used in the marketing of Superman both in the early days, in the 1970s and recently via TV-series advertisement of Smallville.

    3 -

  • edited August 2018

    The above "3 Speed Gear CYCLES" advertisement / poster is obviously slightly sexist from a nowadays European context. It's the miller (husband) watching the wife (also dressed in typical Dutch outfit) as the bicycle trademan is doin his best to promote the product.

    The poster is very direct.
    It is subliminally saying that "even a woman can ride it". While the husband is laughing.

  • edited August 2018

    You find this kind of propaganda, hidden message more often in the 1950s and 1960s

  • You had that approach already in the 1910s in the middle of World War I.

    The following commertial sais: (if all the men are gone to the front, especially your fiancé or husband): Woman's Home Companion is the phone. Which was a very new product...

  • edited August 2018

    Meanwhile the official state propaganda also says to shut up to not to spill information to the enemy or to enemy spies infiltrating the heartland:

  • Subliminal messages in general can be those being covered by an overall attractive context and taken in by the subconcious unnoticed:

  • edited August 2018

    In Hungarian bicycle adds the importance of unification was as essential as the desire to sell the product itself.

    The Manfréd Weiss company bicycle posters as well as the later Csepel Industries adds are strongly focusing on the aspect of social - outdoors - activity instead of individualism in the forefront toying with the status symbol in an impotent and isolationist, anti-social manner. This could be also effected by the different ideology being present throught the XX. century in Hungary compared to Britain or especially the Unites States of America.

    The long lasting materials - thus no planned obsolescence being introduced to the public - were a crucial corner stone of the small heavy industry in Budapest 1920-1970.

    Thus symbolising the company policy by the human connections and the action of bonding in the context of self-mobilisation thanks to the vehicles produced by the mentioned companies above.

  • edited August 2018

    Emphasizing cycling as a social / bonding activity was also Husqvarna (Group):

    Traded as Nasdaq Stockholm: HUSQ B
    Industry: Consumer Durables
    Founded: 1689
    Headquarters: Stockholm and Huskvarna, Sweden
    Key people.
    Lars E. Westerberg - Chairman, Kai Wärn - CEO
    Products: Outdoor power products including chainsaws, trimmers, garden tractors, mowers, consumer watering products, and equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries
    Revenue: SEK 36,193 MSEK (2015)
    Operating income:
    SEK 2,5 MSEK (2015)
    Number of employees:
    13,252 (2017)
    Website: www.husqvarnagroup.com

  • edited August 2018

    1950s Happy Couple

  • edited October 2018


  • edited October 2018

    Master Thesis (Wien 2014) by Florian Knotz BA /// with relatable information (print-ready version):


  • French smoking advert / Französisches Plakat
    design: Jean de Paléologue, c. 1900

    Museum der Arbeit: Tabakhistorische Sammlung Reemtsma
    Wiesendamm 3, 22305 Hamburg, Barmbek-Nord, Germany

  • edited February 5

    If you compare a nowadays posters using bicycles as symbols (or as part of the background iconography) you clearly see that it's purpose is dumbed down to the sole meaning of a kinetic object in standstill.

    Modern example:

    Classic examples:

  • Fahrradfahrerin 1907

    Picture source: Picssr

  • edited August 1

    cycle girl | 1902

    bicykle girl 1902

    Picture source: www.flickr.com

  • Jack Rennert: 100 Jahre Fahrrad Plakate; Berlin 1974 - 1389
    EUR 1,00 0 Gebote 5d 23h 33m 28s, EUR 5,00 Versand, 14 Tage Rücknahmen, eBay-Käuferschutz

    Verkäufer: Top-Rated Seller galerie-alte-technik (5.545) 99.5%, Artikelstandort: Dissen, Versand nach: Worldwide, Artikelnummer: 303242185986

    Wir lösen in diesem Jahr weitere Sammlungen auf. Markieren Sie Sich bei Interesse bitte unsere Verkäuferkennung. - Wir sind gerne bereit, bereits bezahlte Stücke kostenlos zwischenzulagern - für eine Abholung oder gesammelte Zusendung.We are selling more collections in this year. Please mark our ebay-name to see all auctions. We are able to store items, if payment is done, to send them together in lots. - Storage up to 2 month is free.

    Wir verkaufen eine Privat-Bibliothek aus Melle.We are selling a book private collection from Melle

    Jack Rennert; 100 Jahre Fahrrad Plakate; Berlin 1974; 112 Seiten; 40,5 x 28,3 cm

    Gewicht ohne Verpackungsmaterial (weight without packing material): 705 g

    Source: https://picclick.de/Jack-Rennert-100-Jahre-Fahrrad-Plakate-Berlin-1974-303242185986.html

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