"a marvel of ingenuity" - Bibliography

Carruth, Gorton. What Happened When: A Chronology of Life and Events in America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1989.
A handy, abridged edition of The Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates.

Dodge, Pryor. The Bicycle. Paris: Flammarion, 1996.
Excellent book on the history of bicycles. Beautiful photographs.

Maxim, Hiram Percy. Horseless Carriage Days. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1937.
First-hand account by an inventor about his experiments with bicycles, the earliest motorcycles, and the first automobiles.

Oliver, Smith Hempstone, and Donald H. Berkebile. Wheels and Wheeling: The Smithsonian Cycle Collection. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974.
Information about some of the early bicycles in the museum's collection. Good illustrations.

Palmer, Arthur Judson. Riding High: The Story of the Bicycle. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1956.
Good illustrations of early bicycles.

Phillips, Clifton J. Indiana in Transition: The Emergence of an Industrial Commonwealth, 1880-1920. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Historical Society, 1968.
The standard history for this period.

Pratt, Charles E. The American Bicycler: A Manual for the Observer, the Learner, and the Expert. Boston: The Author, 1880.
Excellent source; considered the premier guide for bicyclists at the time.

Pridmore, Jay, and Jim Hurd. The American Bicycle. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International Publishers & Wholesalers, 1995.
Good source on the history and many types of bicycles.

Ritchie, Andrew. King of the Road: An Illustrated History of Cycling. London: Wildwood House, 1975.
Excellent reference.

Smith, Robert A. A Social History of the Bicycle: Its Early Life and Times in America. New York: American Heritage Press, 1972.
An informative, easy-to-read book on the social impact of the bicycle.

Thornbrough, Emma Lou. Indiana in the Civil War Era, 1850-1880. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau and Indiana Historical Society, 1965.
The standard history for this period.

Ward, Maria E. Bicycling for Ladies. New York: Brentano's, 1896.
A delightful manual for women who want to know about and ride the bicycle.

Wilson, Anthony. Visual Timeline of Transportation. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1995.
Beautiful photographs used to illustrate this timeline.

Suggested Reading

Your local library should have many books on the history of the bicycle.

Beeley, Serena. A History of Bicycles. Secaucus, NJ: Wellfleet Press, 1992.
Deals extensively with the English history of the bicycle, but includes much about American bicycles. Beautiful photographs.

Levinson, Nancy Smiler. Turn of the Century: Our Nation One Hundred Years Ago. New York: Lodestar Books, 1994.
Life in America during the height of the bicycle craze.

Ritchie, Andrew. Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer. San Francisco: Bicycle Books, 1988.
Excellent biography of Major Taylor, Indiana's world champion bicycle racer.

Taylor, Marshall W. "Major." The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World: The Story of a Colored Boy's Indomitable Courage and Success against Great Odds. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1971.
Originally published in 1928, this autobiography details Taylor's career as a championship bicycle racer.

This Fabulous Century: Prelude, 1870-1900. New York: Time-Life Books, 1970.
Industrial development and growth in U.S. are covered.

Walker, Robert H. Everyday Life in The Age of Enterprise: 1865-1900. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1967.
Covers America's industrial development and growth.

Selected Student Resources

Davies, Eryl. Timelines Transport: On Land, Road & Rail. New York: Franklin Watts, 1992.
Surveys the development of land transportation in relation to needs, skills, and technologies. Illustrations are very helpful.

Lafferty, Peter, and David Jefferis. Pedal Power: The History of Bicycles. New York: Franklin Watts, 1990.
Includes use of bicycles from their origin to the present day, with excellent illustrations. Intermediate readers.

Pursell, Thomas F. Bicycles on Parade: A Brief History. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 1980.
Covers 1790s to modern times in an easy-to-read style.

Woodforde, John. The Story of the Bicycle. New York: Universe Books, 1971.
An easy-to-read history.

Special Thanks

  • To Steve and Carolyn Carter, Plainfield, Indiana for sharing their time, knowledge, and collections.
  • To John Phung and William Kelly, photographers with the Indiana Department of Transportation, for their work in documenting the Carter Collection for the Indiana Historical Bureau.