By 1898, cycling had become such a popular activity in the United States that the New York Commerce magazine claimed it cost restaurants and theaters more than $ 100 million a year due to declining sales reduction.
Bicycle production has become one of America’s largest and most innovative industries. One-third of all patent applications are bicycle-related – and so many are that the US patent office had to build a separate appendix for bicycles.
John Kemp Starley, an Englishman who is said to be the inventor of the modern bike. His uncle, Starley assumed that people could have a greater need for bicycles if they weren’t so frightening and dangerous, so in 1885, the 30-year-old inventor began experimenting in his workshop with a much smaller two-wheeled chain bicycle. After testing several prototypes, he designed the Rover safety bike, a machine weighing 45 pounds, more or less similar to modern bicycles.
Founded in 1910, by the 1930s Hercules was one of the largest manufacturers of bicycles in the world, making out more than 1,000 bikes per day.
When first displayed at a bicycle show in 1886, Starley’s invention intrigued everyone. And two years later, when combined with the newly invented pneumatic tire, it not only helped create cushioning but also made the bike safe at speeds about 30% faster than the first version – the results were miraculous.
Bicycle manufacturers around the world scrambled to offer their versions, and hundreds of new companies sprung up to meet that demand. At the Stanley Bicycle Show in London in 1895, about 200 bicycle manufacturers displayed 3,000 models.
The first cycling superstar, American Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor became a professional racer in 1896 while in his teens and set seven world records during his cycling career.
One of the largest manufacturers is Columbia Bicycles, with a factory in Hartford, Connecticut. This company can make one bike in a minute thanks to the assembly line. Its auto pressure, a pioneering technology that will one day characterize the auto industry.
As a pioneering employer in the booming industry, Columbia also provides its employees with bicycle parking, private lockers, subsidized meals at the company canteen and library. Clementson established the legal rights of cyclists when using use the roads.