Cycling in corsets

‘I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.’ (Susan B Anthony, American suffragette, 1896)

Bicycling for Ladies was written in 1896 as an instructional guide for women. It includes practical advice and illustrations along with advertisements for bicycles and appropriate clothing. Chapters include ‘Dress for Bicycling’ and ‘How to Ride Gracefully and Well,’ The author points out that the bicycle instructor should always be a man.

Bicycling rose to popularity in the late 1800s and was adopted by men and women. It was more than a means of transportation or exercise. Bicycling was a controversial activity that symbolised freedom for women. It was closely tied to the suffragette and dress reform movements in Great Britain and the United States.


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