The Mechanical Horse

Author: Margaret Guroff
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292743629
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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With cities across the country adding miles of bike lanes and building bike-share stations, bicycling is enjoying a new surge of popularity in America. It seems that every generation or two, Americans rediscover the freedom of movement, convenience, and relative affordability of the bicycle. The earliest two-wheeler, the draisine, arrived in Philadelphia in 1819 and astonished onlookers with the possibility of propelling themselves “like lightning.” Two centuries later, the bicycle is still the fastest way to cover ground on gridlocked city streets. Filled with lively stories, The Mechanical Horse reveals how the bicycle transformed American life. As bicycling caught on in the nineteenth century, many of the country’s rough, rutted roads were paved for the first time, laying a foundation for the interstate highway system. Cyclists were among the first to see the possibilities of self-directed, long-distance travel, and some of them (including a fellow named Henry Ford) went on to develop the automobile. Women shed their cumbersome Victorian dresses—as well as their restricted gender roles—so they could ride. And doctors recognized that aerobic exercise actually benefits the body, which helped to modernize medicine. Margaret Guroff demonstrates that the bicycle’s story is really the story of a more mobile America—one in which physical mobility has opened wider horizons of thought and new opportunities for people in all avenues of life.

Old Wheelways

Author: Robert L. McCullough
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262330873
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In the later part of the nineteenth century, American bicyclists were explorers, cycling through both charted and uncharted territory. These wheelmen and wheelwomen became keen observers of suburban and rural landscapes, and left copious records of their journeys -- in travel narratives, journalism, maps, photographs, illustrations. They were also instrumental in the construction of roads and paths ("wheelways") -- building them, funding them, and lobbying legislators for them. Their explorations shaped the landscape and the way we look at it, yet with few exceptions their writings have been largely overlooked by landscape scholars, and many of the paths cyclists cleared have disappeared. In Old Wheelways, Robert McCullough restores the pioneering cyclists of the nineteenth century to the history of American landscapes.McCullough recounts marathon cycling trips around the Northeast undertaken by hardy cyclists, who then describe their journeys in such magazines as The Wheelman Illustrated and Bicycling World; the work of illustrators (including Childe Hassam, before his fame as a painter); efforts by cyclists to build better rural roads and bicycle paths; and conflicts with park planners, including the famous Olmsted Firm, who often opposed separate paths for bicycles.Today's ubiquitous bicycle lanes owe their origins to nineteenth century versions, including New York City's "asphalt ribbons." Long before there were "rails to trails," there was a movement to adapt existing passageways -- including aqueduct corridors, trolley rights-of-way, and canal towpaths -- for bicycling. The campaigns for wheelways, McCullough points out, offer a prologue to nearly every obstacle faced by those advocating bicycle paths and lanes today. McCullough's text is enriched by more than one hundred historic images of cyclists (often attired in skirts and bonnets, suits and ties), country lanes, and city streets.

The Cycling City

Author: Evan Friss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022621091X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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As Evan Friss shows in his mordant history of urban bicycling in the late nineteenth century, the bicycle has long told us much about cities and their residents. In a time when American cities were chaotic, polluted, and socially and culturally impenetrable, the bicycle inspired a vision of an improved city in which pollution was negligible, transport was noiseless and rapid, leisure spaces were democratic, and the divisions between city and country blurred. Friss focuses not on the technology of the bicycle but on the urbanisms that bicycling engendered. Bicycles altered the look and feel of cities and their streets, enhanced mobility, fueled leisure and recreation, promoted good health, and shrank urban spaces as part of a larger transformation that altered the city and the lives of its inhabitants, even as the bicycle's own popularity fell, not to rise again for a century.

Claiming the Bicycle

Author: Sarah Hallenbeck
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809334445
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Tracing the role of nineteenthcentury women and rhetoric in transforming the bicycle Although the impact of the bicycle craze of the late nineteenth century on women's lives has been well documented, rarely have writers considered the role of women's rhetorical agency in the transformation of bicycle culture and the bicycle itself. In Claiming the Bicycle, Sarah Hallenbeck argues that through their collective rhetorical activities, women who were widely dispersed in space, genre, and intention negotiated proper uses for the bicycle, destabilizing cultural assumptions about femininity and gender difference. Making a significant contribution to studies of feminist rhetorical historiography, rhetorical agency, and technical communication, Claiming the Bicycle asserts the utility of a distributed or "collected" model of rhetorical agency and accounts for the efforts of widely dispersed actors to harness technology in promoting social change.

Bicycle

Author: David V. Herlihy
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300104189
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The nineteenth century's "mechanical horse" offered an exciting new world of transportation for all and ushered in an era of changes that resonates to the present day, changes cataloged and described in a fascinating history of an engineering marvel.

Major Taylor

Author: Andrew Ritchie
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801853036
Format: PDF, Docs
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World champion at 19... One of the first black athletes to become world champion in any sport... 1-mile record holder... American sprint champion in 1898, 1899, 1900... triumphant tours of Europe and Australia... Victories against all European champions... Until now a forgotten, shadowy figure, Marshall Walter "Major" Taylor is here revealed as one of the early sports world's most stylish, entertaining, and gentlemanly personalities. Born in 1878 in Indianapolis, the son of poor rural parents, Taylor worked in a bike shop until prominent bicycle racer "Birdie" Munger coached him for his first professional racing successes in 1896. Despite continuous bureaucratic—and, at times, physical—opposition, he won his first national championship two years later and became world champion in 1899 in Montreal. This beautifully illustrated, vividly narrated, and scrupulously researched biography recreates the life of a great international athlete at the turn of the century. Based on ten years of research—including extensive interviews with Major Taylor's 91-year old daughter—this is the dramatic story of a young black man who, against prodigious odds, rose to fame and stardom in the tempestuous world of international professional bicycle racing a century ago.

The Routes of Man

Author: Ted Conover
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307593061
Format: PDF
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From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and National Book Critics Circle Award–winning author of Newjack, an absorbing book about roads and their power to change the world. Roads bind our world—metaphorically and literally—transforming landscapes and the lives of the people who inhabit them. Roads have unparalleled power to impact communities, unite worlds and sunder them, and reveal the hopes and fears of those who travel them. With his marvelous eye for detail and his contagious enthusiasm, Ted Conover explores six of these key byways worldwide. In Peru, he traces the journey of a load of rare mahogany over the Andes to its origin, an untracked part of the Amazon basin soon to be traversed by a new east-west route across South America. In East Africa, he visits truckers whose travels have been linked to the worldwide spread of AIDS. In the West Bank, he monitors highway checkpoints with Israeli soldiers and then passes through them with Palestinians, witnessing the injustices and danger borne by both sides. He shuffles down a frozen riverbed with teenagers escaping their Himalayan valley to see how a new road will affect the now-isolated Indian region of Ladakh. From the passenger seat of a new Hyundai piling up the miles, he describes the exuberant upsurge in car culture as highways proliferate across China. And from inside an ambulance, he offers an apocalyptic but precise vision of Lagos, Nigeria, where congestion and chaos on freeways signal the rise of the global megacity. A spirited, urgent book that reveals the costs and benefits of being connected—how, from ancient Rome to the present, roads have played a crucial role in human life, advancing civilization even as they set it back. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bicycles Bangs and Bloomers

Author: Patricia Marks
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 081315863X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The so-called "New Woman" -- that determined and free-wheeling figure in "rational" dress, demanding education, suffrage, and a career-was a frequent target for humorists in the popular press of the late nineteenth century. She invariably stood in contrast to the "womanly woman," a traditional figure bound to domestic concerns and a stereotype away from which many women were inexorably moving. Patricia Marks's book, based on a survey of satires and caricatures drawn from British and American periodicals of the 1880s and 1890s, places the popular view of the New Woman in the context of the age and explores the ways in which humor both reflected and shaped readers' perceptions of women's changing roles. Not all commentators of the period attacked the New Woman; even conservative satirists were more concerned with poverty, prostitution, and inadequate education than with defending so-called "femininity." Yet, as the influx of women into the economic mainstream changed social patterns, the popular press responded with humor ranging from the witty to the vituperative. Many of Marks's sources have never been reprinted and exist only in unindexed periodicals. Her book thus provides a valuable resource for those studying the rise of feminism and the influence of popular culture, as well as literary historians and critics seeking to place more formal genres within a cultural framework. Historians, sociologists, and others with an interest in Victorianism will find in it much to savor.

The Tumbleweed Society

Author: Allison J. Pugh
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199957711
Format: PDF, ePub
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"We live in a tumbleweed society, where job insecurity is rampant and widely seen as inevitable. Companies are transforming the way they organize work. While new working conditions offer gains for some workers, others lose out. Home life offers little respite: while diverse types of families are more accepted than ever before, stability is increasingly lacking in our intimate lives. In The Tumbleweed Society, sociologist Allison Pugh examines the ways we navigate questions of commitment and flexibility at work and at home in a society where insecurity has become the norm. Drawing on 80 in-depth interviews with three groups of parents who vary in their experiences of job insecurity and family structure, Pugh explores how people are adapting to the new culture of insecurity and how these adaptations themselves affect what we can expect from each other. Faced with perpetual insecurity both at work and at home, people construct stronger walls between the two, expecting little or nothing from their jobs and placing nearly all of their expectations for fulfilling connections on their intimate relationships. This trend, Pugh argues, often has the effect of making intimate lives even more fraught, reproducing the very tumbleweed dynamics they seek to check. Pugh shows that our experiences of insecurity shape the way we talk about obligations, how we interpret them as commitments we will or will not shoulder, how we conceive of what we owe each other--indeed, how we are able to weave the fabric of our connected lives"--