30 August 2011

Subversive Bicycle Photos - New South Wales

Thanks to our reader, Tim, for sending us the above photo of Australian sheepshearers on their bicycles. The bicycle is credited rightly with improving the human gene pool in the way that it increased the mobility radius for people not only in cities but also in rural areas. After the invention of the bicycle and the subsequent bicycle boom in the late 1880's, family names that were previously rooted to specific towns or regions started showing up in the registries of (relatively) far-flung parishes in the UK. The same is true for rural America and Australia. The inexpensive independent mobility that the bicycle provided allowed men and women to travel farther further in the search for work and... well... TLC.

Anyway, this is a continuation of the Subversive Bicycle Photos series, showing the historical role that the bicycle played in cities and towns - in this case New South Wales, Australia. Important documentation on the journey to show that Bicycle Culture 2.0 is NOT dominated by sub-cultures but rather has the potential to be enjoyed by all citizens. As was the case in cities and towns around the world. In Cairns, Queensland, Canberra, Dublin, Vancouver, etc. etc.

These photographs are from the Flickr photostream of the State Library of New South Wales.

Malvern Star Bicycle Competition, Stanmore Theatre (taken for Acme Theatres), 4 May 1946, by Sam Hood
Stanmore, NSW, Australia. May, 1946.

Jim and Nancy Davenport, Albury, NSW, 11 December 1938, by by - J E N Davenport
Albury, NSW, Australia. December, 1938.

Tom Morris, skipping champion (taken for Greater Union Theatres), 28 June 1937, by Sam Hood
NSW, Australia. June 1937. An explanation is probably needed:
"Tom Morris, who will attempt to skip from Sydney to Brisbane, via the Pacific Highway, will set out from the General Post Office at noon to-day. He has already skipped from Melbourne to Adelaide and back (1000 miles) and from Melbourne to Sydney in 28 days."
His friend on the left must be an early member of the Slow Bicycle Movement.

Boys of Hoyts Clovelly Theatre "Spider's Web" Club ride their bikes while "Spiderman" looks on, by Sam Hood
Boys of Hoyts Clovelly Theatre Spider's Web Club ride their bikes while Spiderman looks on. Clovelly, NSW, Australia. n.d.

Jenolan Caves, April 1903, photographed by Edward J. Cooke
Jenolan Caves, NSW, Australia. April, 1903.

Man on bicycle pillioning boy - Bunaloo, NSW, n.d.
Man on bicycle pillioning boy. Bunaloo, NSW, Australia. "Pillioning". There's a word you don't hear every day. I'm assuming that means the boy is standing up. As opposed to that other Australianism, "dinking".

Brownie (Muriel Long) with bicycle decorated for street procession - Deniliquin, NSW, n.d.
Brownie (Muriel Long) with bicycle decorated for street procession. Deniliquin, NSW. n.d.

Annie Dawson Wallace with her bicycle. NB: Annie is wearing trousers - Sydney, NSW, 1899
Annie Dawson Wallace with her bicycle. NB: Annie is wearing trousers - Sydney, NSW, Australia. 1899

Man on a penny-farthing bicycle being chased by his sister (Maggie & Bob Spiers) - West Wyalong, NSW, C. 1900
Man on a penny-farthing bicycle being chased by his sister (Maggie & Bob Spiers) - West Wyalong, NSW, Australia. Ca. 1900

Waratah Rovers Bicycle Club (WRBC) on tour. Sydney - Campbelltown - Appin - Bulli - South Coast. Photo taken at Picton outside the Royal Hotel - Picton, NSW, October 1900
Waratah Rovers Bicycle Club on tour. Picton, NSW, Australia. October 1900.

[Pedestrians on George St], ca. 1900, from Frederick Danvers Power : photonegatives, 1898-1926 / Frederick Danvers Power First cars and trains across Sydney Harbour Bridge, March 1932 / Sam Hood
And a couple of street scenes from Sydney. Ca. 1900 and 1932, respectively.


slow rpm said...

.....and not one of them wearing a helmet. How did they ever survive?

Frits B said...

They didn't. That's why there are so few of them nowadays :-).

As for pilioning: a pillion is an extra seat at the back of a saddle, originally on horses but nowadays on motorbikes and scooters - where in Dutch it is mostly dubbed "buddy seat" as you sit really close together. So pillioning is simply sharing "the" seat, in this case standing up.

Rouge Dragon said...

RE: Pillion/Dink.

It's a dialect thing. There's over 20 recognised dialect regions in Australia. For me, it's definitely "dinking" whether standing up or sitting down. Riding pillion would mean in a side car (like on a motorbike)

Neil said...

Nice pics reminding us of the forgotten early history of the bicycle and its influence on development in Australia. One pedantic note: Innamincka is not in New South Wales. It is a small, remote settlement in the adjacent state of South Australia.

Mau Alcântara said...

What about Posada's mexican drawing of skeletons (or 'calaveras') on bikes, dated between 1889 and 1895?


Anonymous said...

I always thought a pillion passenger was someone who shared your seat - you need a bike like a dragster with a long seat to do that.


Dinking however refers to being carried elsewhere on the bike, such as sitting on the handlebars, or if the bike has footpegs, standing on the pegs or straddling the top tube.