Hobby Horse (draisine)
Artifact No.: CSTM 1981.0202
Date: ca. 1818
Source: Mr. Lorne Shields
Have you ever seen this type of bicycle that you must push along with your feet?
It is called a draisine or hobby horse, precursor of the modern bicycle invented in 1817 by the Baron Karl von Drais. In Europe, as in North America, the wealthy were quick to latch onto this new craze. This infatuation was short-lived. People began protesting against the draisine, partly because of the accidents it caused. As mockery of the vehicle grew, satirical poems and caricatures were produced, targeting political power and society.
After the hobby horse craze of 1818-1819, interest in the machine seems to have died out almost as quickly as it began.