Tricycles were socially acceptable because they could be ridden in everyday attire, were more comfortable to ride than a highwheeler, and did not require full-time attention to balance.
In 1886 Karl Benz designed and built the first vehicle intended from the ground up to be powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine.
1887 ca. Safety Bicycle
Because the highwheel bicycles had tricky handling characteristics, many attempts were made to build a safety bicycle. In its final form, with equal diameter wheels giving more stable and predictable handling
1890 ca. Rider Engine
This Rider external combustion Sterling-cycle engine, manufactured by the Rider-Ericsson Company, was used to power a water pump supplying a community of estates in Tenants Harbor, Maine, during the first part of the 20th century.
1890 ca. Straight Sill Rockaway
The Rockaway, originating around 1830 on Long Island, New York, was peculiarly American with its design meant to keep the coachman under cover.
1893 Lilienthal Monoplane Glider (Model)
In 1893, Otto Lilienthal becoame the first man to actually fly in a heavier-than-air aircraft. He was the dominant figure in aeronautics during the late 1800s.
1895 ca. Otto Gasoline Engine
This Otto engine, manufactured in Philadelphia, powered a woodworking shop on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Nicholas A. Otto produced the first successful gasoline-powered internal-combustion four-cycle engine in 1876.
The Corliss Tandem Compound Steam Engine is named after the revolutionary valve design by George Corliss and represents the late 19th century steam engines used to power American industry.
1896 ca. Pierce Special Racer
George N. Pierce, of Pierce-Arrow automobile fame, began producing bicycles in 1896.