George Pressey invented the Star Safety in 1880. In an attempt to make a safer bicycle he altered the ordinary's configuration so that the small wheel was now in the front handling the steering, while the rider sat above the rear drive wheel.

This helped to combat the tendency of the ordinary

to pitch the rider forward when encountering an obstacle. This act was known in
cycling circles as a header, a term still used to this day. However, the small
wheel was skittish on loose surfaces such as sand and gravel. According to the
original sales material, the Star did have one advantage over the competition;
with its ratcheting pedal drive system, a rider could achieve great speed by
operating both pedals at once, instead of the alternating method dictated by revolving
cranks.

Accession no. 1975G01

Next Item