The Bicycle Trolley-car

We stumbled on this interesting U.S. patent by Detroiter James H. Talbot back in 1899 for a Bicycle Trolley-car.

My invention relates to means for mounting a bicycle in a suitable frame or car suspended from an overhead trolley wire or trail, whereby the bicycle when operated by a rider becomes the motor for propelling the car along the wire.

The design allows riders to use their own bicycle within the frame.

Why not just ride on the roads? Given the bad road conditions of the time, was this an alternative to the Good Roads movement?

Or was this a way to get across the Detroit River? (Wouldn’t that be an interesting trip!)

We didn’t find any evidence on-line that this invention was ever built. There was a similar Trolley Cycle patent from 1894.

We do know a little bit about Talbot. In 1895 he was an eastsider living on Field Street just south of Kercheval. He was the secretary and treasurer for the Talbot Paving Company as well as the Universal Electric Construction Company.

And we know he was a dreamer.

So, let’s  fast forward to today. If there isn’t enough road width on Woodward to add the M1 Rail and bike lanes…

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One Response to “The Bicycle Trolley-car”

  1. Stop complaining and join something, already « BikingInLA Says:

    […] in creating biking infrastructure. Detroit’s M-bike takes a look at a 1894 patent for a suspended Bicycle Trolley-Car. A driver is accused of trying to pass too closely in a fatal 2009 collision with a cyclist; as […]

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