Friday, October 16, 2009

Cycle Store Interior, Christchurch 1910 - Cycling Craze #18

Unidentified Cycle Store Interior, Christchurch, 1910, photo Steffano Webb.

During the cycling craze of the late 1890s and early 1900s, cycle works and retail stores mushroomed in Christchurch as the public embraced the idea of personal transport that did not require catching, harnessing, grooming, feeding and cleaning-up after the "beast". While the horse-drawn tram was giving way to the electric tram, the car was only beginning to make an appearance from around 1900 and was financially out of the reach of the average household. The bicycle could improve one's health and provided greater convenience and flexibility in terms of getting where the rider wanted to go directly rather than be limited by the tram tracks. Of course, in inclement weather, the bicycle presented its own challenges.

The store pictured above is not identified and could be one of several selling the popular BSA brand cycles displayed. Advertising on the walls include items such as Taylor Tyres, Palmer Tyres for Motor Cars, and one for National Cash Register behind the sales counter.

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