Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Philadelphia Bicycle Club was the first bicycle club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was organized in 1879 to advance the interests of cycling and promote the riding of bicycles as a means of exercise, locomotion, and enjoyment. The Club was incorporated in 1885 and established a club house the following year on 26th and Perot streets. Membership was open to both men and women. Members in good standing with the Philadelphia Bicycle Club were eligible for membership in the Philadelphia Cycle and Field Club, which was organized by the members of the Philadelphia Bicycle Club and had a club house in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Bicycle Club was dissolved in 1902 and its assets were distributed to the Philadelphia Cycle and Field Club.
Establishment of the Philadelphia Bicycle Club inspired other bicycle clubs to form in and near the city, including the century Wheelmen, the Quaker City Wheelmen, and the Pennsylvania Bicycle Club. Several of the city's bicycle clubs united to form the Associated Cycling Clubs of Philadelphia. This group took measures to promote cycling in the city and its parks and championed causes such as improving the quality of the city's roads. William R. Tucker was a member of the Philadelphia Bicycle Club who also served as president of the Associated Cycling Clubs of Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Bicycle Club records, 1879-1902, consist of administrative materials such as minutes, charter and bylaws, correspondence meeting announcements, and membership materials, as well as financial and property records, including several materials related to the construction and maintenance of the club house at 26th and Perot streets, such as property transfer documents, construction contracts, mortgage and tax documents, and other related materials. Of interest in the collection is the calculations of the distances ridden by various members of the club, information about the awards given out to various members, and the listing of the various bicycles owned by the club's members.
The Charter, bylaws and amendments (volume 1), 1879-1895, contains information about the Club's colors, uniforms, and whistle code. The Charter and By-Laws of the Philadelphia Bicycle Club and Philadelphia Cycle and Field Club (volume 2), 1891, is a published volume that also contains member lists, dates of important events in PBC history, park rules for bicycles, and information about the Associated Cycling Clubs of Philadelphia and the League of American Wheelmen. There are also several advertisements for various businesses in this volume, many of which relate to cycling, bicycle accessories, clothing, and other bicycle-related goods.
The correspondence in box 1, folders 2 and 3, mostly contains letters relating to the building and furnishing of the club house, including bids from various Philadelphia firms.
The meeting announcements contain information about the monthly meetings for both the Philadelphia Bicycle Club and the Philadelphia Cycle and Field Club. The meeting announcements also have names of proposed members for the clubs, some of which have been handwritten into the printed announcements.
Insurance documents in the collection relate to fire insurance for the club house as well as equipment insurance for the club's bicycles, uniforms, and other items kept at the club house. The insurance documents contain detailed lists of the bicycles and other equipment belonging to each member.
There is a sampling of pamphlets from heating companies with illustrations of heating systems from the late 19th century in the collection, which could be of interest to researchers studying the history of home heating.
I. Administrative, 1882-1902; 19 folders, 4 volumes
II. Financial, property, and legal, 1885-1901; 11 folders, 6 volumes
Gift of Henry W. Wills after Mr. W. R. Tucker's decease (Secretary of the Club).; 1942 acquired
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Sarah Leu.
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2017.
- This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.