1870/72, Compagnie Parisienne des Vélocipèdes, pedal bicycle, France.
The Michaux brothers and their partners recognized how to take advantage of the hype and the growing request of the market. The employees of the Compagnie Parisienne des Vélocipèdes, (born together with Olivier Frères) that built and assembled the bicycles became 300. Michaux decided then to sell his own stock to Olivier Frères formally declaring he won’t compete with his former partners. Despite the commitment made, he opened his own company that soon had to close due to some financial events made worse by the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.
– Michaux model
– Brake on the back wheel operated by a string on the handlebar: in order to stop, you turned the handlebar
– Forged iron frame and fork
– Saddle on the leaf spring
– Wooden wheels with iron protection
– Two little ornaments shaped like moustaches used to rest your feet while going downhill to avoid hitting the spinning pedals
France paid a high price for the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, not only for its defeat, but also for the sudden stop of many new-born industrial companies. This damaged the bicycle industry too, giving Britain and America free rein on the field.