As will be seen from the accompanying engraving, "Pickering's American Velocipede," manufactured by Messrs. Pickering & Davis, differs very materially from the French model, so generally used by other manufacturers. It is claimed that it is more simple and durable, lighter and stronger.
The reach or frame of this velocipede is made of hydraulic tubing. The gun-metal bearings are so attached that, when worn, they may be replaced by others, which are interchangeable like the parts of sewing-machines and fire-arms. The axle is so constructed as to constitute, in itself, an oil box. It is made tubular, and closed at either end with a screw, on the removal of which it is filled with lard oil.
Cotton lamp-wick is placed loosely in the tubular axle and the oil is by this means fed to the bearing, as fast as required, through the small holes made for the purpose in the centre of the axle. The saddle is supported on a spiral spring, giving an elastic seat; it is brought well back, so that the rider maintains an erect position, and is adjustable to suit the length of limb of the rider. The tiller or steering handle is constructed with a spring so that the hands are relieved from the jolting that they would otherwise receive while running over rough ground. The stirrups or crank pedals, are three-sided, with circular flanges at each end, fitted to turn on the crank pins, so that the pressure of the foot will always bring one of the three sides into proper position. They are so shaped as to allow of the use of the forepart of the foot, bringing the ankle joint into play, relieving the knee, and rendering propulsion easier than when the shank of the foot alone is used. The connecting apparatus differs from that of the French vehicle in that the saddle bar serves only as a seat and brake, and is not attached to the rear wheel. By a simple pressure forward against the tiller, and a backward pressure against the tail of the saddle, the saddle spring is compressed, and the brake attached to it brought firmly down against the wheel. Messrs. Pickering & Davis have a large manufactory, and are the constant recipients of orders from all parts of the country. Mr. Pickering has always been a practical machinist, and personally superintends the structure of each machine turned out.