In conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2017, Perak Museum Board and Kelab Komuniti Pemilik Basikal Klasik Malaysia organised a vintage bicycle exhibition recently at the state museum, Ipoh.
Director of Perak Museum Board, Nor Janati Ibrahim, said that the exhibition would provide visitors with an historical overview on the evolution of bicycles since the 19th century.
One of the bicycles on display was the Penny-farthing, which was invented around 1870. Metal wheels were first installed on such bicycles. The penny-farthing replaced the Velocipede developed by the Coventry Machinists Company in 1869.
“Visitors can see original vintage bicycles made in England, as well as their accessories and development process.
“The exhibition not only serves to educate the younger generation about vintage bicycles, it brings back a sense of nostalgia to the older generation,” she added.
In 1873, “safety bicycles”, which incorporated the use of chain and sprocket-wheel, were invented. Thomas Shergold is believed to be the inventor of the first chain-drive bicycle.
In the 20th century, metal composites and aluminum were combined to develop a lighter and a more robust frame that translated to faster bicycles.
“Before the digital era, bicycles were commonly used by postmen, firefighters and farmers. During the Second World War, soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army travelled down Malaya on bicycles,” said Nor Janati.
Activities, workshops and games were conducted throughout the exhibition. The exhibition was well patronised by both locals and foreigners.