The Poultney Historical Society teamed up with Slate Valley Trails to host a free lecture and slideshow entitled “Of Wheelmen, The New Woman, and Good Roads: Bicycling in Vermont, 1880-1920” on Sunday, September 20th at 2pm on the lawn in front of the East Poultney Schoolhouse.
“The Historical Society is excited to work with Slate Valley Trails as co-sponsors of this program. This kind of community partnership is what we’d love to do more often,” says the Society’s president Ina Smith Johnson.
Esteemed historian and UVM professor Luis Vivanco explored the fascinating early history of the bicycle in Vermont, a new invention that generated widespread curiosity when it arrived here in the 1880s. During the 1890s, enthusiasm exploded statewide as bicycles became safer, women took to the wheel, roads improved, and retailers developed novel advertising techniques to draw in buyers. The bicycle was tied to important changes in industrial production, consumerism, new road policies and regulations, gender relations, and new cultural ideas about auto-mobility and effortless speed.
Vivanco is a Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Humanities Center at the University of Vermont. Vivanco’s lecture draws from archival research he began for his book Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing (Routledge, 2013).
The talk is part of the Vermont Humanities Council series that provided additional funding.
This lecture was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Vermont Humanities Council (VHC). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or VHC.