The invention of the “modern” bicycle dates to the mid-1800’s and earlier, depending upon which source you consult. The early versions were called velocipedes and were propelled by the rider “walking” while seated on the wheeled vehicle. Many of the early designs were of European origin, the products of French, German and English ingenuity. Over the years, various improvements were made including steering, pneumatic tires, pedals and cranks, suspensions, gears, and other safety features. By the late 1800’s, the form of the bicycle would be as readily recognizable as those manufactured today.
As the bicycle gained popularity and became more affordable to the masses, so came the need for illumination for nighttime riding. They were most often fueled by kerosene or carbide/acetylene – our focus shall be on the former.