In the early days of bicycles, it was pretty clear from the advertising that people thought of bicycles as something pretty special. Frequently the images emphasize beauty, speed -- sometimes even flight -- and have highly romanticized, nearly mythological themes. Here are some of my favorites:
|This poster, from Cycles Peugeot also features a mythology-inspired woman, gleaming in gold, standing on top of the world.|
Some of the posters, like these ones shown below, highlight the industrial aspect of the bicycle, giving the impression that the great machine is forged from great fires.
|You can almost feel the heat from the blacksmith's forge in this poster from Cycles Liberator.|
|In this poster from Cycles Titania, we have not only a devil emerging from some kind of hell-forge with a bike, but there is a winged dragon flying in the background. Pretty cool.|
|Being from Northeast Ohio, I can't help but enjoy this poster from Cleveland cycles, even though it has nothing to do with Cleveland, Ohio. It isn't even American, despite the stars and stripes in the name.|
All of the posters shown above hang either in my home, or in my classroom at the school where I teach. I kind of wish that bicycle advertising today was as beautiful as it was in the past -- I mean, how many bicycle advertisements of today would anyone want to hang on their wall as art? Sacha White's Vanilla Cycles has some pretty cool posters, and Rivendell Bicycles came out with one recently, but I can't think of too many others.
|Available from Vanilla Bicycles -- Almost looks like it's from another time.|