A penny farthing, a velocipede and a chainless bike are among the items Peter Matthews has in his museum.
Bicycle collector, restoration expert and enthusiast Peter Matthews has possibly the largest collection of antique bikes in Ireland, all of which reside in the 'Matthews Museum' at his home in Santry.
The earliest form of bicycle was the Hobby Horse, a contraption without pedals which was propelled by the user’s feet. Pedals were added to bikes in 1843 and Peter Matthews has a velocipede from 1868, a sophisticated form of transport for its time.
The penny farthing bicycle is the next evolution, which was faster but,
It was quite dangerous, because the forks were straight, and the least thing would send you over the bar.
The invention of the pneumatic tire in 1887 by John Boyd Dunlop and the Matthews Museum has a bike with these tyres from 1890 made in Birmingham.
One problem which has affected cyclists from the start has been a sore posterior, but a Danish inventor tried to get around that with a hammock saddle in 1902.
Perhaps the most unusual item in the collection is a chainless bike, which was driven by a series of cogs instead of a chain, but never caught on, as
It was very noisy and uneasy to ride.
The Quadrant Tricycle from 1884 was popular with the older cyclist. Complete with a footrest for when you could coast along, presenter Ultan Guilfoyle describes it as,
My little dream machine.
This episode of ‘Youngline’ was broadcast on 26 October 1980. The reporter is Ultan Guilfoyle.