Meyer-Guilmet' bicycle

Attributed to Eugène Meyer and André Guilmet1868/1906

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers
Paris, France

This curious machine entered the museum’s collection after the retrospective bicycle exhibition co-organised by the Touring-Club de France in 1906. At this event, it was presented as the first chain-driven bicycle, dated 1868 and attributed to the bicycle manufacturer Eugène Meyer, therefore as a French invention preceding that of the Englishman Henry J. Lawson by ten years. Uncertainties as to its provenance, the absence of historic traces and the heterogeneous nature of its design and construction are still debated by experts unsure of its authenticity and dating. Meyer was renowned for the quality and finesse of his cycles. In 1869 he registered a patent for metallic wheels mounted under tension with retaining nuts on the flange of the hub. He also lightened the structure of his bicycles using hollow frames.


  • Title: Meyer-Guilmet' bicycle
  • Creator: Attributed to Eugène Meyer and André Guilmet
  • Date: 1868/1906
  • Date Created: 1868/1906
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Contributor: Author: Sandra Delaunay. English translation: David Wharry
  • Inventory number: Inv. 14014
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Pascal Faligot

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