In 1870, as the French velocipede industry was suffering from the war with Prussia, penny-farthing production grew considerably in England. To increase speed and lightness, manufacturers lightened the cycle’s structure and increased the diameter of the front drive wheel to obtain a higher gear ratio. However the dangers involved in riding the penny-farthing limited its use to sportsmen and acrobats. Hampered by these disadvantages, from 1890 this elegant machine was gradually superseded by a much more efficient competitor, the bicycle. This penny-farthing was made Daniel Rudge & Co., inventor of the ball bearing system he patented in 1878, which equipped the bicycles ridden by the French champion Charles Terront in his first races. Rudge gave the penny-farthing’s wheels the spoke system invented by James Starley – the father of the bicycle – to improve the wheel’s strength.