Visiting the 1867 Universal Exposition, Clément Ader noticed that the velocipede was all the rage in Paris. Believing that this means of locomotion had a bright outlook, he made many improvements: a hollow soldered sheet metal frame to decrease weight, hermetic siphon lubricators, rolling devices to reduce rubbing and delicate pedals with toe-clips. But Ader's most noteworthy idea was the application of a solid rubber strip on the wheels, which he patented in 1868. His velocipedes met with some success in the Toulouse area, where they were popular in races in which Ader himself took part. After 1870 he turned his attention from the velocipede to telephones and aviation. This Ader velocipede, which entered the Conservatoire des arts et métiers in 1893, is the only one in a French public collection.


  • Title: Velocipede
  • Creator: Clément Ader
  • Date: Circa 1867
  • Date Created: Circa 1867
  • Location: France
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Subject Keywords: Cycle
  • Type: Bois, cuir, laiton, acier
  • Contributor: Author : Sandra Delaunay
  • Inventory number: Inv. 12525-0001
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Pascal Faligot

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