World Bicycle Day. Automaton “Bicyliste Coquette”
The UN established world Bicycle Day in April 2018, with a date set for 3 June to celebrate the multi-functional transport. The UN resolution points out 'the uniqueness, long history and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries and is a simple, inexpensive, reliable, environmentally friendly and affordable mode of transport'.
Professor Leszek Sibielski from the USA, a PhD candidate in sociology, organized a massive campaign to promote the UN resolution on World Bike Day, which was supported by 56 countries. Today, on World Bicycle Day, we introduce an item from the museum Collection exposition - musical automaton “Bicyliste Coquette” created by Roullet & Decamps circa 1895.
Miniature model of a bicycle with the figure of female cyclist is mounted on rectangular wooden base. A trellis of artificial flowers on wire lattice and a signpost with the address 104, rue Saint-Dominique in Paris is to her left. The realistic bike parts are nickel-plated and polished. Rubber tyres are fitted with nipples. The bike wheels positioned on wide ribbon of moving platform. The spring motor and music mechanism with pinned cylinder and sound comb are fixed inside the pedestal, with the keyhole and activating lever on its rear side. Vaucanson chain transmits the movement from the motor to the bike pedals. The pedals are connected to the rear wheel by the same chain and to the front wheel by belt drive. When the mechanism is switched on, the girl spins the pedals, turns her head to the right and to the left, the wheels of the bicycle roll on the moving platform. The movement is accompanied by music. This automaton was probably used to promote the "Au Prince Albert" shoe shop, which was located at the address indicated on the post. Winding key is in the set.
In the collection section 'Amusing Automata' you can take a closer look at the other items of the in the museum exposition with built-in musical mechanisms.