Historical query

What would a uni have looked like in 1875? in america, in a wild west show
/cirus setting. Would unis even have been around then? Stiltwalkers and jugglers
seem a safe bet, how about walking globes? A local Am Dram group are doing Annie
get your Gun and want to involve a local circus skills club if pos. Answers on a
postcard please.

sarah

RE: Historical query

My daughter s a “Little House on the prarie” video that shows a circus coming
to walnut grove. I’m not sure of the period of that show, but I think it was
around then.

Stilt walkers and Unicycling are what I remember from it.

Hugh Allison

-----Original Message----- From: sarah@vimes.u-net.com
[mailto:sarah@vimes.u-net.com] Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 1999 5:23 AM To:
unicycling@winternet.com Subject: Historical query

What would a uni have looked like in 1875? in america, in a wild west show
/cirus setting. Would unis even have been around then? Stiltwalkers and jugglers
seem a safe bet, how about walking globes? A local Am Dram group are doing Annie
get your Gun and want to involve a local circus skills club if pos. Answers on a
postcard please.

sarah

RE: Historical query

> My daughter s a “Little House on the prarie” video that shows a circus coming
> to walnut grove. I’m not sure of the period of that show, but I think it was
> around then.

No offense, but TV shows are not noted for historical accuracy when it comes
to circus…

None taken, as I don’t pride myself on historical circus accuracy.

<g>

hugh

Re: Historical query

>What would a uni have looked like in 1875? in america, in a wild west show
>/cirus setting. Would unis even have been around then? Stiltwalkers and
>jugglers seem a safe bet, how about walking globes? A local Am Dram group are
>doing Annie get your Gun and want to involve a local circus skills club if pos.
>Answers on a postcard please.

John Dash of the LUNIs has an 1890s 7 foot German giraffe uni. Very heavy, and
the long cranks take a bit of getting used to, but otherwise a lot like a
modern one.

A picture of John on this uni won the photo competition 1996 in the
Catch magazine.

Maybe John can tell the story of how he came by the uni here on the unicycling
mailing list/newsgroup.

Peter

Peter Philip CGI-Scripteur and rider of kangaroo unicycles philip@mnet.fr
http://www.mnet.fr/philip

Re: Historical query

sarah@vimes.u-net.com (Sarah Miller) writes:

> What would a uni have looked like in 1875?

Very much like bicycles did then, only without the extra little wheel. I saw a
couple in Milan at the museum of science and technology (Museo Nazionale della
Scienza e della Tecnica). They have a bunch of bicycles and a few unicycles
from ~1880.

They also had an 1887 Renard racing bicycle, which was interesting. Just like
all the other cycles, it had no gears or chain. Instead it had a huge wheel and
clever pedal extensions. I have a picture of it which I could bring along to
various uni meets if anyone wants to see
it.

> in america, in a wild west show /cirus setting.

http://www.thehouse.org/~seth/uni/western.jpg

I came across this (and another just like it on the other side of the fireplace)
at Flagg Ranch, in Wyoming, just outside of Yellowstone National Park.

I don’t think I could ride it though. :slight_smile:

RE: Historical query

> My daughter s a “Little House on the prarie” video that shows a circus coming
> to walnut grove. I’m not sure of the period of that show, but I think it was
> around then.

No offense, but TV shows are not noted for historical accuracy when it comes
to circus…

> What would a uni have looked like in 1875? in america, in a wild west show
> /cirus setting. Would unis even have been around then?

Imagine a penny-farthing with the back end removed. The earliest unicycles
probably had handlebars instead of seats, and were just chopped bikes. Later
people added seats, but there may have been a period when there were still
handlebars on the thing. All of these were hand made, of course.

> Answers on a postcard please.

Sorry, I only do email.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone


jfoss@unicycling.com http://www.unicycling.com

RE: Historical query

> John Dash of the LUNIs has an 1890s 7 foot German giraffe uni. Very heavy, and
> the long cranks take a bit of getting used to, but otherwise a lot like a
> modern one.

Sounds fascinating! I’d love to see a picture if one is posted somewhere. But
how does John know the age of his unicycle? I know they used 7 foot (2 meter)
giraffes in competition in the 1950’s and 60’s, because I’ve seen pictures of
Hans Born doing it and ridden one of his club’s old giraffes. But 1890? Wow.

> Maybe John can tell the story of how he came by the uni here on the unicycling
> mailing list/newsgroup.

Please do!

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone


jfoss@unicycling.com http://www.unicycling.com

Re: Historical query

--------------62C3A852DCA195FCEED14F51 Content-Type: text/plain;
charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

In 1987 I was living in Koln (Cologne) and discovered unicycle hockey with the
Lahimo team. I used to ride around the city on my uni. One day I met a man who
said he used to perform on a giraffe and other unis. We got chatting and it
turned out he used to perform on a giraffe and other unis. After a visit to his
flat where he showed me various pieces of memorabilia he offered me his
giraffe. He was then in his fifties and no longer able to use it. The one
condition was that I was willing to perform at a street festival that he was
organising. No problem !

It seems to be one of a set of three originally. I have a photo of a previous
owner and two other riders on similar but taller machines. As I remember the
photo is from the turn of the century or soon after and I was told that the
machine belonged to the father and possibly the grandfather of the men in the
picture. The giraffe was in full working order apart from the need of a saddle.
Unfortunately after a year or so the tyre failed. The rim was of the old shape
where the tyre hooked around and underneath rather than having wired walls. I
therefore had to build a new wheel with a modern rim on the original axle. The
frame has the feel of being well made but probably not by a professional frame
builder. It is incredibly heavy and has on more than one occasion folded a
saddle in half when dropped. (not with me on it!) The saddle is mounted on a
tube at right angles to the main larger diameter frame tube and so is not
adjustable for height.

If/when I find any photos I will try and distribute them.

John Dash

John Foss wrote:

> > John Dash of the LUNIs has an 1890s 7 foot German giraffe uni. Very heavy,
> > and the long cranks take a bit of getting used to, but otherwise a lot like
> > a modern one.
>
> Sounds fascinating! I’d love to see a picture if one is posted somewhere. But
> how does John know the age of his unicycle? I know they used 7 foot (2 meter)
> giraffes in competition in the 1950’s and 60’s, because I’ve seen pictures of
> Hans Born doing it and ridden one of his club’s old giraffes. But 1890? Wow.
>
> > Maybe John can tell the story of how he came by the uni here on the
> > unicycling mailing list/newsgroup.
>
> Please do!
>
> Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
>
> --------------------------------------------
> jfoss@unicycling.com http://www.unicycling.com

--------------62C3A852DCA195FCEED14F51 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<HTML> In 1987 I was living in Koln (Cologne) and discovered unicycle hockey
with the Lahimo team. I used to ride around the city on my uni. One
day I met a man who said he used to perform on a giraffe and other unis.
We got chatting and it turned out he used to perform on a giraffe and other
unis. After a visit to his flat where he showed me various pieces of
memorabilia he offered me his giraffe. He was then in his fifties and no
longer able to use it. The one condition was that I was willing to perform
at a street festival that he was organising. No problem !

<J>It seems to be one of a set of three originally. I have a photo
of a previous owner and two other riders on similar but taller
machines. As I remember the photo is from the turn of the century or
soon after and I was told that the machine belonged to the father and
possibly the grandfather of the men in the picture. The giraffe was in
full working order apart from the need of a saddle. Unfortunately after
a year or so the tyre failed. The rim was of the old shape where the
tyre hooked around and underneath rather than having wired walls. I
therefore had to build a new wheel with a modern rim on the original
axle. The frame has the feel of being well made but probably not by a
professional frame builder. It is incredibly heavy and has on more than
one occasion folded a saddle in half when dropped. (not with me on
it!) The saddle is mounted on a tube at right angles to the main
larger diameter frame tube and so is not adjustable for height.

<J>Aa/when I find any photos I will try and distribute them.

<J><B><FONT FACE=“Comic Sans MS”>John Dash</FONT></I> <BR> <BR>

<K>John Foss wrote: <BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE>> John Dash of the LUNIs has an 1890s
7 foot German giraffe uni. <BR>> Very heavy, and the long cranks take a bit
of getting used to, but <BR>> otherwise a lot like a modern one.

<L>Sounds fascinating! I’d love to see a picture if one is posted <BR>somewhere.
But how does John know the age of his unicycle? I know they <BR>used 7 foot
(2 meter) giraffes in competition in the 1950’s and 60’s, <BR>because I’ve
seen pictures of Hans Born doing it and ridden one of his <BR>club’s old
giraffes. But 1890? Wow.

<M>> Maybe John can tell the story of how he came by the uni here on the <BR>>
unicycling mailing list/newsgroup.

<N>Please do!

<O>Stay on top, <BR>John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone

<P>--------------------------------------------
<BR>jfoss@unicycling.com <BR><A
HREF=“http://www.unicycling.com”>http://www.unicycling.com</A></BLOCKQUOTE>
</HTML>

--------------62C3A852DCA195FCEED14F51–

30 seconds research on the web produced http://www.anyandallbikes.com/replicas02.html where you can purchase a replica 1880 unicycle and a number of other cycles from the same era. There are some photos so you can see before you buy. Great for parade work. Good luck.

Dr. K.

30 seconds research, but 160,000,000 seconds too late… :slight_smile:

Phil

Wow, my past comes to sneak up on me. The am dram group in the query stuck with stilt walkers and jugglers in the end IIRC.

Sarah

Dang, you beat me to this one. I’ve posted this link a couple times on this forum in the past. I’d love to get one of their 48ers for riding in local parades and such.