Tens of thousands who could never afford to own, feed and stable a horse, had by this bright invention enjoyed the swiftness of motion which is perhaps the most fascinating feature of material life.
-Frances Willard, author of How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle, and suffragette. Willard was a contemporary and friend to Susan B. Anthony.
Though I disagree with her stance on drinking--she was big in the temperance movement--she advocated for some great things back in the 19th century that we now take for granted: federal funding for education, free school lunches, unions for workers, the eight-hour work day, municipal sanitation & boards of health, national transportation, strong anti-rape laws, & protections against child abuse. Hers is an interesting perspective on the bicycle, which was a major factor in the movement for women's emancipation.
Have you ever thought about how amazing a technological advance the bicycle was? Bikes made it possible for people--women in particular--to travel much faster & easier independently when the alternative was a horse or horse & carriage. With no public buses or subways, bicycles were (& still are!) a more affordable & healthy way of getting around.
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