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Pioneers 1868 to 1900

In 1868, The Coventry Sewing Machine Company received an order from Paris to make a number of Velocipedes, an early type of bicycle that was popular in France. This event heralded the beginning of the city’s cycle industry.

Such was the success of that first order that the Coventry Sewing Machine Company soon became the Coventry Machinists, and possibilities for improving the bicycle gripped the imagination of several of its employees who went on to set up on their own.

Improvements to the Velocipede led to the development of the Penny-Farthing, with its distinctive giant front wheel. The obvious problem with the Penny-Farthing, however, was safety. Coventry’s Henry Lawson was the first to tackle this issue, patenting a ‘safety bicycle’ in 1876. Singer, Humber, Premier, the Coventry Machinists and Swift all produced their own versions, but none really took off until J K Starley developed the Rover Safety Bicycle, which became the blueprint for all bicycles to this day. 

 

 

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Schools

Bring the curriculum to life!

Coventry Transport Museum's interactive exhibitions make the perfect venue for school visits in Coventry.

We offer a wide range of sessions for school groups, all 'Learning Outside The Classroom' quality assured. 

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Join and Support

Join us in celebrating a unique transport heritage. There are lots of ways for you to get involved, from supporting us with a financial donation to volunteering your time. 

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Mike Brewer announced as President of Coventry Transport Museum Patron Scheme

On Thursday 13 October Coventry Transport Museum proudly revealed Mike Brewer as the new President of the Patron Scheme.
Hear the news from the man himself and find out why he is supporting the museum.  

 

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