You are in site section: Exhibitions

Children's bikes

Freewheeling: Cycling in Australia

Children's bikes

My first bike

Bicycles designed for children were developed soon after the invention of the safety bicycle in the 1880s, but for many decades they were not mass-produced in Australia. Children rode tricycles and adult bikes until the 1950s, when bicycles came to be seen more as a child’s toy or a way for young people to get around.

Exhibition highlights

An early model Stackhat and a bike ridden to school by a mother and daughter over two generations feature in Freewheeling. The exhibition also features first bike stories from across the country.

  • A black and white photo of Andrew Gibson as a child sitting on his tricycle.
    Andrew Gibson, about 1933
  •  A metal tricycle painted light blue. It has a broken rusted seat and red handles on the handle bars.The wheels are painted white and have black solid rubber tyres.
    Andrew Gibson's tricycle, 1933
  • A black and white photograph of a young Noel Brown sitting on a bicycle.
    Noel Brown, 1936
  • A yellow bicycle with a beige seat that has a decorative purple and green flower on it with green and purple polka dots. The front and rear fenders are painted white. The paint on the fenders is cracked and flaked exposing the rusted metal below. The bicycle has also rusted and is discoloured throughout.
    Marjorie Bragg's bike, 1950
  • Children on bicycles in Melbourne, about 1980.
    Children on bicycles, about 1980
  • A yellow plastic helmet that has a black nylon chin strap with a metal fastener. The left chin strap is missing.
    Stackhat protective helmet, 1982
< Previous Next >