Introduced in 1901. Discontinued in 1907.
Mrs. Robinson erroneously showed this deck as
"Motorcycle No. 2." The deck she called Motorcycle No. 1 is clearly a later issue, so
I have switched them. Thanks to a fellow collector for pointing out this mistake. Let me add
that the resources I have at my fingertips today (including instant access to the knowledge
and collections of other enthusiasts) enable me to easily research many of the nuances of
the manufacture and history of Bicycle cards. For Mrs. Robinson to have achieved the high
level of accuracy that she did in her pamphlet in 1955 is admirable, indeed. As Laura Cumming
so aptly states in The Vanishing Velasquez, "We do not know better than these people of the
past, we just know more than they could."
An enlarged version of this beautiful back design
is shown below. The machine depicted seems more like a motorized bicycle (or what was called a
"moped" in the 1970's) than a motorcycle to me, but I'm not an expert on early motorcycles.
Note the handlebar motif at the tops and sides of the card, and the sprocket in the center. Close
scrutiny also reveals that this is yet another seemingly symmetrical back designs with a subtle
"one-way" element. Mousing over the image, below, will reveal the one-way element.
Motorcycle No. 1 was one of several Bicycle back designs
available in the United Kingdom. Please click on "UK" above for more information.
A red Motorcycle No. 1 sample card sold on eBay on February
8, 2017 for $55.