Author(s): Paul Farren
Paul Farren claims he and his wife Charlie have around 85 percent of the pre-1900 bicycles in Australia - all under one roof in a Melbourne warehouse-cum-museum. Thirty years of hunting them down and collecting has resulted in one of the most impressive early bike collections in the world. It includes 160 pre-1900 bicycles, including hobby horses, boneshakers and Penny Farthings, as well as early 20th-century models. The collection charts the development of the bicycle, which foreshadows the invention of the motor car in many surprising ways. It also shows wider social change and the role the bicycle has played in female emancipation, war and its progression from plaything of the wealthy to utilitarian mode of transport of the masses.