Friday, January 3, 2014

The first bicyle in Delaware County

The Benjamin West Home at 500 College Ave. just off of Chester Road. In the 1820's the Crozer Family lived here and so did Samuel Crozer the "inventor".
   The Crozer Family first worked on the Knowles Farm in Glenolden when they first arrived from France in the 1760's. After leaving the Knowles farm in the 1780's, they got their own place in Swarthmore. The Crozer Family lived here till John P. Crozer Sr. began to invest in mills and thence the family business and fortune. Samuel Crozer, brother of John, was a chair builder and worked in Philadelphia but lived on the family farm on the weekends. About 1820, Samuel Crozer began riding his bicycle all over Delaware County. Crozer's bike, which he made himself from scratch, had no chain etc. for propulsion but he would push it with his feet and then coast down hills. Crozer's bike had a steering handlebar like the bikes of today. Old Delco residents recalled how fast the bike would go and how much fun Samuel Crozer had showing off his bike. Crozer only used his bike for a few years when he moved to Liberia to establish a colony there. He died shortly after his arrival in 1822 and his bike was totally forgotten. Not until the early 1890's, when bicycling was all the rage, did his nephews dig his old bike out of storage and begin riding it did the people who knew Sam Crozer told them all about his bicycle being the first in Delaware County. This story is based on a Chester Times article from September of 1892.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to see a picture of the old bike. Probably hidden in a garage or barn somewhere in the county.