By: Thomas Carson
(Unlikely) Origins of Safety – Part 2
Continuing through our collection of safety tips published and distributed by the Imperial Tobacco Company in England around 1910. If there was a mode of transportation more dangerous than automobiles in the early 1900’s, it was the bicycle. This may have been partly because the only people riding bicycles, in this country at least, were daring young men with more money than judgement – kind of an early version of, “Hold my sarsaparilla root beer and watch this.”
As with early cars, people took it upon themselves to encourage safer designs and safer habits in efforts to reduce the mortality rate for bicyclists. Progress was significant for decades, and these published safety tips played a part.
Sadly, there are areas where there has been some backsliding. In the in the town where I live, bikers and motorists regularly engage in confrontations over exactly who really does own the road. I personally always defer to the 5,000-pound vehicle over my 70-pound Trek, but that is just me.