A Sociable Tricycle

Contributed by Future Boy

The 'Sociable' was one of many versions of tricycle developed in the 1880s. It got its name from the side-by-side position of the seats.
At that time a normal bicycle was the 'Ordinary' - better known as the Penny Farthing, but its high seat did not appeal to everyone and was especially unpractical for ladies in long skirts.
The 'Sociable' also offered an option that found favour with courting couples!
They were slow, heavy and quite awkward to steer and their popularity was short lived.
The one in this picture was used on the roads in Flintshire in the 1880s and now is found on display at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

Comments are closed for this object


  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 13:32 on 13 July 2012, MatildaJarvis wrote:

    My Harrogate great-grandmother had a Sociable and loved it. Her diary for 1887 records how happy she was when the weather was finally warm enough for her and her sister to go out on it, and how she had missed it over the winter. However her fiance, my grandfather-to-be and keen cyclist, no doubt feeling that a Sociable was hardly a manly machine, persuaded her that they should have a tandem. "Poor old Sociable sold today - had last run yesterday but did not know it at the time...Feel very lost without a tricycle."

    Complain about this comment

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline




View more objects from people in South West Wales.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.