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Bicycle
1303 Murdoch Bicycle
First Seen Power
The bicycle is the preferred means of transportation for Detective William Murdoch and the ubiquitous vehicle of the Toronto constables, introduced in Season 1 of Murdoch Mysteries.

History

There are several early, but unverified claims for the invention of the bicycle from 1500 AD - 1817.

Karl von Drais patented a design in 1818, which was the first commercially successful two-wheeled, steerable, human-propelled machine, commonly called a velocipede, and nicknamed hobby-horse or dandy horse.

In 1885 Englishman John Kemp Starley created his first “safety bicycle”. Today that invention is regarded as one of the most important moments in bicycle history. It had featured chain that connected pedals to the rear wheel and steerable front wheel. This device (called Rover) ignited the era known today as “Golden Age of Bicycles”. Since that time, bicycle design and equipment became standardized across the world and they satisfied all four basic aspects – safety, speed, comfort and steering. They all had the basic diamond shape made from metal, pneumatic rubber tires, roller chain, one gear, coaster brakes and more. Golden Age of Bicycles lasted from 1900s to 1950s in which bicycles became one of the primary means of public road transportation. [*]

702 MakingMurdoch

Tig welded frame with unicrown fork, and handle turned

It shifted their use and public perception from being a dangerous toy for sporting young men to being an everyday transport tool for men—and, crucially, women—of all ages. In 1894 – Betty Bloomers became popular; Women were no longer limited to tricycles and could ride comfortably in their long skirts

In Power, Murdoch and Dr. Ogden arrive at their destination with their bicycles on their first outing.

Season 1 - 5

Season 6 - 10

At the top of Season 7 in Tour de Murdoch, Murdoch tells George, "I've created my own advantage: Sprockets," explaining that they will allow him to change gears offsetting pedaling resistance against a gradient in the race course. But, Georges informs him with, "Sir, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I've just read about this very innovation in Cyclers News'." Indeed, Murdoch proudly shares, "The difference however is I've created this system of rods allowing me to change gears without dismounting." Brilliant!

Murdoch states that today's bicycle wouldn't be what it is were it not for "The Ordinary". George corrects the Detective, "Sir, nowadays, they call them "penny-farthings". If you can imagine a penny and a farthing next to each other." But what puzzles Murdoch is how a practical invention has become a sport in which competitors will go to great lengths to outdo one another. Then, George adds like Murdoch himself with his special gear gadget. Murdoch now corrects George explaining that he is not in competition rather he is challenging himself. George wishes he had known this before wagering 50cents on the Detective to win.

Later in the season, Murdoch soothes his profound disappointment (ep.714) by solving another problem with a new invention – the dynamo bicycle lamp, using the kinetic energy of the person peddling it to power it. It will save constables a great deal of time travelling to and from crime scenes at night!

Season 11 - 13



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