29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

For a few brief decades of human history, just before combustion engines and motorcycles and cars burst onto the scene, the bicycle was the most advanced personal land vehicle around. They were wonders of technology and personal style—as these beautiful ads show.

As Gizmodo continues its Bike Month coverage, take a second to imagine what life was like in a time when the bike was the epitome of technological progress—here are 29 ads for long-list bikes, from the stylish, to the curvy, to the sometimes crazy.

Victor, Victoria bicycles. Overman Wheel Co., 1896. Artist: Will Bradley.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Library Of Congress


Orient cycles lead the leaders. Waltham M'f'g' Co., c1890. Artist: Edward Penfield.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Library Of Congress


Déesse bicycle, Paris, c1890. Artist: Jean de Paleologue.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Library Of Congress


Ride a Stearns and be content / J. Ottmann Lith. Co., Puck Bld'g, N.Y., 1896. Artist: Edward Penfield.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Library Of Congress


Victor Bicycles Overman Wheel Co., 1896. Artist: Will Bradley.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Library Of Congress


Dayton cycles, France, c1898. Artist: Henry Thiriet.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Waverley cycles, Paris, 1898. Artist: Alphonse Mucha.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


The Prudent buyer selects the Shirk, the latest, neatest, and lightest bicycle in the world / Ottman, Chic., c1890. Artist: unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Library Of Congress


Cycles Clément, Paris, 1898. Artist: Jean de Paleologue.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Library Of Congress


Cycles Humber, 1890. Artist: Alfred Choubrac.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Gladiator cycles, 1880. Artist: unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Townsend's Limited Cycles. Redditch. England. 1890. Artist: unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Papillon bicycle by the Société française pour la construction de cycles, 1890. Artist: A. Bonnard.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


American Crescent cycles, 1899. Artist: T. Ramsdell.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Cycles Decauville, Paris, 1895. Artist: Alfred Choubrac.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Clément cycles, Paris, 1890. Artist: George Moore.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Brillant Cycles, 1900. Artist: Raymond Tournon.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Peugeot, c1880. Artist: Francisco Tamagno.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Les Silos Médiathèque


Clément, 1896. Artist: Lucien Baylac.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Les Silos Médiathèque


Cycles Gladiator, c1880. Artist: Unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Les Silos Médiathèque


Clément, 1896. Artist: Unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Les Silos Médiathèque


Clément, c1880. Artist: Jean de Paléologue.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Les Silos Médiathèque


Delizy and Poiret bikes, 1890. Artist: Unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Le Cyclone, 1892. Artist: Unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Howe bicycles and tricycles, 1895. Artist: Unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Cycles de luxe and chainless cycles, 1897. Artist: Unknown.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Cycles Papillon, c1880. Artist: Certhus.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Les Silos Médiathèque


Cycles Peugeot, 1895. Artist: Ernest Vulliemin.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France


Cycles Perfecta. 1902. Artist: Alphonse Mucha.

29 Wonderful Bike Ads From the Golden Age Of Cycling

Source: photobucket/muchacompleteworks