Featherstone & Co. "Duke" Bicycle. Material: metal, wood. Size: 60" L. x 40" H. Description: black metal frame; silver bell on left handle bar; black leather seat; one metal pedal; one wooden pedal; chain driven; wooden rims; silver plate on front: "A Feather Stone & Co Duke, 1896 Model, Chicago."
This bicycle is a Featherstone & Co. "Duke" made in 1896. This bicycle was used by the Prechel boys on the family farm. Its design is much like today's bicycles, but it differs in detail. The rims are wooden. The tires are tubeless pneumatics. The chain is 1 inch pitch rather than today's standard 1/2". There are no fenders (they were a luxury accessory). There is no brake, other than the fixed gear rear axle. Note with bicycle: "Belonged to Prechel boys. Used on farm in early 1900s. Spare tire was purchased in early 1940s and never taken out of the wrapping paper it was shipped in. Handle bars new, were still in the box in which they were purchased. All the farm was very neat, and old things beautifully kept." This bicycle was owned and used by the Prechel boys (Albert, George and Reuben) of St. Mary Township in the early 1900s.