The Historical Collections of the Bridgeport...

The Historical Collections of the Bridgeport Public Library shows what hidden gems are located here.

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Brisk Bicycle Battle

This strange silver vaselike object has a little man on top of it next to an even weirder thing that looks like a bicycle. The engraving on the object says "Presented by the Warwick Cycle Mfg. Company August 5, 1890.

What was this beautiful trophy given for? On the old silver trophy, the bicycle on top is of course a clue. The date, August 5, 1890 could be easily tracked in the old Bridgeport Daily Standard, found at the Bridgeport Public Library.

The story in the old Bridgeport Daily Standard on the date that follows, August 6, 1890 has the headline "Brisk Bicycle Battle." The second headline says, "Frank Soule wins the Wheelmen's Road Race."

Frank Soule ? The other side of thetrophy shows a different name. The trophy hasnicely engraved on it, "William Seltsam" with the date of the race that Frank Soule supposedly won.

Who Actually Won the Race???The account in the Bridgeport Standard tells the exciting story of the race. On the very hot summer day of August 5, 1890, seventeen bicyclists, including bicyclists from the local Rambling Wheelmen and the Bridgeport Wheel Club took off from Horan's Nursery at 647 Fairfield Avenue to the big elm in Norwalk and returned. The weather was fine but very hot. Competition was high among the local clubs. The bicyclists, all men, took off on their bicycles at 4:07 p.m. that day. By 5:45, spectators lined up again to see the men return on their bicycles. Cheering the incoming bicyclists on, Frank Soule of the Bridgeport Wheelclub was the first to arrive, clocking a time of 2:03:37. The next to arrive, clocking in as 2:04:24 was the Rambling Wheelman's contestant, William Seltsam. The two clubs argued about the final result. However, Frank Soule was awarded a solid gold watch and Henry Seltsam, who came in second, was given a silver cup twenty inches high, presented by the Warwick Cycle Company.

The second place winner, William Seltsam of the Rambling Wheelmen and his bicycle

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