Rowley B. Turner

I created this 25" x 19" print for ARTCRANK Portland, an organization that stages live events featuring bicycle-inspired posters created by local artists.

I wanted to create an atypical poster that stood out from the crowd. After some detailed research, I learned about Mr. Rowley B. Turner, who is something of an unsung hero in the history of bicycling. Here is the complete text from the poster:

In memory of Mr. ROWLEY BENBOW TURNER, without whom we would likely not be riding bicycles today. In 1868, Mr. Turner returned to Coventry, England from France with a MICHAUX VELOCIPEDE, which he presented to his uncle JOSIAH TURNER, manager of the COVENTRY SEWING MACHINE COMPANY. Josiah Turner and his business partner JAMES STARLEY used the Velocipede to create 400 copies known as the COVENTRY MODEL. In 1870, Rowley Turner created the “PENNY-FARTHING” with an enlarged front wheel, the first cycle ever officially referred to as a BICYCLE. Mr. Turner’s models became extremely popular in England, even as cycling was abandoned elsewhere in the world.

This print is available for purchase on Etsy.