BICYCLING was starting to become more widespread. While early versions were built in the first half of the 19th century, two Frenchmen added mechanical crank pedals and the "velocipede" was born. Made entirely of either wood or metal (including the tires), these were also called "boneshakers" and one of the recommended manufacturers was Mercer and Monod (54 William Street). An 1869 book said of M&M velocipede, "The steering post is inclined backward which bring the handle within easy reach of the body, and the whole machine under perfect control; and gives it a particularly rakish and natty appearance upon the roadâ¦ The defect of this machine is its weight, which is about seventy poundsâ¦ A good rider on this machine can obtain a speed of ten or twelve miles an hour." Of course, this was a luxury for those who could afford the $100-150 machine (around $1600-2400 today!). With velocipedes hitting the streets, schools were opening to educate riders. A Scientific American reporter visited a facility 928 Broadway where, "on any week-day evening," "upward of a hundred and fifty gentlemenâdoctors, bankers, merchants and representatives from almost every professionâengaged in this training school preparatoryâ¦. We frequently drop into the Velocinasium to witness the novel amusement which the exhibition always affords. [T]wo well-known stock brokers, jaded by the excitement of Wall Street, with their coats off and faces burning with zeal, gyrating around the room in the most eccentric manner." 19th century New York's elite and underbelly await you in BBC America's COPPER. Watch the premiere of the riveting new series from Academy AwardÂ®-winner Barry Levinson and EmmyÂ® Award-winner Tom Fontana on Sunday, August 19, at 10/9c, only on BBC America. For more updates on the series, be sure to like COPPER on Facebook and follow COPPER on Twitter.