Small Arms And Cyclists In The 19th Century

Arms And Cyclists

In the late 19th century, safety on byways and highways in the UK was a much more significant issue to both the police and public alike than it is nowadays. You could look adventurefootstep to know that small arms adverts were also catered for those that would like to have something to protect themselves when they were out and about. Many people had a great fear of this perceived risk. As well all know now, perception of risk usually exaggerates true realities. But, the risk of assault or robbery when on the road back then was a very real one and newspapers all over the country were delighted to report this.

In the year 1895, in Liverpool, 3 youths by the names Snowden Badger, Christopher Welsh and Richard Hart, knocked Margaret Howcroft off her bicycle and stole her satchel, which had in it the takings of the day from the shop Margaret managed. They were later charged with assault and robbery.

Mr. Bamfield was attacked a year before at midnight by 2 men while he was riding to Bromsgrove from Birmingham on his bike. A violent and vicious blow to his head rendered him unconscious and he was left for dead by his attackers in a ditch after they stole his bicycle, money and watch. His watch and bicycle were found a couple days later discarded in a nearby wood.

What People Decided To Do Next

With folks having to contend with such risks at the time, it was understandable why most of them turned to guns for protection. A lot of small arms manufacturers began noticing this and started manufacturing guns specifically designed for cyclists. With that said, these arms weren’t made for people to only defend themselves from robbery and assault. It was still handy for many other things.

One of them being dogs. Dogs also proved a threat to cyclists at this time as well. This was clear in the year 1896 when a mad dog viciously attacked miss Taylor and Miss Spencer of Dalton. This particular attack required them to seek medical assistance at the Pasteur Institute in France for treatment.

The Alternative To Small Arms

For the cyclists that did not want to harm or murder their fellow man or mammal physically, there were a few alternatives available to them. Just 50 cents then could get you a “Liquid Pistol” in America at the time. This could help protect you from both man and dog, without you having to maim or kill them. Using it would not creat “lasting regrets,” nor would it break any laws. The liquid of choice that would help keep these vicious perpetrators away was ammonia.


Guns specifically designed for cyclists appear to have been a short-lived phenomenon. This may largely have been because of the coming growth and expansion of car ownership, meaning it was harder to knock people from their cars. Increased public safety on highways and byways as well as the enactment of gun control rules and regulations also played a major role in their decline. Now, those arms are long gone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *