The curious apparatus that we represent in Fig. 1, from an old English engraving of 1823, is an aquatic velocipede which was utilized with success during the entire winter of 1822. An amateur employed it for hunting ducks upon the numerous streams of Lincolnshire, and, as it appears, obtained very good results from it. The device is very ingenious. It consists of three floats of from 1,800 to 2,000 cubic inches capacity, made of copper or tin plate. These are full of air, and must be perfectly tight. They are held together by arched iron rods, as shown in the cut, so as to form the three angles of an isosceles triangle. These rods are provided in the center with a saddle for the velocipedist to sit upon. The apparatus floats upon the water and sustains the hunter, whose feet are provided with quite short paddles, by means of which he navigates, and steers himself.
FIG. 1. - AN AQUATIC VELOCIPEDE OF 1822.
The amusing engraving of this velocipede, which is mentioned under the name of the aquatic tripod, puts us in mind of another document of the same kind that we have seen in the gallery of prints of the National Library. It is a naively drawn lithograph representing a trial of velocipedes in the Luxembourg Garden, at Paris, in 1818. In Fig. 2 we give a reduced copy of it. It will be seen that in 1818 velocipedes were made of wood and were provided with two wheels - one in front, and the other behind. The propelling was done by alternately placing the feet on the ground.
FIG. 2. - A TRIAL OF VELOCIPEDES IN 1818.