1884 KANGAROO Dwarf Safety Bicycle (Hillman Patent)

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1884 KANGAROO Dwarf Safety Bicycle (Hillman Patent)

36″ Front wheel

21″ Rear wheel

(Now sold)

I recently sold this rare early Kangaroo for a friend. He purchased it at the auction of the Sharpe Collection in 2005, which comprised the contents of Ramsgate Motor Museum. That museum had purchased the Kangaroo in 1952. It’s in excellent original unrestored original condition and is rideable. You can see him taking it for a spin it in the video.

Though William Hillman patented the design, and his company Hillman, Herbert & Cooper built and sold them as ‘The Premier’, they were also built (under patent) by other companies.

The ‘Kangaroo’ was the first ‘safety’ bicycle (being smaller than a penny farthing). It was superseded two years later by the first successful chain-driven ‘safety’ bicycle with 30 inch wheels …also built by Hillman, Herbert & Cooper.

This example has an original transfer (decal) from H.W Burrow of Bideford, Devon. It’s not known if that company built it, assembled it, or just sold it. An interesting feature is the open head steering, which was only current for a short time in 1884 before being replaced by a ball bearing head.