As we peer out the window in quarantine, we’ve been daydreaming of open landscapes and activity. So it was fortuitous that we stumbled across Richard Kuhlman’s brilliant cache of vintage bicycle posters.
“There are many reasons why I am fascinated with these posters—cycling, the art and the message, the artists and the size and grandeur of the originals,” he writes in an email. “I am an avid cyclist and this business goes hand-in-hand with my love of cycling. I love the art and the way a message was portrayed during this golden age of poster art.”
Kuhlman adds that the reason so many women feature in the early ads is because a bicycle symbolized freedom of mobility without having to rely on transportation provided by a spouse. “Another little known fact is that both the bicycle manufacturers and farmers were aligned at this time for the promotion of better roads. Cyclists to ride, and farmers to bring product to market.”
All told, Kuhlman’s collection of originals is a wonderland of design.
Here are 21 posters spanning more than a century to keep us happily dreaming of the open road until it opens back up.
“American Crescent Cycles” by Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell. Circa 1899, France.
“Alcyon,” anonymous. Circa 1927, France.
“Thomann,” anonymous. Circa 1920, France.
“American Cycles Snell” by Eugene Oge. Circa 1901, France.
“Automoto” by Erton. Circa 1926, France.
“Andre Bertin,” anonymous. Circa 1970s, France.
“Cycles Griffon” by Georges Favre. Circa 1926, France.
“Cycles Georges Richard” by H Gray. Circa 1896, France.
“Cycles Guiller Freres” by E Courchinoux. Circa 1920s, France.
“Cycles Griffon,” anonymous. Circa 1938, France.
“Cycles Meteore” by Georges Favre. Circa 1930, France.
“Diamant,” anonymous. Circa 1930s, Yugoslavia.
“Favor Cycles Motos” by L. Mathey. Circa 1938, France.
“Le Pays de L’Or ” by L. Lemaresquier. Circa 1890s, France.
“Hutchinson Super Reinforced” by Mich. Circa 1950, France.
“Laroche & Pouchois” by Mich. Circa 1920s, France.
“Le Velo Dixi,” anonymous. Circa 1920, France.
“Peugeot” by Thor. Circa 1900, France.
“The Bicycle Tamers” (film), anonymous. Circa 1964, Hungary.
“Frederikssund,” undeciphered signature in top left corner. Circa 1950s, Denmark.
“Giro d’Italia,” anonymous. Circa 2002, Italy.