Join Here

Join up to edit this article or to create one yourself. It takes just a moment and it's free

How to use this wiki site

Learn more about how this wiki works here.

Produced by



2.00 - 4.30pm.

Other times

by appointment.

Supported by


National Trust of South Australia


Penny Farthing Bicycle

From Mallala
Jump to: navigation, search
Fast Facts
Also known as High Wheel
Type of thing Personal
Date made or found c. 1880
Place made Made in England
Place used Mallala South Australia
Place found Purchased from former owner
Current location Mallala Museum
Used in John Martins Christmas Pageant Adelaide S.A.

In 1870  an Englishman James Starley improved on the French "boneshaker" and produced the Penny Farthing Bicycle - so called as it resembled the side view of a larger British penny followed by a small farthing coin. James Starley became known as the father of the bicycle industry. Others began producing the bicycles with front wheels at an ever increasing size
The larger front wheel of up to 60 inches (1.5 m) enabled higher speeds on bicycles limited to direct drive.  By the late 1890s the "safety" bicycle was beginning to emerge and heralded the decline of the Penny Farthing.

The Penny Farthing  bicycle on display at the Mallala Museum  was purchased by Samuel Temby for use by the family. His son Harold Temby became adept at riding the bicycle and was regularly seen riding along Temby Road to Middle Beach. (Probably only a dirt track)

Years later Harold moved to live in a cottage on the corner of Aerodrome Road and Joseph Street Mallala and he rode the bicycle at times around the town of Mallala. Harold  purchased a conventional two wheeler and the Penny Farthing was confined to the back shed where it gathered dust for many years.

In 1950 a relative persuaded Harold to sell him the bicycle and so Lance Tiller became the proud owner.  Many months were spent in practicing his skills on the Penny Farthing until he felt confident to apply to participate in the John Martins Christmas Pageant held in Adelaide South Australia each year.  Thus began Lance's long association with the pageant in which he rode for 40 consecutive years. 

Lance Tiller offered the bicycle to the Mallala Museum - the district in which it first was ridden. The Mallala Museum purchased the bicycle in the year 2001 with a Premier's grant plus some other generous donations. The bicycle was restored to its original colour of black and minor repairs completed.

The Mallala Museum is delighted to have this Penny Farthing bicycle as an exhibit.


  • Mallala Museum records.
  • Facts on the invention of the Penny Farthing bicycle from Wikipedia.
Penny Farthing Bicycle
Penny Farthing Bicycle
Penny Farthing Bicycle
Penny Farthing Bicycle
Penny Farthing Bicycle.
Penny Farthing Bicycle.

Memories of Penny Farthing Bicycle

Do you remember Penny Farthing Bicycle ? Then Join up and add your memory here.

Print Print    Subscribe by RSS Subscribe by RSS

Bookmark and Share