Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

Let's Go Ride a Bike

High-wheeled bicycles, also called penny-farthings, were a craze of the 1880s, when this child’s bicycle was manufactured. They were popular with all ages despite design flaws: They sent riders headfirst over the handlebars when braking or hitting obstacles, and they easily tipped sideways. By the late 1880s and early 1890s the twin-wheeled “safety bicycle,” thus called for its safety in comparison to high-wheelers, replaced this design, and the bicycle craze continued unabated. Susan B. Anthony said in 1896 that the bicycle had done “more to emancipate women than anything else in the world ... It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance ... away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” (See American Spirit’s May/June 2010 issue for more on the history of bicycles.)

The bicycle was a Friends of the Museum purchase.

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback


Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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