Demand for better roads


Colonel Albert Pope, known as the founder of the American bicycle industry, circulated this petition that he hoped would lead to better roads. Printed sheets were distributed throughout the country and signed by approximately 150,000 people. They were attached and wound around two gigantic wooden spools, reminiscent of bicycle wheels, and carried to the Senate floor. On December 21, 1893, the New York Times reported that the petition was then “referred and wheeled to the Committee on Interstate Commerce.” At 6 feet 5 inches high, it is one of the largest petitions in the holdings of the National Archives.

National Archives, Records of the U.S. Senate Used with the permission of the U.S. Senate


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