It’s sad to see Buffalo lose antique bicycle collection

It should not happen, but on Saturday, the first of three auctions will take place of Clary and Carl Burgwardts’ antique bicycle collection, and Buffalo will lose another segment of its remarkable history.

In 1900, Buffalo had 336 businesses employing thousands who were selling, repairing or outfitting bicycles. Bicyclists lobbied for paved roads, which resulted in more paved roads here than in any other city in the world. Two million ordinaires were sold by 1897, or one for every 30 people. In 1871, the Taylor Bros. of Orchard Park made the ordinaire or velocipede boneshaker with unequal size wheels, but by 1885, the wheels were of equal size, as we know the bike today.

Our Erie Canal Harbor would be a perfect location for a museum of the Burgwardts’ collection. I hope that some person or corporation will come forward to prevent further diminution of our amazing heritage.

Penn R. Watson Sr.

East Aurora