Vintage Cyclists Leave an Indelible Mark

October 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

La Francaise Diamant Original Poster

La Francaise Diamant
Original Cycling Poster by Marodon printed circa 1910

Technology changes the world. We see that everyday – our smart phones, our appliances, we can’t even begin to imagine how we lived without them. And then there are other things that we use everyday that we think of as traditional, even old fashioned. Bicycles are a great example. But if you think about it- they were a new technology less than 200 years ago. And they were a game changer! Roads were rudimentary at best- used by horses and carriages, and the demand for smoother roads for cyclists led to paving, which we now take for granted. Bikes changed the world for women- who could all of a sudden leave home without their husband or a chaperone, and they led to shorter skirts, eventually pants, and before you know it- women had the vote.

We have been collecting and selling bicycle posters for almost 20 years, and in the past year have added more than 30 really good original French bike posters to our collection. You can see the whole collection on our website. We look at these posters as artifacts, and documents, not just as decoration, although, by all means, please buy the ones you like and hang them in your home. Most of the time, the figures on the bicycle poster are made up- they have sprung from the imagination of an illustrator, they are idealist images that conjure up beauty, or strength or sport. When I found The “La Francaise Diamant” poster, I was tickled by the fact that it featured real people, probably famous racers of the time period.

It turns out that the E. Georget on the left is Emile Georget (1881-1960) who raced in the Tour de France 9 times. In 1910 he was France’s Road Champion, which is probably why The La Francaise Diamant  Company chose to feature him. Recently we met modern day illustrator Karl Edwards, who is an artist of many talents, with a specialty in bicycle illustration, and from his library of historic bike source material came the following photos of what Mr. Georget and Mr. Friol Looked like on their bikes.


This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, Vintage European Posters.
Vintage European Posters was established in 1997.
Our showroom is located at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley, California.
You can reach us by phone 510/843-2201 or by email vintage
Our website is always up to date
And YES, we want to buy your posters!

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