The Royal Mail Penny Farthing

"Pennies" first appeared in 1869, superseding bone shakers. Both styles of bicycle had pedals and cranks directly coupled to the driven wheel, however the invention of the tension spoked wheel made possible the larger wheel diameters, and higher effective gearing, of the penny farthing.

Pennies ruled the roost for only a decade and a half, supplanted by the "safety" bicycle of 1885 and the pneumatic tyre of 1889.

This penny was built by the Royal Machine Manufacturing Co. of Birmingham, England. Royal began life as The Royal Sewing Machine Co, changing it's name in 1882. The company ceased trading in 1888.