Puck rode a bicycle

Puck, published from 1871 to 1918, was America’s first successful humor magazine. This Victorian forerunner of Mad and Cracked began life as a German language humor weekly published by German immigrants in St Louis.

In 1883, they published a drawing of their eponymous mascot (named for the character in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream) “going to the bicycle tournament … with all the modern improvements.”

Puck Magazine Bicycle: Going to the Bicycle Tournament 1883

The cherubic Puck carries crutches, a large “Medical and Surgical Directory” book, bandages, splints, and a bottle of Arnica as a long line of cyclists follow behind.

Detail of the cover from Puck, volume 13, number 326, published on June 6, 1883 from the Library of Congress online collection.

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