It’s not generally well-known, but tall bikes have been around since the late 19th century. In the age of gas-lighting, it could be a slow and arduous task to move from lamp to lamp with a ladder and torch. In 2001, Sotheby’s sold this bike, constructed in 1898, for $US 24,000. It was used to light lamps, and probably made the entire process about 5 times quicker.
Giraffe Lamplighter’s Bicycle, 1898
Made of tubular steel with 28″ wooden rims.
Understandably enough, this is a favourite with bike bloggers. Thanks to tubulocity for the photo.
Tall bike, march 2008
Found on Flickr. The caption reads: Lloyd and his tall bike. Made with just a jig, a pipe bender, and a small MIG welder. Usually when people build tall bikes, they stack frames from smaller bikes and it looks retarded. Lloyd built this frame from scratch!