Fowler Sextet Comes to Marion

The Fowler Sextet was 6-man bicycle built by the Fowler Cycle Company of Chicago in 1896. The Co. sent the machine all over the US to fairs, parades and bicycle dealers to promote their “truss frame” design. The sextet created a sensation when it challenged the Empire State Express, the fastest train in the world, to a race in 1896. The bicycle’s inventor claimed 100 mph was achievable but it was never clocked over 38 mph. The $3,000 machine came to Marion May 15-18, 1896 and attracted hundreds of gawkers. There was talk of taking it for a spin, but unfortunately rainy weather made the roads unsafe.

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