First bicycle in Washington Territory arrives in Seattle on November 14, 1879.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 11/06/1998
  • Essay 250

On November 14, 1879, the first bicycle ever seen in Washington Territory arrives in Seattle aboard a steamer from San Francisco via Portland.

Seattle merchant William H. Pumphrey displayed the boy's size two-wheeler in front of his store at 617 Front Street (later 1st Avenue). On November 18, 1879, Jules Lipsky bought the bicycle for his son.

Books and Bicycles

The Weekly Intelligencer predicted, "Another season will find many bicycles here in active use." The newspaper also noted that William H. Pumphrey & Co. featured "a stock of books not equaled elsewhere in the territory."


Seattle Weekly Intelligencer, November 15, 1879, p. 3; Ibid., November 19, 1879, p. 3.

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