Skip to content

Early bicycling researcher and collector coming to New Westminster

“Rare and captivating photos” from Lorne Shields’ private collection to be showcased in upcoming Through the Lens presentation in New West.
Early bicycles have been a fixture in the Hyack Parade - but Lorne Shields is visiting New West and sharing info and photos from his collection.

An avid collector and researcher of early bicycling history is exploring “the entangled history” of bicycles and photography during an upcoming visit to New Westminster.

Lorne Shields, a Toronto resident, has been an avid collector and researcher of early bicycling history for more than 50 years. He’ll be showcasing some of his most historic, interesting and rare imagines of cycling’s history from 1850 to 1920 during his visit to New Westminster.

Through the Lens: A look at the Entangled History of Bicycles and Photography is on Tuesday, July 2 at Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St. Doors open at 6 p.m., a meet and greet with Shields is from 6 to 7, and Shields’ presentation is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Register online.

According to a notice about the presentation, objects from Shield’s collection have been on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Museé d’Industrie et Science in St. Etienne France, the Dutch national cycle museum, Velorama at Nijmegen in the Netherlands, Ingenium – Canada’s National Museum for Science and Technology in Ottawa and many others. His collection includes early photographs, ephemera and memorabilia, and bicycles.

A notice about the event notes Shields has given historic cycling photography presentations at numerous venues throughout Canada, the USA, England, France, Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands, The Czech Republic, and Belgium.

“These images … capture the historical development of early vehicles to the bicycle of today and its siblings the monocycle, tricycle and quadricycle,” said a notice about the event. “These antique Victorian photographs will highlight invention, innovation, commercial development, sport, social effects and the fashionable sporting ladies and gentlemen of the era with a focus on Canadian images. A coherent timeline will frame these unusual, rare and captivating images.”

Gord Hobbis, whose father Gerald founded Cap’s Bicycles Shop in 1932, is excited about the upcoming presentation. In an email to “bicycle fans and friends” he noted that tickets to Shields’ presentation are free, but seating is limited to 40 people.

“His amazing collection of original contemporary bicycle images taken by early photographic pioneers has been amazing crowds of bicycle fans, photography clubs and history buffs all over North America and Europe,” Hobbis wrote. “It is worth seeing.”