Trek 5500 bicycle used by Lance Armstrong in the 2000 Tour de France
metal (part material)
rubber (part material)
overall: 40 in x 18 in x 65 in; 101.6 cm x 45.72 cm x 165.1 cm
Used during certain stages:
2000-07-01 to 2000-07-21
Sports & Leisure
Tour de France
American professional racing cyclist Lance Armstrong (b. 1971) may have written a book called It’s Not About the Bike, but his seven Tour de France victories, now annulled as a result of a 2012 investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), all benefited from increasingly advanced racing bicycles.
For almost a century, race bikes used steel tubing construction. Steel was stiff and durable, but was also relatively heavy. High-quality steel frames without wheels or components weighed around 3.75 to 4.5 lbs. Because a lighter bike has a significant advantage on long climbs in the mountains, bike manufacturers attempted to reduce weight as much as possible. During the 1980s, modern manufacturers began experimenting with lighter and more versatile construction materials such as aluminum alloys, titanium, and most recently, carbon fiber. Armstrong’s, now-voided, first Tour de France victory in 1999 was on a carbon fiber Trek 5500. The 5500 frame was still comparatively heavy by modern standards, weighing around 3.85 lbs. At the time of his second tour attempt in 2000, Armstrong was riding both the 5500 frame, as well as a lighter and more advanced 2.75 lb Trek 5900 frame for the mountain stages. Other weight savings and technological improvements found on both bicycles include a larger 1 1/8” steerer tube, a threadless headset, and 9-speed Shimano Dura Ace components.
Armstrong brought several bikes to the 2000 Tour de France. This particular bicycle was raced on some of the flatter stages, such as Stage 11 from Bagnères-de-Bigorre to Revel in Southwest France, as well as the final stage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. During the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Armstrong used this bike as a spare, but did not ride it in competition.
H x W x D: 28.5 x 50 x 16 cm (11 1/4 x 19 11/16 x 6 5/16 in.)
Toy and Entertainment
Free State, South Africa
Gift of Kenneth and Bonnie Brown
Across Africa, toys are frequently made of wire and other recycled or found materials. Many have moving parts, and all demonstrate an extraordinary imagination. Their linear quality and lively sense of animation have influenced local artists and inspired multiple museum exhibitions. Entertaining toys in the form of sewing machines, bicyclists and figures paddling canoes are proving so popular in some areas that artists now devise easily packable versions for the tourist market.
Primarily correspondence, advertisements, invoices and receipts, price lists, illustrations, catalogs, photographs, patents, trademarks, periodicals, road maps and books from manufacturers and distributors of bicycles and bicycle accessories and supplies; also a considerable amount of material on cyclist shows, clubs, associations and tournaments, as well as material from English manufacturers. The bulk of the material dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Bicycles, Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, box ##, folder ###, digital file number ####
Cartoon-like sketch of Otto Bacher and Robert (Bob) Blum riding bicycles. Each man's name is written where the head would be. Very loose pencil sketch on verso of a man's head in profile. Date range based on earliest date of Otto Bacher papers and date of Blum's death.
Outdoor tintype showing three boys on high-wheeled bicycles in a field with buildings visible in the background; corners are clipped.
The NMAH Photo History Collection (PHC) has over 3000 tintype photographs dating from the beginnings of the process in 1856 to the present. ‘Tintype’ was coined and became the favored name.
Tintypes in the PHC are found in albums, the Kaynor Union Case collection and as individual photographs. The original tintype process patent was assigned to William and Peter Neff in 1856. William Neff died a short time later, but his son Peter, who named the process Melainotype, continued on with his work. The earliest tintypes in the PHC are a group of more than thirty Peter Neff Melainotypes, some of which date back to 1856 and contain notes written by Peter Neff. Shortly after the Melainotype, Victor Griswold introduced a very similar process on thinner, lighter iron plates and called them Ferrotypes. The PHC has tintypes ranging from rare large images between 5”x7” and 10”x12”down to small images cut to 6mm diameter to fit jewelry. The Melainotypes are between 1/6 plate and 4”x5” in size and many have indistinct images. There are also unexposed Melainotype plates including a pack of 1/6 plates and large whole-plates with four decorated oval borders that were designed to be cut into smaller quarter plates after exposure.
The great majority of tintype photographs are studio portraits, including the very popular ‘Gem’ size (about ¾” x 1”). Almost every gem tintype in the PHC is an individual head and shoulders portraits, the only exceptions seen being a full length portrait and a head and shoulders portrait of a couple. Most of these gem portraits are in small gem albums designed to hold two to six gems per page. However, several gems are mounted on cartes-de-visite (CDV) size cards and set in specifically designed album pages. Some of these CDV mounted gems are in elaborate miniature frames attached to the card. The tintypes larger than gem size show a greater variety of subject matter, but still with a main focus on individual portraits, this is especially true of the smaller 1/16 and 1/9 plate images. Outdoor tintypes are rare. Of the few in the PHC, the most common outdoor subjects noted are people standing in front of their homes and photographs of people proudly standing with, or sitting on, their horse or horses and buggy. One of the largest tintypes is a 9”x 7” outdoor view of a row of townhouses with a couple standing on one of the balconies. There is also an outdoor tintype of men fishing along with another of their days catch.
One common subject in tintype photography, as noted in text books, is the civil war soldier. The durability of the tintype meant that photographs taken in the field could be sent home. However, this category of tintype is not well represented in the PHC, with less than thirty noted due to the fact that the majority of the Smithsonian’s Civil War tintypes are located mainly in the Military History Collection. Most of the PHC examples of Civil War tintypes are in the Kaynor collection of cased images.
A few of the tintypes in the PHC are hand colored. This coloring varies from light tinting of faces and hands to heavy overpainting that obscures the underlying tintype image. A number of the tintypes (about 30) depict people with the apparatus of their occupations. Some are posed studio shots and others appear to be photographs of people at their place of work. Among the occupational views are images of a doctor, grocery deliveryman, weavers, fireman, ice delivery man, craftsman, cobbler, shoe shiners, mail carrier, surveyor, pipe liners and other tintypes of people wearing work clothes and posing with tools. These include a unique full-length gem tintype of a man in work apron with a saw.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
Jack Schmitt on the Bicycle. Astronaut Jack Schmitt is seen from the knees up, seated on a bicycle. The respiratory checking system extends horizontally from his mouth to the right edge. His right hand rests on the handlebars. Some background shading is in the upper left. Writing in the lower left reads: "Apollo 17 17:45 Jack Schmitt on the Bicycle."
In March 1962, James Webb, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, suggested that artists be enlisted to document the historic effort to send the first human beings to the moon. John Walker, director of the National Gallery of Art, was among those who applauded the idea, urging that artists be encouraged "…not only to record the physical appearance of the strange new world which space technology is creating, but to edit, select and probe for the inner meaning and emotional impact of events which may change the destiny of our race."
Working together, James Dean, a young artist employed by the NASA Public Affairs office, and Dr. H. Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art, created a program that dispatched artists to NASA facilities with an invitation to paint whatever interested them. The result was an extraordinary collection of works of art proving, as one observer noted, "that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company." Transferred to the National Air and Space Museum in 1975, the NASA art collection remains one of the most important elements of what has become perhaps the world's finest collection of aerospace themed art.
The spring of 1962 was a busy time for the men and women of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. On February 20, John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. For the first time since the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, the U.S. was positioned to match and exceed Soviet achievements in space. NASA was an agency with a mission -- to meet President John F. Kennedy's challenge of sending human beings to the moon and returning them safely to earth by the end of the decade. Within a year, three more Mercury astronauts would fly into orbit. Plans were falling into place for a follow-on series of two-man Gemini missions that would set the stage for the Apollo voyages to the moon.
In early March 1962, artist Bruce Stevenson brought his large portrait of Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, to NASA headquarters.(1) James E. Webb, the administrator of NASA, assumed that the artist was interested in painting a similar portrait of all seven of the Mercury astronauts. Instead, Webb voiced his preference for a group portrait that would emphasize "…the team effort and the togetherness that has characterized the first group of astronauts to be trained by this nation." More important, the episode convinced the administrator that "…we should consider in a deliberate way just what NASA should do in the field of fine arts to commemorate the …historic events" of the American space program.(2)
In addition to portraits, Webb wanted to encourage artists to capture the excitement and deeper meaning of space flight. He imagined "a nighttime scene showing the great amount of activity involved in the preparation of and countdown for launching," as well as paintings that portrayed activities in space. "The important thing," he concluded, "is to develop a policy on how we intend to treat this matter now and in the next several years and then to get down to the specifics of how we intend to implement this policy…." The first step, he suggested, was to consult with experts in the field, including the director of the National Gallery of Art, and the members of the Fine Arts Commission, the arbiters of architectural and artistic taste who passed judgment on the appearance of official buildings and monuments in the nation's capital.
Webb's memo of March 16, 1962 was the birth certificate of the NASA art program. Shelby Thompson, the director of the agency's Office of Educational Programs and Services, assigned James Dean, a young artist working as a special assistant in his office, to the project. On June 19, 1962 Thompson met with the Fine Arts Commission, requesting advice as to how "…NASA should develop a basis for use of paintings and sculptures to depict significant historical events and other activities in our program."(3)
David E. Finley, the chairman and former director of the National Gallery of Art, applauded the idea, and suggested that the agency should study the experience of the U.S. Air Force, which had amassed some 800 paintings since establishing an art program in 1954. He also introduced Thompson to Hereward Lester Cooke, curator of paintings at the National Gallery of Art.
An imposing bear of a man standing over six feet tall, Lester Cooke was a graduate of Yale and Oxford, with a Princeton PhD. The son of a physics professor and a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Forces, he was both fascinated by science and felt a personal connection to flight. On a professional level, Cooke had directed American participation in international art competitions and produced articles and illustrations for the National Geographic Magazine. He jumped at the chance to advise NASA on its art program.
While initially cautious with regard to the time the project might require of one of his chief curators, John Walker, director of the National Gallery, quickly became one of the most vocal supporters of the NASA art initiative. Certain that "the present space exploration effort by the United States will probably rank among the more important events in the history of mankind," Walker believed that "every possible method of documentation …be used." Artists should be expected "…not only to record the physical appearance of the strange new world which space technology is creating, but to edit, select and probe for the inner meaning and emotional impact of events which may change the destiny of our race." He urged quick action so that "the full flavor of the achievement …not be lost," and hoped that "the past held captive" in any paintings resulting from the effort "will prove to future generations that America produced not only scientists and engineers capable of shaping the destiny of our age, but also artists worthy to keep them company."(4)
Gordon Cooper, the last Mercury astronaut to fly, was scheduled to ride an Atlas rocket into orbit on May 15, 1963. That event would provide the ideal occasion for a test run of the plan Cooke and Dean evolved to launch the art program. In mid-February, Cooke provided Thompson with a list of the artists who should be invited to travel to Cape Canaveral to record their impressions of the event. Andrew Wyeth, whom the curator identified as "the top artist in the U.S. today," headed the list. When the time came, however, Andrew Wyeth did not go to the Cape for the Cooper launch, but his son Jamie would participate in the program during the Gemini and Apollo years.
The list of invited artists also included Peter Hurd, Andrew Wyeth's brother-in-law, who had served as a wartime artist with the Army Air Force; George Weymouth, whom Wyeth regarded as "the best of his pupils"; and John McCoy, another Wyeth associate. Cooke regarded the next man on the list, Robert McCall, who had been running the Air Force art program, as "America's top aero-space illustrator. Paul Calle and Robert Shore had both painted for the Air Force program. Mitchell Jamieson, who had run a unit of the Navy art program during WW II, rounded out the program. Alfred Blaustein was the only artist to turn down the invitation.
The procedures that would remain in place for more than a decade were given a trial run in the spring of 1963. The artists received an $800 commission, which had to cover any expenses incurred while visiting a NASA facility where they could paint whatever interested them. In return, they would present their finished pieces, and all of their sketches, to the space agency. The experiment was a success, and what might have been a one-time effort to dispatch artists to witness and record the Gordon Cooper flight provided the basis for an on-going, if small-scale, program. By the end of 1970, Jim Dean and Lester Cooke had dispatched 38 artists to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launches and to other NASA facilities.
The art program became everything that Jim Webb had hoped it would be. NASA artists produced stunning works of art that documented the agency's step-by-step progress on the way to the moon. The early fruits of the program were presented in a lavishly illustrated book, Eyewitness to Space (New York: Abrams, 1971). Works from the collection illustrated NASA publications and were the basis for educational film strips aimed at school children. In 1965 and again in 1969 the National Gallery of Art mounted two major exhibitions of work from the NASA collection. The USIA sent a selection of NASA paintings overseas, while the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service created two exhibitions of NASA art that toured the nation.
"Since we …began," Dean noted in a reflection on the tenth anniversary of the program, the art initiative had resulted in a long string of positive "press interviews and reports, congressional inquiries, columns in the Congressional Record, [and] White House reports." The NASA effort, he continued, had directly inspired other government art programs. "The Department of the Interior (at least two programs), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Army and even the Veterans Administration have, or are starting, art programs." While he could not take all of the credit, Dean insisted that "our success has encouraged other agencies to get involved and they have succeeded, too."(5)
For all of that, he noted, it was still necessary to "defend" the role of art in the space agency. Dean, with the assistance of Lester Cooke, had been a one-man show, handling the complex logistics of the program, receiving and cataloguing works of art, hanging them himself in museums or on office walls, and struggling to find adequate storage space. In January 1976, a NASA supervisor went so far as to comment that: "Mr. Dean is far too valuable in other areas to spend his time on the relatively menial …jobs he is often burdened with in connection with the art program."(6) Dean placed a much higher value on the art collection, and immediately recommended that NASA officials either devote additional resources to the program, or get out of the art business and turn the existing collection over the National Air and Space Museum, "where it can be properly cared for."(7)
In January 1974 a new building for the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) was taking shape right across the street from NASA headquarters. Discussions regarding areas of cooperation were already underway between NASA officials and museum director Michael Collins, who had flown to the moon as a member of the Apollo 11 crew. Before the end of the year, the space agency had transferred its art collection to the NASM. Mike Collins succeeded in luring Jim Dean to the museum, as well.
The museum already maintained a small art collection, including portraits of aerospace heroes, an assortment of 18th and 19th century prints illustrating the early history of the balloon, an eclectic assortment of works portraying aspects of the history of aviation and a few recent prizes, including several Norman Rockwell paintings of NASA activity. With the acquisition of the NASA art, the museum was in possession of one of the world's great collections of art exploring aerospace themes. Jim Dean would continue to build the NASM collection as the museum's first curator of art. Following his retirement in 1980, other curators would follow in his footsteps, continuing to strengthen the role of art at the NASM. Over three decades after its arrival, however, the NASA art accession of 2,091 works still constitutes almost half of the NASM art collection.
(1) Stevenson's portrait is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum (1981-627)
(2) James E. Webb to Hiden Cox, March 16, 1962, memorandum in the NASA art historical collection, Aeronautics Division, National air and Space Museum. Webb's preference for a group portrait of the astronauts was apparently not heeded. In the end, Stevenson painted an individual portrait of John Glenn, which is also in the NASM collection (1963-398).
(3) Shelby Thompson, memorandum for the record, July 6, 1962, NASA art historical collection, NASA, Aeronautics Division.
(4) John Walker draft of a talk, March 5, 1965, copy in NASA Art historical collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(5) James Dean, memorandum for the record, August 6, 1973, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(6) Director of Planning and Media Development to Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, NASA art history collection, NASM Aeronautics Division.
(7) James Dean to the Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs, January 24, 1974, copy in NASA Art history Collection, Aeronautics Division, NASM.
overall: 7 1/2 in x 16 1/2 in; 19.05 cm x 41.91 cm
cycling time trial helmet
helmet, cycling time trial
time trial helmet, cycling
This cycling time trial helmet was used throughout the 2010 season by American track cycling World Champion Sarah Hammer (b. 1983) when she competed in the individual pursuit, team pursuit, and other time trial events. Sarah Hammer is a five-time World Champion (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013) and as of 2013, is a world record holder in a track cycling event called the individual pursuit.
Manufactured by Uvex, the unique teardrop shape of the time trial helmet is designed for aerodynamic efficiency. In cycling, time trials can be raced on flat, rolling, or mountainous terrain. Time trials can be competed individually, as a team, or on an oval cycling track, also called a velodrome. In the individual pursuit, two riders start from stationary positions at opposite sides of an oval cycling track, also called a velodrome, and race against each other for a distance of 4 kilometers for men and 3 kilometers for women. Regardless of the format or terrain, a time trial is a test of a rider’s effort against the clock.
When riding an individual time trial, a rider is not allowed to benefit aerodynamically by drafting behind other cyclists or vehicles. Because an individual cyclist riding solo will spend much more energy overcoming the effects of drag, aerodynamic helmets, clothing, bicycles, and deep-rimmed or disc wheels are frequently used in time trial events in order to gain an advantage and better time over competitors.
This short sleeve track cycling skinsuit was worn by American Bobby Lea (b. 1983) when he competed in the Madison event during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, held in Beijing, China. Lea, a multiple-time national champion in the Madison and numerous other track cycling events, finished 1st in the Scratch Race at the 2012 Pan American Championships and competed in the Omnium at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The Madison is raced on an oval cycling track, also called a velodrome, and is named after its first venue, Madison Square Garden in New York City. It is also known as “The American Race” or course à l'américaine in French and Americana in Italian and Spanish.
The Madison event held at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place at the 250 meter Laoshan Velodrome in Beijing, China on August 19th. The race was 50 kilometers long and lasted for 200 laps. Bobby Lea and his partner Michael Friedman finished in 16th place overall. An Olympic event since 2000, the Madison’s final year of Olympic competition was at the 2008 games.
The Madison event began after late 19th century legal restrictions were placed on the popular Six Day races held in velodromes around the United States. The original format of these races had individual riders racing 24 hours a day for six consecutive days. While the event was very popular with crowds, and riders were paid extremely well, the demands of riding continuously for six days took a mental and physical toll on the racers.
Eventually, laws were passed in New York State and Illinois in 1898 that prevented cyclists in six-day races from racing longer than 12 hours at a time. Not wanting to close the venue for half of the day, the promoter of the Madison Square Garden Six Day races changed the event to use teams of two or three, allowing the races to go on for 24 hours, without having individual riders exceed the 12 hour limit.
Today, the format of the Madison consists of teams of riders, usually two, racing for a set distance on the velodrome. No longer a 24 hour/six-day long event, the goal of the race is for one team to finish their laps before the others. Because only a single rider from each team can participate in the race at a time, one rider races around the bottom of the track trying to gain laps or hold position on the other teams, while the other rides at a slower pace, resting, near the top of the track. Teammates in the Madison swap positions after being tagged in by the other rider, though more commonly they are launched into the race with a push or a hand-sling motion.
The Madison continues to be an annual Cycling World Championship event and is often featured in a shortened format alongside other track events at modern six-day races.