The Time Traveller sculpture

The Time Traveller sculpture, Ron Gaston, Evandale, public art

Public Art: The Time Traveller sculpture

Sculptor: © Ron Gaston

Description: A bronze sculpture of a pennyfarthing rider and his dog taking a break. The man is dressed in typical 1880's riding attire.

Date Unveiled: 2001

Location: The Time Traveller sculpture is located on the corner of Russell and Stone Streets, Evandale, Tasmania, Australia.


The Time Traveller

Celebrating the centenary of Federation 1901-2001
Supported by the Commonwealth Government

Artist - Ron Gaston

Time Traveller Controversy: I suspect the original dog in this sculpture was either damaged or stolen, because it was originally seen resting its front paws on the small wheel of the penny farthing.

Background to Penny Farthings in Evandale: Evandale is well known for its Penny farthing racing . Penny Farthing enthusiast from all over Australia and around the world converge in this small town in February to participate in the annual National Penny Farthing Championships, which is now the largest in the world. The races take place around a triangular circuit in the village centre.

As early as the 1880s Tasmania was holding regular penny farthing races in both Launceston and Hobart.

The first National Penny Farthing Championships event was held in Evandale in 1983.

Things You May Not Know About Penny Farthings:

The penny farthing was originally called a high wheel or high wheeler but became commonly known as a penny farthing in 1891, when a magazine coined the phrase "penny farthing" due to the fact the wheels looked like a British farthing coin following the larger penny.

They were the first design to be called a bicycle.

The penny-farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era.

So who invented the penny farthing? Despite much debate the accolades go to Frenchman Eugene Meyer who patented a wire-spoke tension wheel in 1869 to become father of the High Bicycle. Across the channel, Englishman James Starley added some tagent spokes and a mounting step to his bicycle named Ariel to take the title of father of the British cycling industry.

Due to the position of the rider, sitting high and  over the axle,  the most common cause of injury or death was "taking a header", which means flying head first over the handle bars.

You can blame the demise of the penny farthing on John Dunlop, who in 1888, decided to put a pneumatic tire on his son's tricycle in 1888. ! Viola, it basically removed the need for the enormous wheel on the front of the bucycle as you could now get a smooth ride on the smaller chain driven bicycles. The penny farthing became obsolete almost overnight and production of the high wheelers ceased altogether by 1893.

The Time Traveller sculpture, Evandale, Tasmania

Time Traveller sculpture, Evandale, Tasmania

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