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Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell

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Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell


Old 08-21-06, 04:30 PM
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Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell

Amusing excerpt from a book on oysters in NYC:

It could have been that the round and sad-faced Brady had taken up dieting. It was well known, from the spectacle it created, that he and Russell attempted to trim down by taking up the new New York craze, bicycling. The chain-driven bicycle with two equal-size wheels was developed in the 1880s and soon Central Park and city streets were filled with cyclists. It was said that so many bicycle lamps glowed in Manhattan streets at night that the streets appeared to be "filled with fireflies". City newspapers were brimming with angry editorials about "blazing" - reckless bicycling - though it seemed doubtful that New York's most celebrated elephantine couple were blazers. Feminists and suffragettes including Susan B Anthony were excited about bicycles as a mode of transportation that fostered sexual equality and female independence. In fact, Russell took it up first, pedaling through Central Park dressed in white with fellow actress Marie Dressler. Afterward, they would defy sexual decorum by smoking cigarettes behind drawn curtains. When pounds started disappearing from Russell, Brady took up the sport, ordering a dozen gold-plated bicycles made with diamond-encrusted handlebars for him and her friends to be seen pedaling through the park.
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Old 08-21-06, 05:35 PM
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"... diamond-encrusted handlebars ..."

- now that's bling!
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Old 08-21-06, 09:35 PM
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Pictures? Certainly better than the bike plated with gold as an art object.
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