Albert Augustus Pope (1843-1909)
Albert Pope was a transportation pioneer who helped turn Hartford into the bicycle capital of the world. Born in 1843, Pope’s life found direction after he attended the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia where he saw his first bicycle. He soon acquired the American rights to the patents and began manufacturing his own bicycles. Pope then founded the Good Roads Movement and the League of American Wheelman out of his desire to see the US improve its transportation networks. Toward the end of the century, Pope redirected his efforts toward producing automobiles, but the prohibitive costs associated with acquiring the necessary raw materials did not allow him to compete with the Midwestern manufacturers who went on to dominate the industry.
“Pope Park,” 2012. Link.
Connecticut Digital Archive. “Albert Pope Collection,” n.d. Link.
Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. “Panoramic Photograph - Pope Mfg. Co. #2, Hartford, Conn., ca. 1909,” 2013. Link.
Goddard, Stephen. Colonel Albert Pope and His American Dream Machines: The Life and Times of a Bicycle Tycoon Turned Automotive Pioneer. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009.
Pope, Albert. “The Bicycle Industry.” In 1795-1895. One Hundred Years of American Commerce ... a History of American Commerce by One Hundred Americans, with a Chronological Table of the Important Events of American Commerce and Invention, Vol. 2. New York: D.O. Haynes & Company, 1895. Link.
Pope, Albert. The Movement for Better Roads. Boston, MA: Pope Manufacturing Company, 1892. Link.