Some critics grew hostile, urging responsible citizens to vandalize, even destroy the machines in the interest of public safety. The future of the nascent industry was in doubt.
I'm speaking, of course, about 19th-century bicycles, not 21st-century electric scooters.
When the bicycle (and its predecessor, the velocipede) was introduced to cities in Europe and the United States in the 1800s, it unsettled the realms of public and private transportation in a way similar to what electric scooters are doing today. Cities weren't equipped, either in infrastructure or policy, to handle them. Conflicted publics alternately cheered on innovation, and fretted over concerns of safety and practicality.
The reaction to the introduction of bicycles was in many ways strikingly similar to how cities are grappling with the rise of electric scooters today. To illustrate this we've created a 10-question quiz, below. Each question consists of a quote. Your job is to figure out whether it was written about bicycles in the 1800s, or about scooters today.
Good luck, and ride safely.