How the Netherlands became a bicycle nation : users, firms and intermediaries, 1860-1940

S.E. Tjong Tjin Tai, F.C.A. Veraart, M. Davids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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In 1925, the Netherlands was a country of cyclists and cycle producers, as all classes cycled and almost all cycles were produced domestically. The bicycle was not a Dutch invention and the country had an open economy, and this raises the question ‘how did the Netherlands become a bicycle nation?’ This article investigates the interactions of users, firms and intermediaries from 1860 to 1940 and how these impacted the bicycle, its production and its use. Furthermore, it analyses knowledge flows and the roles of intermediaries. It illustrates changes in activities and the relevance of interactions between users, firms and intermediaries, and the effects of World War I. It shows how user organisations created an infrastructure and culture which made cycling Dutch. Firms created a cartel which produced bicycles that were wanted and used by all Dutch, as they were made in the Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-289
Number of pages33
JournalBusiness History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2015


  • bicycle
  • firms
  • import
  • intermediaries
  • knowledge
  • mediation
  • production
  • users


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