This whole thing about the history of bicycles is a good read, but this part jumped out at me.
Jim Hurd, the former curator of the Bicycle Museum of America, says that at the turn of the century there were two buildings in Washington DC that held every patent in the U.S. One building held patents covering every type of product you can think of. The other building was reserved specifically for bicycle patents. It’s a manifestation of how much energy had gone into refining the bicycle and it’s the reason why it’s such a challenge for modern designers to make any sea-change improvements.
So where was the Old Bicycle Patent Building in DC?