A Woman Cyclist Left Her Fellow Beer Swillers Confounded in 1896

Public female drinkers were such a rare sight, that a drinking event by a female cyclist at a bar in New Jersey in 1896 merited its own article stub in the NY Times.  An entry on August 25, 1896 read:

She Drank Her Ale at the Bar: Girl Cyclist in Rahway Amazed Loungers at Chamberlain’s


A petite female figurine natty bicycle costume entered Chamberlain’s saloon on Cherry street to-day, and, with a toss of her head, ordered a bottle of Bass’s ale. The genial bartender began to wrap the bottle in a paper, but she said:

“Please pull the cork.”

The men that were in the saloon at the time looked at each other and then at the maiden.  In a short time the bottle was emptied and a half-dollar was flipped on the bar.  The bartender made the change. She mounted her wheel and soon was out of sight up Irvington Street, toward St. George’s Avenue.