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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Roper steam velocipede, about 1869Roper steam velocipede, about 1869

Was this the first motorcycle? Sylvester H. Roper of Roxbury, Massachusetts, built this steam velocipede and exhibited it around New England. However, credit for the first commercially successful motorcycle usually goes to Gottlieb Daimler of Germany or Edward Butler of Great Britain. The Smithsonian collected this artifact in 1956.

See also: Automobiles, Transportation

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