First fixie footage, c. 1899

And it’s the first moving pictures of a ‘BMX bar-spin’, too.

Thomas Edison, the American inventor and businessman who developed key devices such as the phonograph and a long lasting light bulb*, also worked on an early motion picture camera, the Kinetograph.

More than 300 of his early films survive, starting with a camera test dated to 1891. The clip above of a trick cyclist riding a fixed wheel bike was shot in 1899 by the Edison Manufacturing Co.

A longer version of this YouTube clip is now available on the podcast via iTunes and as direct download via This long-play version includes a second helping of the 1899 clip, set to ‘No cure’ by Pain Factor, available from

* Joseph Swann of Newcastle on Tyne, my home town, invented the first light bulb. Edison patented his a year after Swann and had to later withdraw his US patent.

VIDEO SPONSOR: Condor Cycles, London