Derek Roberts, Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks, Schiffer, 1999, p.268, fig.22-34.
More correctly called the 'ordinary' bicycle, the Penny Farthing derives its name from the British penny and farthing coins of the time; the former being much larger than the latter so that the side view of the bicycle resembled two such coins placed next to one another.
The first high wheel bicycle was built in 1869 by a Frenchman, Eugene Meyer. James Starley and others later made improved versions. After 1878, when Albert Pope began manufacturing the Columbia bicycle just outside of Boston, the Penny Farthing's nearly two decade-long heyday in America began. Although superceded by other bicycles it remains an enduring symbol of late Victorian ingenuity.