Russian Gendarmes, Moscow, ca.1890

This exceedingly old photograph shows a group of Russian Gendarmes in Moscow around 1890, the chap in the middle of the frame is sitting atop what is quite clearly a Penny-farthing designed for use on the railway lines. There is a counterweight on the shaft leading to the offset left wheel, I assume to keep him from falling off to his right, he also has a long handle in his right hand and I can’t for the life of me figure out what it’s for. Any ideas?

Ben Branch Profile Picture Silodrome - Railway Penny-farthing
Founder & Senior Editor Silodrome

Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

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