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State Historical Society of Iowa’s “History for Lunch” resumes next week in Iowa City

Posted September 12, 2013 in Web Exclusives

DES MOINES – The State Historical Society of Iowa’s “History for Lunch” lecture series resumes next week in Iowa City with a discussion about the history of cycling in Iowa.

State Historical Museum of Iowa Curator Leo Landis will present “Bicycling Through History: Iowa’s Love Affair with Two-Wheeled Travel” at noon, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at the State Historical Society of Iowa, Centennial Building, 402 Iowa Avenue in Iowa City. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Call 319-335-3911 for more information.

As part of his presentation, Landis will discuss how cycling started as a pastime of wealthy men and became a recreational opportunity all Iowans can enjoy. He will also share stories of cycling from across the state, ranging from the first bicycles in the 1860s to John Entler’s scrapbooks highlighting his stove and bicycle shop in Bonaparte in the late 1800s.

Landis’ presentation follows the opening of the State Historical Museum’s “Riding Through History” exhibition in Des Moines. The 3,000-square-foot exhibition of artifacts, stories, photos and videos explores the history of cycling in Iowa and includes a bicycle from 1869 owned by Wesley Redhead – one of the first ridden in the state. The exhibition also highlights the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa as one of Iowa’s iconic traditions, largest cultural events and economic drivers.

Riding Through History was developed in partnership with the Iowa Department of Transportation and The Des Moines Register and Register Media, who ensure RAGBRAI’s tradition continues as the longest, largest and oldest bicycle event in the world. Visit to learn more.

As curator, Landis works with nearly 100,000 artifacts in the State Historical Museum collection in Des Moines and historic sites across the state. SHSI, the State Historical Museum and the historic sites are overseen by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

Landis previously worked at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Conner Prairie in Fishers, Ind., and eight years as a curator at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich. He received his Bachelor of Science in History from Iowa State University, his Masters of Arts in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., and has completed all but his dissertation toward a Ph.D., in History from Iowa State University.

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