The penny farthing was the first true bicycle with which efficient speed and distance could be achieved in a practical manner. Given the absence of a gearing system, larger and larger wheels were built with the intention of increasing speed and ultimately culminating in the classically oversized penny-farthing wheel, which measured 60" in diameter. The name refers to the British 'penny' and 'farthing' coins of the era; the former being much larger than the latter so that the side view of the bicycle resembled the two coins placed side by side.
The bicycle was invented by Frenchman Eugene Meyer Jacques in 1869. Jacques himself named his invention 'Hattie' after his beloved wife Harriet. 'Hattie' was an enormous bike, which was somewhat difficult to mount due to its tremendous size, though surprisingly easy to ride once it was moving.