Penny Farthing Dan – the modern day Archetype!

In our newest #archetypelockdown update, we introduce you to one of our favourite Archetypes in Melbourne; Penny Farthing Dan. For those who have been looking, feeling and playing good with us over the past five years, you’ll be familiar with the story of The Archetype. For those of you don’t, well…

After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, de-urbanisation and depopulation in the west gave rise to medieval Europe. In a time of feudalism, the bubonic plague and barbarian invasions, the Byzantine Empire endured one of the most dynamic social revolutions ever recorded.

During this trying period, a lone working class bohemian stood out among the mostly monotonous, capitalist streets of Constantinople. This young man lived by one simple philosophy: if you look good and feel good, you’re going to play good. Riding around the village streets on a penny farthing, sporting a slick haircut and dapper shirts, he gained immediate respect from his Byzantine peers, who referred to him as ‘The Archetype’. In September 2015, The Archetype moved his bohemian lifestyle to the city of Melbourne: the home of great coffee and well-dress gents. Through his passion for slick threads and a healthy lifestyle, Archetype Threads was born.

But truth be told, not too many people have actually met The Archetype. Well apart from Penny Farthing Dan Bolwell, that is. In a recent interview with Dan, he told us about an unexpected run in with The Archetype over 100 years ago, which helped inspire what he does for a living today!

“I was sitting at my local Brunswick cafe sipping on a latte, and suddenly this guy rode up, parked his penny farthing, and sat down next to me”, Dan recalls.

“We sat and chatted for a good 30 minutes about all things Melbourne – he had some great stories. He explained to me the benefits of a penny farthing over a regular bicycle… did you know the first person to circumnavigate the world on a bicycle did so on a penny farthing?”

“Afterward, he paid for my coffee, waxed his moustache, tipped his beret and then rode off into the sunset.”

Since that day, Dan has been designing, building and personalising penny farthings from his Coburg workshop, and is responsible for providing Archetypes in over 25 countries with their top-of-the-range vehicles, enabling them to cruise their local streets in search of the best coffee in town. In a world of disposable items, cheap manufacturing and products designed for price rather than quality, Dan offers a quality alternative. As Dan says; they aren’t just a bicycle, they’re a piece of art – and we couldn’t agree more.

From hand forming the tubing, constructing the handle bars, rolling the rims, to designing the leather saddles, Dan crafts every component of these majestic beasts by hand. Rumour has it, the only person who takes as much care as Dan is The Archetype himself, when creating and quality assuring all of his threads!

Through Dan’s awesome work, he enables people all over the world to live the Archetype way and #lookgoodfeelgoodplaygood no matter where they are. If you’re interested in a new form of transport, or just hearing more about Dan’s story, check out his website here.

Penny Farthing Dan, we (and The Archetype) raise a beer to you!