19th Century U-Lock Justice

U-lock justice in 1853 meant something very different than what we now know as “U-Lock Justice.” Carrying my U-lock everywhere means anyone would have a hard time stealing my bike (or perhaps winning a fist fight), but in 1853, this U-lock ensured anyone imprisoned by slavery would have a hard time getting out of it. Now sitting in this Boston Public Library display case as part of the Civil War’s 150th¬†Anniversary¬†display, it stands as a proud reminder of not only the abolition of slavery in America, but also of just how lucky we are to have pocket-sized keys to liberate our bikes from sign poles with.


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