Bicycle riders circa 1869
Bicycle History in Debate
Some history books will state that Pierre and Ernest
Michaux, the French father and son team of carriage-makers,
invented the first bicycle during the 1860s. Historians now disagree and there
is evidence that the bicycle is older than that. However, historians do agree
that Ernest Michaux
did invent the modern bicycle pedal and cranks in 1861.
Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbronn - Early
The German Baron Karl Drais von
Sauerbronn invented the "Laufmaschine" or "Running Machine", a type of
pre-bicycle. The steerable Laufmaschine was made entirely of wood and had no pedals;
a rider would push his/her feet against the ground to make the machine
go forward. Sauerbronn's bicycle was first
exhibited in Paris on April 6, 1818. The celerifere was another similar early bicycle
in 1790 by Frenchmen, Comte Mede de Sivrac, however, it had no steering.
The Penny Farthing is also referred
to as the 'High' or 'Ordinary' bicycle, and the first one was invented
in 1871 by British engineer, James Starley. The Penny Farthing came after
the development of the 'Hobbyhorse', and the French 'Velocipede' or 'Boneshaker',
all versions of early bikes. However, the Penny Farthing was the first
really efficient bicycle, consisting of a small rear wheel and large front
wheel pivoting on a simple tubular frame with tires of rubber.
The history of bikes from The Burgwardt
Bicycle Museum - History
of the Bicycle
The name 'bicycle' dates from 1869.
Various precursors of this machine were known as 'velocipedes', a French
name dating from the late 18th century.
Museum of America
View all the historical
models in their
collection, with a photo and paragraph on each model.
of the Bicycle
The history of bicycles is very
fuzzy. Sources often disagree as to the names of the inventors and the
dates of their inventions. Leonardo DaVinci sketched a facsimile of the
modern bicycle in 1490, which never left the drawing board.
In 1817, among the forests near
central Germany a new kind of bike was created by Baron Karl von Drais.
First Hundred Years of Bicycles
In 1818, Baron von Drais introduced
a machine to the public in Paris. It had two in-line wheels connected by
a wooden frame. The rider sat astride and pushed it along with his feet,
while steering the front wheel.
Pedal History Timeline
In 1855 Ernest Michaux added crank
treadles to a velocipede (round shafts).
Rover Cycle - The Tricycle
In 1877 John Starley and William
Sutton formed a company to build bicycles, for people to 'rove" around
Drawing: Certain's patent for a parcel carrier for bicycles
African American inventor Jerry
M. Certain patented a parcel carrier for bicycles, on December the 26th,
1899 (U.S. Patent #639,708 )
M. A. Cherry developed two devices
that would one day evolve into very useful items for transportation. The
first device was a velocipede (bicycle) the second was a street car fender.
A Penny farthing is a bicycle that
was developed between 1870 and 1878.
Bike enthusiasts tune into the world
of modern bicycling, with About's own guide to Biking, Kevin H. Weiss.
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