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Inventors Wheelchair History
By Mary Bellis

In 1932, engineer, Harry Jennings, built the first folding, tubular steel wheelchair. That was the earliest wheelchair similar to what is in use today. That chair was built for a paraplegic friend of Jennings called Herbert Everest. Together they founded Everest & Jennings, a company that monopolized the wheelchair market for many years. An antitrust suit was actually brought against Everest & Jennings by the Department of Justice, who charged the company with rigging wheelchair prices. The case was finally settled out of court.

The first dedicated wheelchair (invented four centuries ago and called an invalids chair) was made for Phillip II of Spain.

Wheelchair History
Read excerpts from the book Life on Wheels by Gary Karp.

Think It's New? Think Again!
An electric scooter that dates back to 1924.

Ground Swell
The 1869 wheelchair patent gave rise to a model with rear push wheels and small front casters; it was followed by a variety of more fanciful models, such as tricycle chairs, high-speed hand-cranked models, and wheeled attachments for rocking chairs.

Evolution of the Manual Wheelchair - PDF
Timeline of wheelchair evolution.

Related Information
Medical Innovations
Learn who invented the artificial heart, started blood banks, and created certain cures and more.

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