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Inventors of the Bicycle and Bicycle-like Machines

Today’s bicycle is a result of the work of several important inventors, but here you can find its origins. Who made initial designs, who made important additions, and whose inventions brought it to the masses?

Who invented the Bicycle?

After several thousand years of horseback riding, public transportation was changed forever with the invention of this few engineers. Find out how their designs came to life during the mid to late 19th century. Read more about who invented the bicycle.

Pierre Michaux

Works of this famous French inventor forever changed the way we live and travel today. Here you can find out how he came to the idea to attach pedals to the simple “riding horse” devices that were in use during 1850s. During his career he continued to improve his bicycle designs, which was culminated in his son invention of motorized bicycle with steam engine.

Pierre Lallement

Pierre Lallement is an influential French inventor who managed to revolutionize the history of bicycles by being the first man who attacked pedals to the simple two-wheeled velocipede design. This discovery enabled creation of first modern bicycles.

Thomas McCall

During first few years after first pedal-powered bicycles were created in France, inventors from all around the world tacked the problem of their power transfer. First man who managed to achieve rear-wheel drive on a bicycle was a Scottish cartwright Thomas McCall.

Olivier Brothers

Olivier Brothers were instrumental for being first businessmen who correctly identified the potential of bicycles. They organized first mass production of bicycles in France, which started transportation craze that soon managed to reach all four corners of the world.

Kirkpatrick Macmillan

Kirkpatrick Macmillan was a Spanish blacksmith and cartwright that attempted to find fame as an inventor of first rear wheel-powered bicycle. However modern historians strongly dispute his claim and claims of his family.

James Starley

James Starley is without the doubt one of the most important businessmen and inventors in the entire history of bicycles. His exploits greatly popularized bicycles in England, which became home of transportation innovation of late 20th century Europe.

John Kemp Starley

John Kemp Starley was a nephew of the James Starley who managed to start bicycle revolution in England. However, John Kemp Starley managed to distinguish himself as the man who revolutionized bicycles completely and made them viable for all worldwide markets.

John Boyd Dunlop

John Boyd Dunlop’s 1887 invention of first commercially viable pneumatic (pressurized) rubber tire managed to dramatically boost the popularity of bicycles, and quickly enabled rise of the car industry. Learn more about his life and inventions here.