Kirkpatrick Macmillan and his Rear-wheel Driven Bicycle
Kirkpatrick Macmillan was Scottish blacksmith whose claim to fame arrived in late 1860s and early 1870s when with the claims that he was the first bicycle
inventor who has managed to produce rear-wheel drive. This discovery however is today disputed by many historians, who have presented numerous evidence and
inaccuracies about testimonies of people who have promoted Macmillan as inventor of this transportation device.
Kirkpatrick Macmillan was born on September 2nd, 1812 in a Scottish civil parish Keir, Dumfries and Galloway, located one mile south of village Penpont. He
has spent his entire life there, working as a blacksmith and cartwright. Initial presenting of the research about Macmillan’ work on velocipedes was
presented by his cousin and tradesman James Johnston who claimed that his uncle Macmillan was responsible for creating the first pedal driven bicycle with
rear wheel drive even as far back as 1839. That model was supposedly made from wood, with iron-rimmed wooden wheels, pedal system and iron rods that were
connected to the rear wheel. The first public showcase of such velocipede on the land owned by Kirkpatrick Macmillan was made on 1896 Stanley show. However
it is now known that this velocipede was made by Scottish cartwright Thomas McCall who has managed to create two models of pedal driven velocipedes in
1869. Velocipede attributed to Kirkpatrick Macmillan was a composite of two velocipedes created by McCall, who most likely created this new replica model
because of the financial reasons.
James Johnston presented many explanations about how Kirkpatrick Macmillan is indeed creator of first rear-wheel driven velocipede, but modern history is
attributing this invention to Thomas McCall.