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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.
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.
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.
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 the 1850s. During his career, he continued to improve his bicycle designs, which culminated in his son invention of motorized bicycle with steam engine.