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KIRKPATRICK MACMILLAN 1812 - 1878 (SCOTLAND)

V.Ryan © 2018

 
 
Kirkpatrick MacMillan can be regarded as the designer and manufacturer, of the first mode of transport, recognisable as a bicycle. As a young boy, Macmillan (a son of a blacksmith) saw a ‘Hobby Horse’ being ridden near his home, in 1824. The Hobby Horse, designed in 1817, by the German Aristocrat Baron von Drais, was a walking machine, propelled directly by the riders feet / legs. After making one himself in his Smithy, Macmillan saw that improvements could be made. In 1839, he built a ‘bicycle’ that was powered via the back wheel, through connecting rods to treadle-type pedals. It is the first example of a bicycle being powered by reciprocating motion. Another innovation was that the front wheel provided steering, an innovation that still exists in modern bicycles. Despite the uniqueness of his design, he did not patent it, which meant that he did benefit financially. His design was copied and improved by many, in the years that followed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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