Who invented the bike?

The first bicycle with pedals and levers, similar to the one we know today, was invented by the Scottish blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan in 1839. It was not nevertheless he who patented it, but his compatriot Gavin Dalzell, who was attributed the creation for half a century.

Macmillan’s bicycle – of which a copy is kept in the Science Museum of London – was later improved by the British John Boyd Dunlop, who in the late nineteenth century optimized the way of rolling the device by inventing a cloth camera and rubber that was inflated with air and placed on the rim. The novelty was so successful that it has hardly changed since then.

Long before the bicycle became popular pedals, there is evidence of the existence of some rudimentary machines with certain similarities in Ancient Egypt, China and even in the territory dominated by the Aztecs.

The first sketch on paper of a bicycle is found in the work ‘Codex Atlanticus’, a compilation of Leonardo da Vinci documents from the late fifteenth century. In 1790, the French count Mede de Sivrac invented the celerífero, also called ‘horse of wheels’, and later, at the beginning of the XIX, other vehicles of two wheels would come out of the hat of the German baron Karl Drais.

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