Human-propelled Vehicles

Laufmaschine, Nicknamed the Dandy Horse

Karl Drais was a prolific German inventor who invented the Laufmaschine (“running machine”), nicknamed the dandy horse. Later, the Laufmaschine was called the velocipede, draisine (English), or draisienne (French). Drais’s first rode his horseless invention on 12 June 1817. The ride took over an hour, involved a distance of less than 5 miles, and began…

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Dalzell’s Machine

Although somewhat suspect, Kirkpatrick MacMillan, a Scottish blacksmith, is credited with creating the first mechanically propelled two-wheel vehicle. Several sources give credit to him, including an article by the Bicycling News in 1892. Another Scotsman, Gavin Dalzell, who never claimed to have invented the bicycle seems to have improved upon MacMillan’s idea of the driving…

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