Clio Logo

This entry has been deleted. Because of your role, you can view the entry or restore it to no longer be deleted.

In Mannheim, Germany in 1817, a new invention was created. A man by the name of Karl von Drais created a two-wheeled machine made for riding on streets. Drais decided to create this machine as a solution to a very serious problem all throughout Germany and Europe at the time, which was the lack of transportation. Due to a scarcity in horses available to transport people, the two-wheeled machine played an important role in people’s daily lives.

Karl von Draus riding his invention.

Karl von Draus riding his invention.

The first ever bicycle.

The first ever bicycle.

Mannheim, Germany was the first place the two-wheeled machine, now called a bicycle, was created. In 1418, a man by the name of Giovanni Fontana, an Italian engineer, built a human-power machine that had four wheels. Fast forward to 1813, and the German, Karl von Drais, wanted to bring this four-wheeled object back. He created his own version of this machine, but he shortly realized that he could make it even better. In 1817, Drais created the first ever two-wheeled human powered machine. Drais had the idea to create this new form of transportation as Europe and Germany were faced with a big problem. In 1815, tragedy struck in Indonesia when Mount Tambora erupted with ash flying everywhere in a cloud, lowering the global temperatures. Because of the changing temperatures, crops were unable to survive, causing animals, such as horses, to die of starvation. This led to a decrease in horses available for people to use as transportation. This sparked Drais into creating his machine so that people could travel from one place to another in a very timely manner. And so, the first bicycle entered the world.

Alter, Lloyd. “The Bicycle, 200 Years Old Now, Was a Timely Response to an Environmental Crisis.” TreeHugger, Treehugger, 11 Oct. 2018, www.treehugger.com/bikes/happy-200th-birthday-bicycle-timely-response-environmental-crisis.html.

Boers, Bernice De Jong. “Mount Tambora in 1815: A Volcanic Eruption in Indonesia and Its Aftermath.” Indonesia, vol. 60, 1995, p. 37., doi:10.2307/3351140.

Palermo, Elizabeth. “Who Invented the Bicycle?” LiveScience, Purch, 30 Aug. 2017, www.livescience.com/44765-who-invented-the-bicycle.html.

Thompson, T, and M Jacob. “Bicycle Designs.” The Technology Teacher, 1995, jwilson.coe.uga.edu/EMT668/EMAT6680.2004.SU/Bird/emat6690/unitonbbike/day9.pdf.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/happy-200th-birthday-bicycle-timely-response-environmental-crisis.html

https://www.livescience.com/44765-who-invented-the-bicycle.html