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Who invented the bicycle?

Some history books will state that Pierre and Ernest Michaux, the French father and son team of carrage-makers, invented the first bicycle during the 1860s.

Historians now disagree with this, and there is evidence that the bicycle is older than that. However, historians do agree that Ernest Michaux did invent the modern bicycle pedal and cranks in 1861.

early bicycle

image source: wikimedia commons



The German Baron Karl Drais von Sauerbrun invented the ‘Laufmaschine’ – a bicycle made of wood, with no pedals. Sauerbrun’s bicycle was first exhibited in Paris on April 6th, 1818.

Kirkpatrick Macmillan (born 2 September 1812 in Keir, died 26 January 1878 in Keir) was a Scottish blacksmith. He is generally credited with inventing the pedal driven bicycle. Kirkpatrick Macmillan is generally credited with inventing the rear-wheel driven bicycle.