Browsed by
Category: history lessons

Kirkpatrick MacMillan

Kirkpatrick MacMillan

Did you know who is thought to have invented the bicycle?

I hadn’t looked into it until I ran across this story (see above photo) in BBC History Magazine’s September 2010 issue, which unfortunately isn’t online. However, the BBC have posted Kirkpatrick MacMillan’s biography (with the same images used in the magazine) and a photo of the replica of his bicycle, and there’s also the usual wiki pages and squidoo lenses on the guy. The best article I’ve seen about him is “The Devil On Wheels” by Norrie McLeish.

Lucky me, I just added this postcard to my collection via eBay:

What can I say, I’m a sucker for a story about an earth-changing innovation that doesn’t make its inventor wealthy. If Kirkpatrick MacMillan had patented his idea in 1839, would it have spread as widely?



Ever since I saw this post on Inhabitat a few months back, I’ve been thinking about this limited-edition Abici reproduction of a 1940s bike design originally commissioned by Mussolini:

Never mind that there’s no obvious way to transport any children or cargo with such a compact vehicle (I guess you might be able to rig up panniers or a rear rack). I’m intrigued. It looks like it could be a brilliant alternative to a folder for taking on the train. But nobody seems to have reviewed the darling thing. So, has anyone tried it?

from Flikr via Italian website Ciclistica
…Notice that Abici have changed the handlebar position from the originals.
There’s also a photo of one of the original ones in a museum here.

Or, for my intrepid mechanic readers: do you know anyone who has tried to make a Velocino, like this guy did?

I’m just really curious about how it rides…