2nd September 1812

Bicycle pedal inventor is born

Bicycles were once pedal-free devices consisting of two wheels, a saddle, and a frame. The rider would straddle the saddle and push the bike along with their feet on the ground – effectively running, but a little faster thanks to assistance they were receiving from the wheels.

That changed in the 1830s when Dumfries and Galloway-born Kirkpatrick Macmillan was credited with inventing the pedal cycle. It certainly wouldn’t have been a comfortable ride, being made of wood and with iron surrounds to each wheel where today we’d have an air-filled tyre, which was invented by another Scot, Robert Thomson.

The BBC noted that Macmillan’s bicycle was “extremely heavy and the physical effort required to ride it must have been considerable. Nevertheless, Macmillan quickly mastered the art of riding it on the rough country roads and was soon accustomed to making the fourteen-mile journey to Dumfries in less than an hour.”



Other events that occured in September

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