Hobby Horse

The first machine to integrate the three main elements of the bicycle, balance, steering and propulsion, was invented and patented in 1817 in Mannheim, Germany by Karl von Drais. This was the Laufmaschine (English: Hobby Horse).

The machine had two wheels in line and therefore demanded effort from the rider to balance it.

This was achieved by steering and the movement forward of the machine by the rider pushing along the ground with his feet.

These machines and variants were made in Germany, France and England for a short period at the end of the second decade of the nineteenth century.

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