Tricycles and Quadricycles

During the period between the first appearance of the hobby horse and the development of the velocipede, many attempts were made to construct three or four wheeled machines, the tricycle or quadricycle.

Primitive wooden tricycles with hand-and-foot propulsion were built, while the quadricycle was successfully commercially developed by makers such as Sawyer and Ward.

With the introduction of the light, metal, wire-spoked wheel, tricycles became important.

Many different forms were tried, some of asymmetrical layout and others with the large diameter wheels already in use for the ‘penny farthing’.

These were also used because they still only had solid rubber tyres and the larger wheel afforded the rider some comfort.

Tricycle design finally stabilized in the form of a three-wheeled machine with front and rear wheels of approximately the same size and a chain drive to the rear axle and front wheel steering. These machines are still built today and are favoured by a small group of tricycle enthusiasts.

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