A German baron named Karl von Drais made the first major development when he created a steerable, two-wheeled contraption in 1817. Known by many names, including the “velocipede,” “hobby-horse,” “draisine” and “running machine,” this early invention has made Drais widely acknowledged as the father of the bicycle. But the bicycle as we know it today evolved in the 19th century thanks to the work of several different inventors.
Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe. By the early 21st century, more than 1 billion were in existence. These numbers far exceed the number of cars, both in total and ranked by the number of individual models produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, bicycle racing, and bicycle stunts.
Here is a set of cool photos that shows ladies posing with their bicycles in the 1940s.