Since the Segway first came out, I’ve been one who has believed the Segway will eventually make much more of an impact than most believe today. Tonight, I was reading to my son about the Wright brothers, and just had to share with you some interesting history, that I think is relevant to the Segway and other inventions that many underestimate upon first glance.
Did you know that the first “bicycle” was invented in 1818? It was a two wheeler, moved by pushing with the feet while sitting. Then in 1839, the first pedals were added, but the wheels were still made out of wood or iron, which made for a very uncomfortable ride. In the 1870s, spokes, steering, brakes and chains were added. Finally in 1888 rubber tires were added, and 40,000 bikes were sold in 1890. Five years later, over a million bicycles were being produced.
I’m sure in 1818, not many ever thought that bicycles would become such a common household item. It took over 70 years before the bicycle became what we now know it as.
Coincidentally, we also watched a show tonight about old cars, and they were showing the steam cars and early gas cars. Very interesting to see a steam car as it moved so silently and much faster than I ever would have guessed. And yet, from what I saw on the show, they look to be quite a lot of work to use. Obviously, cars have changed a lot since then, as did bicycles and airplanes.
If you look at the history of most inventions, they follow a similar pattern, usually beginning with the first step looked upon quite skeptically by the masses. But, perhaps now, that you’ve been reminded of the history behind bicycles, maybe you’ll look at the Segway and other inventions with a slightly different point of view.
Now…go invent something! 😉