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The Evolution of the Bicycle
Transcript of The Evolution of the Bicycle
How Does All of This Apply?
The invention and innovation of the bicycle, at all stages of history, is based primarily around the discipline of mechanical engineering. The entire functioning of a bicycle is based on friction, force, surface area, propulsion, etc.. All of these things can be found in the profession of mechanical engineering. For example, with the earlier forms of bikes that use running instead of pedal power, mechanical engineering was used to determine a reasonable wheel size, how far the steering would have to pivot in order to alter the course of the bike, how strong the frame would have to be in order to support all the forces being placed upon it and so on. In addition, now that the manufacturing of bicycles is becoming more specialized, material engineering is being called upon to come up with new materials that are durable and lightweight.
Throughout history, the vehicle that began as the velocipede has undergone many changes to meet the needs of society and address safety issues. One of the most prominent of these changes is the addition of pedals to the frame of the bike. Other changes include;
the transition to the diamond frame
use of the pneumatic tire
even sized wheels
hand and foot braking systems
chains used in bike propulsion
A draisine; the human powered predecessor of the bicycle.
The Lady's Safety Bicycle; a bicycle intended for women that became the blueprint for modern bikes.
A penny farthing, named so for the wheel sizes and relative coin sizes, one of the first styles of pedal oriented bikes.
Where It Began
The first verifiable form of the device we know of today as the bicycle is the Laufmaschine ("running machine" in German) and was created by Baron Karl von Drais, a civil servant employed by the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany, in 1817.
A photo of a wooden draisine; earliest form of two wheeled transport.
How This Affects Us
The empowerment and freedom that the bicycle has had on our society is phenomenal. This is a personal vehicle that allows people to move and see things that they might not otherwise able to experience. For example, any one can have a bike. This lets kids who don't have cars to run free and go places, it has empowered and inspired people to do great things. Susan B. Anthony, feminist and suffragist, said "Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood." Many creative minds admit to doing their most creative thinking while riding their bikes. Bicycles have opened the world around us and granted us freedoms to experience the world for ourselves.
The Laumaschine was given many names during its time of popularity.
draisine (English) or draisinne (French)
hobby-horse and dandy-horse
Unlike the bicycles of today, the Laufmaschine was powered by running. Users would sit astride a saddle and strike the ground, alternating feet, as if they were walking.
Wood and iron were the most common materials used in the building of these devices.
wooden or cast iron frames
wooden or iron shod wheels
bronze or iron fasteners (bearings, bushings, bolts, etc.)
Circumstantial evidence suggests that von Drais' reason behind this invention was to replace the horses that had died due to crop failure the previous year.
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United States Patent and Trademark Office. (n.d.). United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://www.uspto.gov/
Velocipede. (2014, September 29). Wikipedia. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velocipede
APA formatting by BibMe.org.
Ally Barry IED Period 6
(And Who Gets The Credit)
In the year 1818, von Drais received a patent from the state of Baden (Germany). The following month, he was awarded a French patent. The same year, English innovator and coach maker, Denis Johnson, received a patent for an improved velocipede. Many others claimed a patent for similar improvements, but Johnson was the most notable and successful of them.
What It Could Mean
Above all, the bike has the potential to replace our modern small-scale transportation. In the future, when all the fossil fuels have run out and we have yet to find an alternate solution for our energy, the bicycle, being waste-free, could quite possibly take over from the current public transportation systems. The environmentally friendly potential present here is definitely something to be recognized.
Bicycle IED swag.... (n.d.). prezi.com. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://prezi.com/larvedr-ipyf/bicycle-ied-swag/
Bicycle drivetrain systems. (2014, February 9). Wikipedia. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_drivetrain_systems
Bicycle frame. (2014, September 25). Wikipedia. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_frame
Bicycle tire. (2014, September 20). Wikipedia. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_tire
Control and dynamic analysis of two-wheeled road vehicles. (n.d.). The Draisine. Retrieved September 30, 2014, from http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/controlandpower/research/motorcycles/history/thedraisine
Cycling. (2014, September 25). Wikipedia. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling
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Karl Drais. (2014, September 16). Wikipedia. Retrieved
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Works Cited Continued